First comments: "I have not done anything; I will say it all in court"

Not a family tragedy, but a national tragedyVajpayee owes an explanation to nationPramod did not inculcate good habits in Rahul

Mumbai: The murder of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pramod Mahajan and the alleged involvement of his son Rahul in a drug abuse case were related, according to Pravin Mahajan, who is accused of killing his elder brother.

In his first comments after the April 22 murder, Mr. Pravin asserted on Wednesday that he was innocent and that he would say it all in court.

"Police should coordinate"

"They [the two incidents] are related. And the Delhi and Mumbai police should coordinate with each other. The keys are in the Hindujas [the hospital in Mumbai, where Pramod Mahajan succumbed to his bullet injuries]. If Apollo [the hospital in Delhi where Rahul's reports were allegedly fudged] can do that, then Hindujas ...," he told reporters while being escorted out of a city court here.

Alleging that the Mahajan family was now hostage to the "tentwallahs," an apparent reference to the late leader's close aide Sudhanshu Mittal, Pravin said the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, should explain to the nation why "this thing" [the Rahul episode] happened in the high-security zone.

"This has been happening for the past five-six years. He [Mr. Vajpayee] owes an explanation to the nation. Why is he skirting it? It is not a family tragedy but a national tragedy. It has happened in a ministerial bungalow. The Prime Minister stays nearby. Did the former PM know about it? If he did, what did he do?"

"Sacrificial goat"

Pravin squarely blamed Pramod Mahajan for "spoiling" Rahul. "His father did not inculcate good habits in him. ... He [Rahul] was made a sacrificial goat. I told his father and Bhaabi [Rahul's mother] to make him fall in line. But what to do? He is a very good boy. His birthday falls next month. And I wish I could undergo any sentence given to him. What more can I do?"

Pravin said: "They did not give him good education. Both the people who spoiled him [Mahajan and his personal assistant Bibek Moitra] are no more. Some outsider had not trapped him [Rahul]. If a son gets spoilt, both father and mother are to be blamed."

Asked whether he had any regrets about his brother's murder, Pravin said, "I have not done anything. When my trial begins, I will say it all and more in court. They are inter-related. There are many reasons; you come to court."

To a question whether Moitra played a "game," he said, "You leave all that. What can be said about a person who is dead? The details can be taken from people who are alive." PTI

Court rejects plea

Mumbai Staff Reporter reports: A city court on Wednesday rejected the application by Pravin Mahajan, brother of the slain Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary, for conducting psychiatric tests saying there was no corroborative evidence to prove that he was mentally unstable.

When Pravin surrendered after shooting Pramod Mahajan here on April 22, his lawyer claimed that he was not in the right frame of mind when he committed the crime.

Judicial custody

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate P. L. Waghmare also rejected an application for judicial supervision of police investigation. He remanded Pravin to judicial custody till June 28.

Before passing the order, he asked a few questions to Pravin, who appeared calm during the proceedings. He said he did not have any health-related complaint except that he could not sleep well and that he had a headache.

He is a diabetic and has blood pressure.

To a query whether he had any mental health problem, Pravin replied in the negative. However, he said he was slightly disturbed. Asked whether he had anything else to say, in a reference to the events that have affected the Mahajan family in the last one and a half months, he said what happened was not just a family tragedy but a national tragedy.

Pravin's lawyer Nandkumar Rajurkar said he might approach the sessions court.