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Spoil siesta, face wrath

- Lalu rebuff leaves college director aghast

RJD chief Lalu Prasad inflicted insult to injury on a man reeling from an extortion threat, allegedly issued by a JD(U) strongman.

Sant Lal Yadav, the director (human resources) of Patna Sahib Group of Colleges in Vaishali, on Monday had to face an embarrassing situation at 10 Circular Road, the official residence of former chief minister Rabri Devi.

Last Saturday, Lal had lodged an FIR with Bhagwanpur police station against former MLA and JD(U) leader, Vijay Kumar Shukla, better known as Munna Shukla, for allegedly demanding Rs 2 crore as extortion money for the party’s Adhikar Rally.

The director visited 10, Circular Road to “seek the blessings” of Lalu, but the RJD chief refused to meet him and insulted him by asking to leave the premises.

The chaos started when RJD spokesperson and media in-charge Randhir Yadav informed 10 Circular Road that Lal was on his way to meet Lalu at 1pm. Lal reached Lalu’s residence along with RJD MP Ram Kripal Yadav. At that time, Lalu was taking a post-lunch siesta. Ram Kripal tried to wake him up but Lalu asked him to wait for a while.

When The Telegraph asked Lal the reason behind the visit, he said: “I had come to take the blessings of Laluji. I have heard a lot about him.”

The restlessness was visible on Lal’s face. After waiting for an hour, Lalu came out of his room in dhoti-baniyan. Ram Kripal immediately went up to him and told him about Lal, who was busy giving an interview to a news channel. However, Ram Kripal shouted at Lal and said: “Come here, Laluji has come.”

Lal left the interview midway and rushed towards Lalu to touch his feet. However, Lalu, without even accepting Lal’s greetings, looked at Ram Kripal and said: “Yeh kisko ghar me ghusa diye ho? (Whom have you brought into the house?) Chalo bahar nikalo inn sab ko, kya tamasha laga ke rakha hai? (Throw him out of my house, what kind of drama is this?)”

This left Lal speechless.

Ram Kripal, too, was shocked but had to abide by the boss’s order. Changing his compassionate tone towards Lal, he said: “Chaliye aap bahar chaliye, ho gaya ab (Go outside, its over now).”

Lal left Lalu’s residence without uttering a word. On asking why Lalu was so cold to his greetings, Lal said: “No, it’s nothing as such. I had come here to seek the blessings of Laluji because his party leader had paid a visit to my college.”

As soon as the director left the 10 Circular Road house, Lalu sought a reply from Ram Kripal. “Who asked you to bring this man to my house? Don’t you remember what had happened after the Khagaria violence? Our party was accused of instigating the violence. Do you want me to face a similar situation?”

In a meek voice, Ram Kripal said: “Laluji, I was on my way to Muzaffarpur when I received a call from Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (Vaishali MP). He said Bhagwanpur would be nearby and I must meet Lal to console him. Later, I came to know Lal was in Patna. I had asked him to meet you and brought him here.”

Hearing this, Lalu said: “Why do you have to do all this? It is not necessary. He (Lal) should better visit police stations, not me.”

However, Ram Kripal suggested that he should meet the director to hear his grievances against the Nitish government. After 20 minutes of convincing, Lalu asked Ram Kripal to call Lal back. A happy Lal returned within minutes and narrated his ordeal. After a few minutes of chatting, Lalu said: “It is sad that people are being harassed in the name of rallies. The RJD would take this issue ahead.”

Lal said he was not happy with the police investigation regarding the threat he received from Munna Shukla for the November 4 Adhikar Rally. “But I am not going to leave this place because of threats from criminals.”

In its October 29 edition, The Telegraph had reported how Lal was threatened by Shukla, who is currently lodged at Shaheed Khudiram Bose Central Jail in Muzaffarpur following his conviction for the murder of former Bihar minister Brij Bihari Prasad.

On this issue, Nitish said on Monday: “Law and order exist in our state. We neither save anyone nor leave anyone. An FIR has been lodged in the case and police are investigating it. Action would be taken accordingly.”

Additional director-general (Tirhut zone) Gupteshwar Pandey said: “The two phone numbers, which have been mentioned in the FIR lodged by Lal, were used for making calls to Lal’s cellphone. But what transpired between the two (Lal and Munna) is yet to be ascertained.”