NEW DELHI, Sept 3, Reuter: Indian police charged prominent opposition politician Sanjay Singh on Saturday with conspiracy to murder national badminton hero Syed Modi, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

Amita Modi, 24, the widow of the former commonwealth champion has also been charged with the same offence.

Amita was released on bail on August 26 and told not to leave Lucknow.

Sanjay Singh, once close to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, has protested that he is innocent and denounced allegations that he was involved in the murder as politically motivated.

PTI said Singh was charged during interrogation in the Northern City of Lucknow and quoted police as saying questioning of the Opposition figure might go on all night,

Singh accused Gandhi who has said nothing on the case in public, of trying to frame him because he quit the ruling Congress (I) party to join the opposition Jan Morcha (People’s Front).

Jan Morcha is the creation of Vishwanath Pratap Singh, Gandhi’s former finance and defence minister, who delivered a stinging blow to the congress party by defeating it in the June parliamentary election from Allahabad, Rajiv Gandhi’s home town.

V.P. Singh campaigned on the sole issue of alleged payoff to Government officials in major arms deals which the government has denied vehemently,

Sanjay Singh was V.P. Singh’s campaign manager in the election.

About 300 supporters of the Jan Morcha party held a rally outside the police station where Sanjay Singh was being interrogated and burned Gandhi in effigy, PTI reported.

The Yuva Janta Morcha leader Sanjay Singh was refused bail when he was produced in the court.

The magistrate remarked that there was sufficient evidence on the file to warrant his arrest. The Magistrate Mr. Chandra commented while dismissing his plea for bail, because the crime was very serious and there were sufficient grounds to suspect his involvement in this murder.

The defense has filed an appeal in the session’s court against the decision of Mr. Chandra and is listed for hearing on September 7, 1988.

Meanwhile it is learnt that CBI has taken Mr. Singh to Delhi to put him thru a lie detector test. The CBI which has already subjected the other accused in this test claims that the results are positive. The magistrate in his order said the CBI has produced enough evidence to show Singh’s involvement in the murder. These included the weapon of offence, Mrs. Amita Modi’s personal diary and Modi’s letter to his wife on her relationship with another man.

Earlier the defense argued that the case was nothing but a plan to discredit Mr. Singh and was hatched at the highest level.

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Article extracted from this publication >> September 9, 1988