New Delhi/Raipur, July 13 (Calcutta Tube) The Chhattisgarh police were Tuesday still verifying whether Lingaram Kodopi, who they allege had masterminded the July 8 Maoist strike on a Congress leader’s house, was involved in the attack even as his lawyer said the police had no proof to back its claim.
‘Nobody has come from Chhattisgarh to arrest him,’ Kodopi’s lawyer Prashant Bhushan told IANS in New Delhi two days after six people were arrested on charges of being involved in the attack on Congress leader Avdhesh Singh Gautam’s house in Bastar in which two people were killed.
The police claimed that interrogation of the arrested people had revealed that Kodopi, who is studying in a media school in New Delhi, had masterminded the attack.
However, the police were still in search of ‘independent’ evidence before arresting Kodopi.
Chhattisgarh police chief Vishwa Ranjan said Kodopi’s name as a mastermind surfaced on the basis of the arrested suspects.
‘We will arrest or interrogate Lingaram only when his involvement is confirmed through independent channels. Chhattisgarh police are verifying all inputs provided by the six arrested men,” Ranjan told IANS.
Lawyer Bhushan said if police had the evidence against Kodopi they would not have waited to arrest him.
‘They claim he is a mastermind and have not come forward with proof. The very fact that they revealed to the media that he is a mastermind belies the police theory. Had he been so, he would have run away and police usually don’t give masterminds a chance to run,’ Bhushan said.
The lawyer alleged that the police’s aim was to ‘snare’ Kodopi and activists Nandini Sundar, Arundhati Roy, Medha Patkar and Himanshu Kumar who were also linked with him.
‘This was all done to snare him and Sundar, Roy, Patkar and Kumar,’ he said.