Former Bihar MP Anand Mohan, who is serving a life sentence in the killing of IAS officer G Krishnaiah, is to be set free along with 26 others who have been lodged in different prisons of the state for more than 14 years.
A notification to the effect was issued late Monday evening, when, incidentally, Mohan, who has been on parole, was celebrating the engagement of his son Chetan Anand, who is a sitting MLA of the ruling RJD in the state.
Talking to reporters, Mohan expressed his gratitude towards Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who along with his deputy Tejashwi Yadav, was among the attendees at the gala function organised on the outskirts of Patna.
Without mentioning BSP supremo Mayawati by name, Mohan lashed out at “those who are making an issue out of the unfortunate death of G Krishnaiah”.
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The Telangana-born Dalit IAS officer, who was then the district magistrate of Gopalganj, was beaten to death by a mob in 1994, while his vehicle was passing through Muzaffarpur district.
Anand Mohan was present on the spot at the time of the killing, where he was part of the funeral procession of Chhotan Shukla, a dreaded gangster who was pumped with bullets in Muzaffarpur town.
The sensational killing had acquired caste overtones in an era when Bihar was stirred by the Mandal wave.
While Shukla was an upper caste Bhumihar and Mohan, his sympathiser, is a Rajput, the alleged killers were said to be sympathisers of Brij Bihari Prasad, an OBC strongman who went on to become a minister in the Rabri Devi government but ultimately fell to attackers’ bullets while undergoing treatment at a Patna hospital a few years later.
Mohan, who was obviously relieved and looking forward to attending his son’s wedding in Dehradun, said, “All these years, others have been mere spectators. The sufferers have been my wife Lovely and the family members of G Krishnaiah. I wonder if those who are making noise over my release from jail, have ever cared to wipe the tears of the family members of the slain IAS officer”.
Mayawati’s outbursts over “tweaking” of rules for allegedly facilitating the release of Mohan have been followed by similar charges from Amit Malaviya, who heads the BJP’s IT cell.
JD(U) president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan reacted, saying “after first getting its B-team (an indirect reference to the BSP supremo), the BJP has now come out in the open on the issue of Anand Mohan’s release”.
“Anand Mohan has served his jail term and the Nitish Kumar government has removed a discriminatory clause which prevented some of the prisoners from securing release. It is in line with our leader’s policy of framing no innocent person and sparing nobody who is guilty,” said Lalan.
Notably, the law department’s notification follows a recent amendment in rules in which those convicted for serious crimes like killing of a government servant or rape were not to be released even after completing 14 years in prison.
Besides Mohan, those whose release has been ordered include former RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav, who has been convicted of raping a minor girl, and Awadhesh Mandal, an ex-legislator of JD(U), named in many criminal cases, whose wife Bima Bharti is an ex-minister.
Lalan also made an indirect reference to the alleged misuse of central agencies, saying “the BJP will use its caged parrots against opponents and will shield those it considered its own”.
Meanwhile, Maha Nand Singh, an MLA of the CPI(ML) Liberation which supports the “Mahagathbandhan” government from the outside, demanded that the amnesty be extended to those who had been booked under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, (TADA) in the 1990s when the state was in the throes of Naxal uprising.
“In Arwal alone, there are six people who were political activists but have been in jail for more than 20 years. One person booked under TADA has been released earlier. The government should consider doing the same for those still behind bars. This will not require any amendment in rules”, said Singh, who represents Arwal in the state assembly.
He also said, “I had submitted a memorandum to the effect to the chief minister on April 20. I am looking forward to a positive response.”