The Jharkhand district judge killed in July after being run over by an autorickshaw while on a morning jog was intentionally hit, the CBI told the state’s High Court on Thursday, as it provided the Jharkhand High Court with an update on the investigation.
Agency sources told NDTV that reconstructions of the crime scene, examination of CCTV footage, including a 3D analysis, and forensic evidence all suggest Uttam Anand was deliberately killed.
Sources also told NDTV the CBI had engaged four separate forensic teams – from Gujarat’s Gandhinagar, Delhi and Mumbai – to analyse the evidence.
Their reports “conclusively suggest that the judge was intentionally hit”, sources said.
The probe is in the final stages, sources added, noting that the central agency is now corroborating forensic reports with physical evidence to complete its case.
The agency, sources added, is also studying reports of brain mapping and narco analysis, or lie detector, tests conducted on two accused in Gujarat.
Investigations into the conspiracy behind the killing are ongoing, the sources said.
The two accused – arrested a day after the crime – were identified as the driver Lakhan Verma and his helper Rahul Verma. The three-wheeler was registered in a woman’s name.
The CBI’s statement on the probe being in its final stage comes two weeks after the court expressed annoyance at the slow pace of inquiries and ordered the Home Secretary and Director of the state’s forensic lab to respond.
In August sources in the CBI had told NDTV the agency had dug up several critical pieces of evidence, including the fact the accused had used stolen two mobile phones from a railway contractor to make a number of calls before committing the crime.
Uttam Anand, 49, was killed July 28 after an autorickshaw rammed into him. Some locals found him lying in a pool of blood and took him to a hospital, where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
What seemed to be a hit-and-run became a sinister crime, with CCTV footage showing the vehicle heading for the judge as he jogged along a deserted stretch of the road.
Judge Anand had been handling many cases of mafia killings in Dhanbad and had rejected bail requests from two gangsters. He was also hearing a murder case involving an MLA’s close aide.
The Supreme Court took up the case on its own on July 30, saying it had “wider ramifications”. The case was then handed to the CBI, which took over August 4.