The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) formally registered the case related to murder of Siwan journalist Rajdeo Ranjan, even as the Janata Dal (United) leadership slammed the agency and the Centre for delay.
Officials said, the CBI has registered a case under sections 302,120-B, 3 of IPC and section 27 of Arms Act against unknown assailants for the murder of Rajdeo on the request of the Bihar government and further notification by the Centre.
The CBI has taken over the investigation of the case from the Bihar police, which was earlier registered vide FIR No 362/ 2016 on May 13 at Siwan town ona complaint filed by wife of the deceased, Asha Ranjan.
Rajdeo, 42, was shot dead at a busy fruit market in Siwan town on May 13.
The agency would now formally start investigations into the case. A team would be dispatched to Siwan shortly, they added.
The CBI takeover of the case comes close on the heels of a furore over Mohammad Kaif, the wanted conspirator in the murder case, who was spotted next to former RJD parliamentarian Shahabuddin when he was released from prison.
Kaif is one of the accused in the murder of Hindustan daily’s Siwan bureau chief Rajdev Ranjan.
In the video clip, Kaif can be seen standing right next to Shahabuddin and cheering him on, as he spoke to media after being released on bail on Saturday at Bhagalpur. He was latter seen at Shahabuddin’s residence at Pratappur in Siwan.
The Siwan police has now revived an extortion case involving Kaif of earlier and on Thursday carried out several raids for his arrest, even as sources close to Kaif said he could surrender.
The BJP had launched a scathing attack over the development, stating that Kumar had become ‘helpless’, while questioning his silence over a murder accused walking scot-free and the police being unable to trace him.
Meanwhile, the JD-U said it was unfortunate that even after the announcement of the Bihar Government on May 16, the Central government took four months to take over the Siwan scribe murder case, adding that this was the result of laxity on part of the ruling dispensation at the Centre and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
“It is unfortunate that even after announcement of the Bihar government on May 16, the Central government took four months to take over the matter”, JD(U) leader KC Tyagi told ANI.
“When Rajdev’s wife had requested for inquiry, chief minister Nitish Kumar had asked for it. I want the CBI to probe the matter within a time frame and take action against the accused. We always say that neither do we frame anyone, nor do we save anyone. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders should display remorse for the delay,” he added.
Meanwhile, Asha Ranjan, wife of murdered journalist Rajdev Ranjan on Thursday thanked the CBI and the Central government for taking over her husband’s murder case.
“I am thankful to the CBI and also to the Central government. But why did it take so much time? Why did the CBI take four months to take up the issue? I would ask the state government to help in the matter so that the culprits get punishment. I have been with Rajdev for the last 18 years and I have never seen Bunty Kaif with him. May be they used to talk over the phone...that is different. Rajdev had gone to Bunty’s reception on his invitation,” Asha said.
Asha said Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar should have seen to it why the CBI did not take up the matter even after his announcement on May 16.
“Nitish ji had called for a CBI probe on May 16 itself but he could have seen where the matter is stuck. He has failed somewhere in doing so and that is why there is delay in the matter. Now I would want Nitish ji to give full cooperation”, she added.
In a major development, the CBI is set to take over the probe into the murder of Rajdev.
(With ANI inputs)