VE & MUR­DER BHOPAL

An am­bi­tious RTI ac­tivist. A flir­ta­tious and pow­er­ful politi­cian. An ob­ses­sive lover. A deadly tri­an­gle cost one woman her life.

India Today - - THE BIG STORY - By Ro­hit Par­i­har and Bhavna Vij- Aurora

On Fe­bru­ary 29, 2012, Ke­shav Kumar, joint di­rec­tor, Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion ( CBI), led a search team to the first floor of­fice of Zahida Parvez, 35. Zahida, who ran an ar­chi­tec­ture firm in the up­mar­ket MP Na­gar area of Bhopal, had been ar­rested a day ear­lier as the prime sus­pect in the mur­der of Shehla Ma­sood, 38, an am­bi­tious RTI ac­tivist with friends in high places.

Kumar’s prize find was Zahida’s per­sonal diary. “She is shoot ( sic) dead in front of her house,” said the en­try for Au­gust 16, 2011, the day of the mur­der. It added: “I was very de­pressed since from the early morn­ing… all of sud­den Ali ( Saquib Ali ‘ Dan­ger’, the man who al­legedly hired the hitmen) called up around 11: 15 that Mubarak ho sahib ( Con­grat­u­la­tions), now we did it in front of her house.” Zahida noted that she con­firmed the mur­der by send­ing an em­ployee to Shehla’s house to dou­ble- check. “Then I be­came so re­laxed.”

Kumar im­me­di­ately called up his col­league in Delhi, CBI Deputy In­spec­tor Gen­eral Arun Bothra. His mes­sage was sim­ple: “We have nailed her.” Dur­ing their two- hour- long search, the team un­cov­ered ev­i­dence of a dra­matic and, as it turned out, deadly love tri­an­gle. Zahida had a pas­sion­ate re­la­tion­ship with pow­er­ful BJP MLA Dhruv Narayan Singh, 53, who had a sec­ond paramour in Shehla. She was ob­sessed with elim­i­nat­ing Shehla. CBI found a hard­bound diary ex­pos­ing ex­plicit de- tails of Zahida’s sex­ual en­coun­ters with Singh, a graphic CD record­ing, used con­doms care­fully pre­served in small plas­tic pack­ets with the date when they were used, and a lock of hair, also in a plas­tic packet. There were also the con­fes­sions dur­ing in­ter­ro­ga­tion in the CBI of­fice in the tree- lined Char Imli area of Bhopal, all of which will be used as in­for­ma­tion to draft a chargesheet by May- end.

This un­likely tri­an­gle in­volved a be­sot­ted Zahida, mar­ried into one of Bhopal’s rich­est Bohra fam­i­lies; a flir­ta­tious Singh, son of for-

SHEHLA MA­SOOD’S BODYLYING IN HER CAR OUT­SIDE HER HOME IN BHOPALON AUGUST16, 2011

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