Jharkhand SIT claims ‘no conspiracy’ in Dhanbad judge’s death

The special investigation team (SIT) formed by Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren to look into the death of Dhanbad additional district judge Uttam Anand has ruled out “criminal conspiracy” as a factor, calling the hit-and-run an unfortunate “road accident”. The SIT said the drivers of the vehicle that hit the judge on 28 July were high on a cocktail of the medicine N10 or Nitrosun 10 — a drug prescribed for patients of epilepsy, insomnia and anxiety disorders — and illicit liquor.

The SIT searched 53 hotels at different locations and interrogated 243 suspects since Saturday night. In addition, 17 persons were arrested and over 250 auto-rickshaws seized in a major drive after their owners could not produce their documents to the police. Meanwhile, Office in Charge (OC) of Pathardih Police Station Umesh Manjhi and Sub-Inspector Adarsh Kumar were suspended for being negligent in discharging their duties. The SIT also held marathon meetings, headed by ADG (Operations) Sanjay Anand Latkar, at Dhanbad Circuit House on Sunday. He also visited the crime spot and tried to re-create the scene to get some clues about how the crime was executed. Dhanbad SSP Sanjeev Kumar said that from Saturday night to Sunday morning, a total of 243 suspects from all 55 police station areas of Dhanbad were detained and interrogated at different police stations in a major drive. Meanwhile, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren Saturday recommended a CBI investigation into the death of Dhanbad Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand in an alleged hit-and-run incident.

Soren made the recommendation a day after he met Anand’s family. Also Friday, the Supreme Court, taking suo motu cognisance of Anand’s death on July 28, said that the “gruesome incident” had “larger ramifications”, and the court would address larger questions of security for judges across the country.