New Delhi/Bhopal: In a breakthrough in the RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case, the CBI on Sunday claimed that the weapon which was allegedly used in the murder has been recovered at the instance of Saqib Ali who is accused of hiring contract killers to murder her.

A CBI spokesperson in New Delhi said that the weapon, a country-made pistol, was allegedly recovered at the instance of Ali alias 'danger' and has been since sent for forensic examination.

Ali - a local history-sheeter - is alleged to be the link between Zaheda Pervez, accused to be the main conspirator, and hired sharp-shooters Shanu Alunga and Irfan - both hailing from Kanpur to kill Shehla. He allegedly brokered a deal between the key conspirator and the shooters for Rs five lakh.

After Shehla was killed by the Uttar Pradesh shooters, Zaheda paid the duo Rs three lakh, CBI sources said.

Meanwhile, after the recovery of the weapon the CBI has now tightened its noose around BJP MLA Dhruv Narayan Singh who was allegedly close to the RTI activist. It is believed that after the murder, Zaheda Pervez, who is accused to be the main conspirator was in contact with the BJP MLA.

CBI alleged that Pervez got Shehla killed out of jealousy, as she could not stand latter's growing closeness to the BJP MLA Dhruv Narayan Singh.

The BJP MLA has been questioned extensively by the CBI.

So far, five persons have been arrested in the case: Irfan, Bhopal-based interior designer Zahida Pervez, her friend/confidant Saba Faroqui, Saqib Ali (Danger) and a suspected killer, Tabish Khan.

(JPN/ Bureau)