LUCKNOW: Despite strenuous efforts, CBI sleuths have not been able to collect convincing evidence of conspiracy by the Jan Morcha leader, Mr. Sanjay Singh, to get the badminton ace Syed Modi murdered by hired assassins.

The CBI after having widely publicised a theory with strong political overtones about the mysterious murders is still busy “collecting” evidence.

They had hoped to coerce Syed Modi’s widow, Amita Kulkarni into an approver; they proposed this in so many words. But she refused to knuckle under the pressure.

The CBI subjected 24 year old Amita, herself a former badminton champion, to a grueling interrogation when she had hardly recovered from the trauma on her husband’s death.

Even after her release on bail the interrogation continued. The object was to force her to admit to an “illicit” relationship with the Jan Morcha leader and an involvement in the conspiracy which according to CBI Mr. Sanjay Singh hatched to get Syed Modi murdered.

Amita and her parents still do not know as to why she is being implicated in the murder of her husband, initially hopeful that the CBI would do its job and nab the killers, she was aghast to find herself a prime suspect. Mr. Sanjay Singh was described as the king pin. She did not know any of the five other accused persons, Akhilesh Singh, his driver Jitendra

Bahadur Singh, Amar Singh, Bhagwati Singh and B. Singh, all from Rae Bareli district.

Amita talks of her anguish, “Is it not a torture to charge a widow with the murder of her husband? Is it not a torture to keep awake throughout nights and be interrogated? To be intimidated and coerced to accept a fabricated story and implicate oneself and others for a crime they had not committed? To be damned as adulterous? And she weeps as there are no answers forthcoming.

Another Victim

Another person who is facing CBI interrogation is Mohammed Alam 30 year old private assistant of Mr. Sanjay Singh. He too is being questioned and intimidated. During interrogation on Tuesday last he was told by the CBI that they had information that he was in the red Maruti car and pointed to Syed Modi when he emerged from the stadium on his scooter. He has been called for interrogation again on September 17.

Another person who is being interrogated off and on since August 11 is Mr. Ashok Singh a young Jan Morcha worker who is close to Mr. Vishwanath Pratap Singh. He is related to Akhilesh Singh and was found driving what the CBI described as the getaway white Maruti van on August 11 in the fashionable Hazratganj market. He said he had borrowed the vehicle from Akhilesh Singh that day in connection with the illness of his mother.

He and his brothers are being questioned about his relationship with Akhilesh Singh, Mr. Sanjay Singh and Mr. V.P. Singh and about what transpired at a party thrown to celebrate Mr. V.P. Singh’s victory at Allahabad.

CBI story

According to the CBI story, the conspiracy to murder Syed Modi was planned at venue of these celebrations — a hotel in Allahabad.

The CBI says Sanjay Singh asked Akhilesh to do his job (getting Syed Modi murdered) since the by election was over. And Sanjay Singh paid Rs 80,000 for this.

Akhilesh Singh, according to the CBI, had confessed everything. He, however, denies having done this.

Article extracted from this publication >> September 30, 1988