CBI probe in journalist murder is fine for Bihar govt

The Bihar government has said it is not averse to ordering a CBI probe into the killing of a journalist in Bihar’s Siwan district on Friday night.

Sources in the government say that if the family of the Siwan journalist feels the CBI will do a better job, a probe by the central agency will be recommended.

Speaking at an event in Lucknow yesterday, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said, “We are all unhappy with the incidents in Bihar in the last few days… but whoever is guilty will be punished, we will not sit idle.”

Meanwhile, the man allegedly behind the murder was arrested today, along with three others, albeit in a different case.

Police said Upendra Singh and three others were arrested for possession of liquor, which is now illegal under the state’s new prohibition policy. Sources said the plan is to take them on remand and probe their role in the murder of Rajdeo Ranjan, the bureau chief of the Hindi daily Hindustan, who was gunned down on Friday.

The arrests came after the opposition NDA targeted the government over the lack of arrest 48 hours after the murder, asking if it was because of Upendra Singh’s links with notorious gangster and former RJD lawmaker Mohd Shahabuddin.

Singh was allegedly a facilitator for Shahabuddin’s sharpshooters between 1990 and 2005 — when a number of murders and kidnappings were allegedly committed on his orders.

The former lawmaker — who is serving a prison term at Bihar’s Siwan jail for multiple murders and abductions — was named a member of the RJD’s national executive, its main decision-making body, in April.

The BJP claims Bihar’s Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad government has resurrected Shahabuddin. “This is not a normal law and order issue. Siwan has a history. A strongman used to be the MP here. Is that raj coming back?” said Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Chirag Paswan, leader of BJP ally LJP and son of party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, said. “The way journalists were killed and Sahabuddin was found involved, it clearly reflects that he is getting protection from Lalu-ji”.


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