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'Don't allow Soren to become Jharkhand CM'

Source: PTI
December 26, 2009 22:34 IST
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As Shibu Soren hopes for yet another innings as Jharkhand chief minister, the family of his slain ex-secretary said on Saturday that the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief should not be allowed to take up the job as the appeal against his acquittal in the murder case was pending before the Supreme Court.

The family of Shashi Nath Jha, in whose murder Soren was acquitted by the Delhi high court, said their petition challenging the acquittal has been admitted by the apex court and appealed to political parties to prevent him from becoming the chief minister.

The family -- Jha's daughter Preeti and brother Vijay Nath Jha -- in a press conference in New Delhi also appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene to expedite Jha's murder case and to deliver justice to them.

"We appeal to the prime minister to intervene to help us as we fight for justice in the face of threats," Preeti told journalists.

She said though the SC has set March 8, 2010, as the first date of hearing in the case, the delay in justice has enabled Soren to claim the chair of CM again.

"Our petition has been admitted by the apex court... but Soren's becoming CM again will reflect on the condition of our system. People will completely lose faith on our political system," said Jha's friend and co-petitioner Mukesh Baba.

"We appeal to all political parties, including the BJP, which have offered support to Soren's party, to refrain from helping him," he said.

Jha was allegedly abducted by Soren's close aides in 1994 after he came to know about the alleged deal between the Congress party and the JMM to save the then P V Narasimha Rao government in a no-confidence motion.

While Soren was convicted and sentenced to life by a lower court for murder, he was acquitted in August 2007 by the Delhi high court, which had earlier asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to take up the case.

Jha's family moved the Supreme Court in November 2007 against the high court verdict.

The court recently admitted the plea and set March 8, 2010, as the date of hearing after Soren failed to submit a reply to the court's notices, the petitioner said.

"If he becomes CM, our case might further be hampered. The authorities have not even acted on our demands to provide us security in the wake of threats," Baba said.

Preeti, a second year student of BCom in IP College in Delhi, claimed she and her family has been threatened continuously by people asking them to withdraw the case.
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