Thursday October 4 2007 02:08 IST
PATNA: A former MP and JD-U leader Anand Mohan was sentenced to death by a local court which also awarded life imprisonment to his wife, also an ex-MP, on Wednesday in a murder case where the then Gopalganj District Magistrate was lynched by a mob 13 years back.
In a landmark verdict that is bound to have political ramifications, Additional Sessions Judge, Ram Krishna Rai also awarded capital punishment to two others--Akhlaq Ahmed, a former MLA from Bikramganj and RJD leader and Arun Kumar in connection with the brutal killing of G Krishnaiah on December 5, 1994.
Besides Anand's wife--Lovely Anand, a former MP from Vaishali-- those who got life term are Vijay Kumar Shukla alias Munna Shukla, a sitting JD(U) MLA from Lalganj, Shashi Shekhar and Harendra Kumar.
Anand Mohan, a former MP from Sheohar who was leader of the then Bihar People's Party (BPP) at the time of the murder, and his wife were accused of inciting a mob to lynch Krishnaiah. It is for the first time that a former MP was being sent to gallows.
The court on Monday held all the seven accused guilty under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 147 (rioting) and 427 (mischief causing damage).
All the seven convicted were also fined Rs 25,000. The judge acquitted 29 of the 36 accused in the case giving them benefit of the doubt.
Krishnaiah was lynched by a mob accompanying the cortege of a BPP leader Chotan Shukla on December 5, 1994. The officer was pulled out of a car, beaten up mercilessly and then shot dead. The BPP is now defunct.
Krishnaiah was done to death near Khabra, on the outskirts of Muzaffarpur town by the mob that was enraged over the gunning down of Chotan Shukla, an underworld don with political ambitions, and three others on December 4, 1994 when they were returning from election campaign for the 1995 Assembly polls
The seven convicts, all present in the court, soon after being sentenced complained about shabby treatment being meted out to them at the Beur central jail where they are lodged.
Anand Mohan said he, Akhlaq Ahmed and Arun Kumar were locked up in a cell without even a fan, while his wife Lovely Anand was kept in a ward along with mentally deranged women.
"As long as we are alive the court should ensure that we exist like humans", Mohan told the judge, who said he would write to the Jail Superintendent and Patna District Magistrate to see to it that they got amenities in accordance with the law.
Later speaking to the media, Mohan said if the 15 inspectors and two sub-divisional officers accompanying the funeral procession of Chotan Shukla could not save the life of the district magistrate, "What could I have done."
Munna Shukla said he was with the body of his slain brother in the front of the funeral procession while the district magistrate was lynched by the mob in the rear. "I simply do no not know who killed Krishnaiah," he said.
Chotan Shukla's supporters held former Bihar Minister Brij Bihari Prasad for his death. Prasad was subsequently killed on June 13, 1998, when he was undergoing treatment in judicial custody at Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences in Patna.
Prasad was then under arrest for his alleged involvement in irregular admissions to technical institutions as science and technology Minister. Prasad's killing was preceded by the murder of Devendra Nath Dubey, independent MLA from Govindganj, considered close to Chotan.
Several politicians including LJP Lok Sabha member Surajbhan Singh, Munna Shukla and former MLA Rajan Tiwari are among those accused in the Brij Bihari murder case, the trial of which is underway.
THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS