NCP's MP held for double murder

CBI informs LS Speaker of developments

 In a major embarrassment to NCP, the CBI has arrested Padamsinh Patil, the party MP, on Sunday for his alleged involvement in the double murders of Maharashtra Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar and his driver.

Patil was arrested On Saturday night, as he was allegedly named by two accused men – Parasmal Jain and Mohan Shukla– for the twin murders. On June 3, 2006, Nimbalkar and his driver were shot in his car at Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai.

A senior leader of NCP, Patil was elected to Lok Sabha from Osmanabad and his arrest comes ahead of assembly elections in Maharashtra later this year.

Meanwhile, Patil’s supporters indulged in stone-pelting at some places in his constituency, Osmanabad, in Marathwada region, as news of his arrest came in, police sources said.
The MP was produced in a court in Panvel in Navi Mumbai. CBI counsel Ijaz Khan said: “Patil has been booked under section 302 (murder) and section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC. He has been remanded to our custody till June 14.”

Khan told the court that “both Jain and Shukla had named Padamsinh Patil as the one who paid ‘supari’ (contract) of Rs 30 lakh and ordered killing of Nimbalkar.” The investigative agency alleged that Nimbalkar, also a cousin of Patil, was killed because of business rivalry.

Meanwhile, CBI Joint Director Rishiraj Singh said: “We have informed the Lok Sabha Speaker of his involvement and arrest in the conspiracy and double murder case. This has been done under the rules of procedure of Lok Sabha as the House is in session.” 
While being taken to the court, Patil claimed: “I am innocent. This is all wrong... I am being falsely implicated.”

The CBI took over the investigation last year following a Bombay High Court directive which came on a petition by the Nimbalkar family alleging that the police have failed to properly probe the case.

When asked about the arrest, NCP chief Sharad Pawar steered clear of comments and only said that the “law will take its own course in the ccase. I do not want to influence the inquiry process in any way by making a comment.”

Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said: “Investigations are on. I don’t want to comment on it. I don't think it will affect Congress-NCP relations”. A former Maharashtra Minister, Patil was taken to the state-run J J Hospital earlier in the day after he complained of chest pain and low blood pressure.

Patil’s supporters indulged in stone-pelting at some places in Osmanabad, police said. NCP workers also forced business establishments to shut down in the constituency. They also damaged an OB van of a private news channel and five Maharashtra state roadways buses. Following the violence, 25 NCP activists were arrested for rioting.

“After registering cases against the NCP activists for rioting, we have arrested 25 people including district chief Datta Bandgar, city president Chandrakant Kakade and corporator Vijay Shendge,” ADSP Rajendra Mane said.

Om Raje Nimbalkar, son of the deceased Congress leader said: “The investigation was going at a slow pace when R R Patil was Home Minister. Now I am satisfied with the probe process and am hoping that no external pressure will affect it”.

The CBI has so far arrested four persons – Jain, Dinesh Tiwari, Shukla and Satish Mandade – in the case. All of them are in CBI custody till June 9.

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