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Rajasthan government hands over SHO suicide case to CBI

Vishnoi, who was the Rajgarh police station in-charge in Churu district, was found hanging from the ceiling in his quarters on May 23. 

Published: 04th June 2020 10:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2020 10:34 PM   |  A+A-

CBI Headquarters

CBI Headquarters (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

JAIPUR: Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday gave his consent for the controversial suicide case of SHO Vishnudutta Vishnoi to be investigated by the CBI. The Opposition has been taking swipes against the Congress government over the suicide.

Vishnoi, who was the Rajgarh police station in-charge in Churu district, was found hanging from the ceiling in his quarters on May 23. 

After Vishnoi groups from Rajasthan and Haryana met Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot last Monday and demanded a CBI enquiry, the CM had in principle agreed to hand over the case for a probe by an independent agency. However, with no specific orders being issued by the government so far, Vishnoi groups had threatened a public agitation on this case where Congress MLA and former Olympian Krishna Poonia is alleged to have created undue pressure which pushed the SHO to commit suicide.

However, the Vishnoi Mahasabha Patron and Haryana MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi, irked by the delay in any fresh directive from the Rajasthan government, issued an open threat of agitation on Twitter.

In his tweet on Thursday morning, Bishnoi made it clear that his patience over the Vishnudutt case was now running out, “Its extremely unfortunate that despite the CM agreeing with our demand for a CBI enquiry, orders have not been issued till now. If Ashok Gehlot ji does not issue orders for a CBI enquiry by 5 pm today, we will be forced to begin a public agitation.”

A delegation of the Vishnoi community, headed by Kuldeep Bishnoi which included Rajasthan Forest Minister Sukhram Vishnoi and 8 MLAs from Rajasthan and Haryana, had met Gehlot in Jaipur on Monday to press for a CBI inquiry into the suicide of inspector Vishnudutt Vishnoi last month. Besides his in-principle agreement, Gehlot had assured them that the government would examine the matter and make a decision soon. But with no fresh directions being issued, the Vishnoi community was upset.

Finally, on Thursday evening, the Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, Rajiv Swaroop said, "CM has approved the file to investigate the SHO suicide case from CBI. The decision on the letter of inquiry has been taken. Under CM's instructions, the Home Department will write a letter to the Central Government. Now it has to be seen whether the Central Investigation Agency considers the  Suicide Case suitable for investigation or not. Earlier, the CBI had rejected several recommendations made by the state government."

Assembly Deputy Leader of Opposition and BJP MLA, Rajendra Rathore, has tweeted that had the state government accepted the demand for a CBI inquiry earlier, then the possibility of tampering with all the documents related to this case would have been reduced. He wrote," I am confident that after the CBI investigation,  Vishnudatta and his family will be able to get justice as soon as possible. The culprits will get the harshest punishment".

From the very start, BJP and Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) leaders have alleged that the SHO was being pressurised by the local Congress MLA Krishna Poonia. The mystery over the SHO suicide finds a clear mention in the daily register of the Rajgarh police station. In an entry made over a month before his suicide, SHO Vishnoi had recorded that he had caught some culprits involved in the illegal sale of liquor but the local MLA had telephoned to lobby for the release of those involved in the racket.

A case of murder in the area which happened a day before the SHO’s suicide is also included in the Roznamcha or the register of the Thana. In an interaction with the media, Churu SP, Tejaswini Gautam had confirmed that Vishnudutt had mentioned the issue of the pressure he was facing in the Roznamcha records.

Despite the escalating row, Olympian-turned-Congress MLA Krishna Poonia has denied all charges. She has accused the BJP of playing politics and had asked CM Gehlot to hold an impartial enquiry and find out exactly who was behind the pressure that SHO Vishnoi felt.

The 45- year-old police officer Vishnoi, considered one of the best SHOs in Rajasthan by DG Police Bhupendra Singh, was popular in his department and among the people for his work and honesty. The Gehlot government had initially handed over the case to the CID-CB Branch of the Rajasthan Police. Sources in the Police department say that the probe by the CID-CB team is at an advanced stage and the Gehlot government is likely to attach the report of that team when it hands over the case to the CBI.

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