For Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, two photographs, which surfaced on two consecutive days, are causing quite a bit of trouble.
In a photograph that picked up traction on social media on Thursday, Bihar’s health minister and Yadav’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav is seen in the company of Javed Mian, an alleged suspect in the murder of journalist Rajdev Ranjan.
Mian is also an alleged henchman for former MP Mohammad Shahabuddin who was recently released from jail after 11 years on bail. In another picture that surfaced, Mian is seen in dark glasses and holding a rifle.
On Wednesday, another photograph appeared, showing Tej Pratap with Mohammad Kaif, another alleged henchman for the Siwan strongman Shahabuddin.
Both Kaif and Mian are suspected for the murder of Ranjan, the bureau chief at Hindustan, a sister publication of the Hindustan Times. Ranjan was shot dead while on his way home on May 13 this year.
Kaif is on the Bihar police ‘wanted list’while Mian is wanted in a slew of cases ranging from the murder of a jeweller to threatening shopkeepers and extorting money from businessmen, sourced said.
Kaif was present when Shahabuddin was released from Bhagalpur jail on September 10, and photographs show him with the former politican both in Bhagalpur and Siwan.
Yadav’s son Tej Pratap attempted to dismiss the controversy, saying thousands of people had met him and posed for a picture with him. So, there was no way of him knowing the backgrounds of each of them.
The minister’s supporters tried to manage the storm by reasoning that someone such as the Prime Minister has aslo been photographed with allegedly controversial people. However, the Janata Dal (United), upset with Shahabuddin’s verbal attack on chief minister Nitish Kumar, advised Tej Pratap to avoid being caught in such situations.
“Tej Pratap ought to be cautious in such matters”, party spokesman Sanjay Singh had said.