7-year-old murder case returns to haunt Bihar Congress chief
The September 2005 murder of Congress MP Rajo Singh has returned to haunt newly-appointed Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) president Ashok Choudhary.patna Updated: Jun 01, 2013 18:51 IST
The September 2005 murder of Congress MP Rajo Singh has returned to haunt newly-appointed Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) president Ashok Choudhary.
In his deposition before a court in Sheikhpura (south-eastern Bihar) on Friday, Singh’s grandson Sudarshan Kumar named Choudhary as a “conspirator” in the killing of his grandfather.
Kumar also named sitting JD (U) MLA from Sheikhpura, Randhir Kumar Soni, as among those who were ‘directly involved’ in the killing of Singh, a two term Lok Sabha MP from Begusarai in north Bihar.
Singh, one of the most prominent Congress leaders, was shot dead by three assailants at the district Congress office in Sheikpura on the night of September 9, 2005.
Choudhary, 45, jail minister in the Rabri Devi government (1997-2004) and a dalit leader, was appointed BPCC chief through an AICC notification issued on March 31 this year.
Asked at that time about allegation of his ‘involvement’ in the Singh murder case, Choudhary was quoted as saying though his name had figured in the first information report (FIR), it was subsequently removed from the case, as the police had found no evidence against him.
“Anybody’s name can be included in an FIR but as things stand today, my name does not appear in the charge sheet,” Choudhary had told the media on April 2.
On Saturday, the BPCC chief said the investigators in the case had testified to his innocence earlier and he would be vindicated once again. “I have full faith in the judicial process”, he said.
A BPCC chief supporter claimed even Sudarshan Kumar, the complainant in the case, had earlier ‘concurred’ with the police finding, accepted by the trial court, that Choudhary was not involved in the killing.
However, in his deposition on Friday in the court of Sheikhpura additional district judge Keshav Murti Tiwari, Sudarshan Kumar sought the inclusion of Choudhary’s name as a ‘conspirator’ in the case.
“The complainant (Sudarshan) named Ashok Choudhary as a conspirator and JD (U) MLA Randhir Kumar Soni among those accused of the killing”, additional public prosecutor (APP) Kamal Kishore Prasad told reporters.
Prasad said the depositions of the prosecution witnesses were now over. “The verdict will come after argument and cross-examination of witnesses”, he added.