Sawna Lakra (70), a Jharkhand-based Congress legislator was on Tuesday sent to jail after he surrendered before a local court in connection with the alleged honour killing (murder) of a student, Avinash Tiwari, 21.
Lakra, who was absconding in the case, reached on the court premises in a Bolero jeep and surrendered before the chief judicial magistrate at 8am. The court, after rejecting his bail plea, took him in judicial custody for 14 days. He was forwarded to Birsa Munda Central Jail, Hotwar, Ranchi.
Lakra is accused of abducting Tiwari, who allegedly had an affair with one of his grand daughters, and later killing him in cold blood. Jharkhand police is also working on to ascertain reports that the youngster from Garhwa, around 210 km northwest of Ranchi, instead had an illicit affair with the MLA’s married daughter.
Tiwari was abducted on April 24 and his body was found on April 27 in a drain at Karra, around 20 km west of Ranchi. The victim’s father Sanjay Tiwari lodged a case with Namkum police station on Ranchi outskirts against the MLA on May 3. With police failing to arrest him, a Ranchi court declared him an absconder, asking him to surrender by June 16.
“We want him to be hanged,” said the victim’s father from Garhwa hearing about Lakra’s surrender. Senior police superintendent Pravin Kumar said they have enough evidences to prove Lakra’s conviction in the court.
Senior counsel, BM Tripathy, representing Lakra, said, “My client is absolutely innocent and unaware of the boy’s murder. It is up to the prosecution to prove the charges.”
Police had earlier recorded Lakra’s bodyguard, Janak Mahato’s statement, who surrendered a week back. He revealed to police that the legislator ordered one of his aides to kill Tiwari at his farmhouse. He said he saw the killing and got the body packed in a gunny bag before they disposed if off in his official car.
Tripathy said the statements given by the MLA’s bodyguard might have been obtained under police pressure. “The incriminating evidences collected by the police have to be corroborated in the court of law to prove Lakra guilty,” he said.
Although Lakra declined to talk to media, his wife, Sita Lakra claimed that her husband was innocent and that he was being victimized.