Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Shibu Soren convicted of murder

Shibu Soren convicted of murder: "Twelve years after Coal Minister Shibu Soren's secretary Shashinath Jha was kidnapped and murdered, his killers were finally convicted on Tuesday. Among the five people convicted is Soren, held guilty on charges of murder, conspiracy and abduction. Two men have been acquitted.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also accepted Soren's resignation as the Union Coal Minister. The CBI which filed its chargesheet way back in 1998, had said that Jha was killed because he demanded a share of the bribe received in the JMM bribery case from Soren. Ironically, Soren was acquitted in that case.

Jha was kidnapped from Delhi in May of 1994 and taken to Ranchil. He was killed by six people but his body was never recovered. Two years later, when Jha's mother approached the Delhi High Court, the case was handed over to the CBI and then the long and complicated investigation started.

What's interesting is that two DNA tests were done in the case but both failed. CBI sources say that they got the conviction on the basis of strong circumstantial evidence. In 1998, Jha's skeleton was exhumed and Jha's photograph matching with the skull also provided further evidence.

Soren's supporters however are ready to fight the CBI. The Jamshedpur MP said they'll approach the higher court."

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