A CBI court on Thursday sentenced controversial RJD MP from Bihar Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav and two others to life imprisonment after it found them guilty in the 1998 murder of a rival politician, CPM legislator Ajit Sarkar.
The 40-year-old Yadav, who was brought to Patna from the high-security Tihar Jail on Thursday morning, broke down after special CBI judge Birendra Mohan Srivastava pronounced the sentence.
“I have been advised to undergo surgery at AIIMS for obesity. I have been in prison for more than seven years and have not met my family members,” the Madhepura MP, who was produced in the court in a wheelchair, told the judge. “I have been passing through severe mental and physical torture in jail and even had to spend time in a mental asylum. Please show leniency.” The judge told him that he had the option of appealing to a superior court.
Yadav’s counsel Rajesh Ranjan later told reporters that they would challenge the verdict in the Patna High Court.
The two others found guilty in the case were former Independent MLA Rajan Tiwari and Anil Yadav. Sarkar, a firebrand leader who had opposed Yadav over issues relating to farm labourers, was gunned down along with his driver and a party worker in Purnea on June 14, 1998.