Sudhakar Pandey, a gangster who was named by Lucknow police and the CBI in murder cases of CMOs Dr V K Arya and Dr B P Singh and who carries a reward of Rs 1 lakh, is no more wanted by the CBI, it is learnt.
The CBI is believed to have stopped looking for Pandey after finding that he was not present in Lucknow when Dr Arya and Dr Singh were shot dead on October 27, 2010 and April 2 last year, respectively.
The CBI had mentioned Pandey as an absconding accused in the supplementary chargesheet filed before the court in the murder case of Dr V K Arya on May 29. The agency had filed another chargesheet against three other accused in Dr BP Singh murder case the same day.
Pandey was first named in the two cases by the Lucknow police. The CBI had earlier given a clean chit to another accused Vijay Dubey who was also named by the Lucknow police.
The CBI sources said that the probe into Pandey’s role began after getting the digital records related to surveillance from the UP Special task force (STF) on September 12, which had investigated both cases and had worked out Dr BP Singh’s murder case on June 17 last year.
The digital records, which include surveillance of mobile phones of some prime suspects, including Sudhakar Pandey, were passed on by the STF following intervention of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court which had ordered CBI investigation in both cases.
During a hearing in the CMO murder cases on September 12, the CBI had claimed that STF’s delay in handing over some digital records related to investigation was hampering the investigation.
While probing Pandey’s role, the sources added, they scanned the call details of mobile phones of Pandey’s family members and his close friends. The CBI also went through the telephonic conversations between Pandey and his relatives, which the STF had recorded before and after Dr BP Singh’s murder.
The sources also said that the call details showed Pandey’s presence at different places in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar during the relevant period. These also showed that he made the calls from basic phones and never used a mobile. The records further showed that STF had visited these places and verified Pandey’s stay in various hotels and lodges there.
The CBI could not find any evidence which would indicate Pandey’s role in the two murders, the sources added.
Pandey had escaped from judicial custody when he was being brought to Lucknow district court on September 26, 2010. He was then lodged in Lucknow jail in the murder of a Lucknow university student union leader Vinod Tripathi. CMO Dr V K Arya was shot dead on October 27 same year.
The Lucknow police claimed to have worked out the murder case on December 12 and arrested Vijay Dubey and Ajay Kumar Mishra. The police then had claimed that two gangsters — Anshu Dixit and his brother Annu — both lodged in Lucknow jail had planned to kill Dr Arya after taking a contract of Rs 5 lakh from gangster Abhay Singh, who is now a Samajwadi Party MLA.
The police had claimed that Pandey, who was also lodged in the jail with other accused during the planning, was assigned to kill Dr Arya. The police theory said that Pandey’s escape in September was part of the planning and he executed the killing with the help of Dubey and Mishra later on October 27.
The then DGP had announced a reward of Rs 50,000 on Pandey’s head.
Meanwhile, Dr Arya’s successor Dr BP Singh too was shot dead on April 2 last year. The empty shells recovered from the spots of the two successive murders and sent for ballistic test confirmed use of same firearm in both the killings.
On the basis of the report, Pandey was named in Dr Singh’s murder case also and the then Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh increased the reward of Rs 50,000 on Pandey to Rs 1 lakh on April 26.
Later on June 17 last year, the STF worked out Dr Singh murder case and arrested Ram Krishna Verma, Anand Tiwari and Vinod Sharma. The STF confirmed that Verma had hired Tiwari and Sharma following instruction of Deputy CMO Dr Y S Sachan for Dr Singh’s murder.
The CBI had named the same accused in its supplementary chargesheet filed in two murder cases. The Lucknow police had given clean chit to the accused named in Dr Arya murder case earlier after STF worked out the case.