Patna, July 27: Frustration and bitterness has gripped the family of late railway minister L.N. Mishra even as the apex court is wondering if it can close the 37-year-old case of his murder.
“The aim of the Union government that the guilty should not be caught appears to have been achieved,” said Vijay Kumar Mishra, the late railway minister’s son and three-time BJP MLA.
“It’s a failure of the CBI and of the judicial system,” said Jagannath Mishra, L.N. Mishra’s brother and former chief minister of Bihar. He said he had met two Prime Ministers, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh, to protest against the delay in trial.
For Vijay Kumar Mishra, the fate of the case was sealed ever since the CBI took over the case. He was just 22 when his father was killed. “The probe being conducted by S.B. Sahay and D.P. Ojha on behalf of the state government was going in the right direction. When the CBI took over, the direction of the case changed,” he said, wondering what use it would be to prosecute an innocent Anand Margi.
“I have long lost interest in the proceedings of the case,” he said. His mother, who had demanded justice for her late husband at regular intervals, died around five years ago.
Even Jagannath Mishra, who was injured in the explosion at Samastipur railway station on January 2, 1975, agrees that the CBI did not put up a convincing case. “Now most of the witnesses are dead. As many as 30 judges were changed in the case. Five years have lapsed since I gave witness in the trial court,” he said, stressing that he was more injured in the blast than his brother.
“But after all it is a blot on the system. If such a thing can happen in the case of a murder of an important leader, there will be lakhs of cases in the courts where justice is either delayed or denied,” he said.
L.N. Mishra was a towering politician at the time of his death.
His murder triggered off a fierce debate on how he was “allowed” to die by delaying his treatment and shifting him to Danapur instead of Darbhanga. His death was a political issue in Bihar in the 1977 Lok Sabha polls.
“Strangely, quite a few of his contemporaries know who killed him and the investigation of the state police had pointed towards some names,” said an octogenarian politician.
Most of the concerned parties have moved on. “However the mystery behind the murder may remain buried,” said a former Congress minister.