The personal belongings of the then Gopalganj District Magistrate G Krishnaiyya, who was brutally murdered by an irate mob in 1994, have gone ‘missing’ from the malkhana of Sadar police station, Muzaffarpur.
The articles were part of the exhibits crucial for the trial of the murder case involving some high-profile politicians of the state, including a few belonging to the ruling party.
The shocking fact came to light when investigating officer of the case Dheeraj Kumar, who was posted as DSP (Town), Muzaffarpur at the time of the incident, informed the trial court of Additional District and Sessions Judge (VI) Ramshrestha Rai recently that the exhibits were not found in the malkhana of the police station concerned.
The logic of the investigating officer is quite strange. Kumar, at present posted as DSP at the IG office (Muzaffarpur), submitted before the court that the personal belongings of Krishnaiyya, kept in the malkhana for over 12 years, might have been destroyed by floods.
Interestingly, Kumar informed the court about the non-availability of the exhibits only after the latter warned the prosecution side of closing recording of the prosecution's evidence.
Though Pradip Kumar Tiwari, junior counsel to special public prosecutor, claimed that the non-production of the exhibits would hardly affect the case, he admitted that the special public prosecutor Chitranjan Sinha had written thrice to AIG, (administration) to ensure production of the exhibits in the court.
"Despite the best efforts of the prosecution, the Muzaffarpur police administration failed to produce the exhibits, including the deceased DM’s wrist watch, towel, bag, diary, spectacles, shoes, broken teeth, tiffin-carrier, thermos, etc," he added.
Tiwari said the Muzaffarpur police did not take the AIG’s instruction concerning the senior IAS officer’s murder case, in the right earnest. The non-production of exhibits delayed the trial for quite some time, he said.
However, a senior advocate associated with the CBI, on condition of anonymity, said that the accused might take advantage of the police failure to produce exhibits in the court.
He was taken aback when he came to know that no action had been taken against the officer-in-charge, who is the custodian of the malkhana. KN Choudhary was the officer-in-charge of the Sadar police station at the time of the incident.
Krishnaiyya was shot and then stoned by an irate mob near Khaabra village on NH-28 on December 5, 1994 while he was returning to Gopalganj from Hajipur via Muzaffarpur after attending a meeting there.
The mob, which was agitated over the killing of erstwhile Bihar People’s Party (BPP) leader Kaushalendra Shukla alias Chhotan Shukla, who was facing several criminal cases, went berserk on seeing the beacon-fitted vehicle, and attacked the IAS officer.
High-profile leaders, including Munna Shukla (JD-U MLA from Lalganj), former MPs, Anand Mohan and his wife Lovely Anand, former MLAs Akhlaq Ahmad, Prof Arun Kumar Singh and Dr Harendra Kumar, who unsuccessfully contested the last Lok Sabha poll on JD (U) ticket, are named accused in the case.