The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has given a clean chit to former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Puja Pal, her brother and five others in the Lalit Verma murder case of Prayagraj.
The CBI had registered an FIR in September 2019 and started a probe on the orders of the high court.
Lalit Kumar, 28, was shot on February 3, 2016, after which his father Vinod had lodged a case, alleging that former BSP MLA Puja Pal’s brother Rahul Pal, Dilip Pal, Prithvi Pal, Rajesh Tripathi, Sandeep Yadav and Mukesh Kesarwani had attacked him, his son Lalit and nephew Vikram Kumar when they were going to meet a lawyer.
Vinod said the accused, travelling in an SUV, had intercepted the bike of Vikram on which Lalit was riding pillion and shot him dead.
Vinod claimed that he had a property dispute with the former MLA and her brother.
A senior officer said, “We scanned CCTV footage and found no SUV passed the area at the time of the murder. Besides, the named accused were at a party and there were videos to prove this. We also found that Vikram was not present on the spot.”
“We used electronic surveillance and found that Santosh Soni and Vikram Soni, both distant relatives of complainant Vinod, were there at the time of the murder,” he added.
Santosh and Vikram, during interrogation, confessed that they murdered Lalit because they believed their younger brother Ranjeet had earlier been killed by Vinod and wanted to avenge his murder.
“They also confessed that Lalit was having an affair with Santosh’s wife,” said sources.