Phoolan case: 4 accused and 2 cars now

HT Correspondent

New Delhi, July 28

THE PHOOLAN Devi murder case is thickening into a classic whodunit. Crime Branch detectives' night-long journey from Dehra Dun with key accused Sher Singh Rana saw fresh revelations being coughed up by the kilometre.

By 5.30 a.m. when the convoy reached Chanakyapuri police station, one more accomplice (that takes the number of assailants to four), two country-made weapons, two cellular phones and a second getaway vehicle were added to the drama. Rana revealed that one of the country-made weapons used in the crime was procured from Roorkee sub-inspector Narottam Das. These latest revelations negate all earlier versions of the events that led to the murder. That also leaves the motive behind the murder as hazy as before. In his disclosure statement submitted to court this afternoon, Rana made no mention of either the Behmai massacre or any political rivalry as reasons for the murder. This is in contrast to the statements he made to newsmen yesterday at Dehra Dun. Rana's political affiliations are being probed.

The long journey from Dehra Dun had a fringe benefit. Crime Branch detectives who took turns to sit with Rana in the vehicle said they got an insight into his mind. "Rana appeared and spoke like a fanatic. He had got involved in a brawl with a couple of Gujjar youth. This had enraged him and ever since he nurtured a desire to mobilise the support of the Thakurs," an officer said.

Rana's latest disclosures have spared Uma Kashyap and her husband Vijay Kumar.But the role of Phoolan's husband, Umed Singh, is being verified. He has been subjected to some "friendly questioning" by Crime Branch detectives, according to sources.

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Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: July 28, 2001
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