Murdered Journalist's Wife Moves Court As Wanted Man Seen With Lalu Yadav's Son

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Murdered Journalist's Wife Moves Court As Wanted Man Seen With Lalu Yadav's Son

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Alleged shooter Mohammad Kaif was photographed with Bihar minister Tej Pratap Yadav and Shahabuddin

Highlights

  1. Murdered journalist's wife moves court, seeks trial outside Bihar
  2. Alleged shooter was photographed with Tej Pratap Yadav, Shahabuddin
  3. Asha Ranjan accused Shahabuddin of being involved in her husband's murder
After a man wanted for the shooting of journalist Rajdeo Ranjan was photographed with Bihar minister Tej Pratap Yadav and don-turned politician Mohammad Shahabuddin, Mr Ranjan's wife Asha moved the Supreme Court, asking the probe and trial in her husband's murder case be shifted from Bihar to Delhi.

Asha Ranjan's petition said Mohammad Kaif, was spotted with Shahabuddin, a man involved in her husband's murder, and the state health minister, in presence of several policemen.

"If the police is deliberately not arresting Kaif and the health minister is taking photographs with proclaimed offenders, the life of Rajdeo Ranjan's wife and her two minor children is at stake," her advocate Kishlay Panday was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust Of India.

Rajdeo Ranjan, who was working with a vernacular daily, was shot dead on the evening of May 13.  Besides that case, Mohammad Kaif  is also wanted in five other cases involving extortion and theft.

As the Central Bureau of Investigation took over the probe into the journalist's murder on Wednesday and claimed to start a manhunt, Mohammad Kaif appeared before the media in Siwan, claiming his photograph with the minister was genuine. He also announced that he was in touch with his lawyers and aimed to appear before the police.

On September 10, Kaif was photographed with Shahabuddin, who was being released from Siwan jail after 11 years.

Asha Ranjan's plea to the Supreme Court accused Shahabuddin of being involved in her husband's murder. The petition also said even though the family had mentioned Shahabuddin's connection, the police had not named him in the case as a key conspirator.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), part of Bihar's ruling coalition, meanwhile, was pushed on the back foot following the circulation of the photographs. Tej Pratap Yadav is the son of party chief Lalu Prasad and Shahabuddin also belongs to the party.

On Wednesday, the young minister rubbished allegations of links with Kaif, calling it a BJP conspiracy. "They (the BJP) bring some photograph from somewhere and make some false allegations. How would I know who is a shooter from the 1,000 people who click photos with me?" Mr Yadav said.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's deputy Tejaswi Yadav also jumped into the fray to defend his brother. "Is it written on somebody's forehead what he is? Does Prime Minister Narendra Modi verify the background of everybody he shares dais in a function?" he questioned.

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