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MLA’s husband in custody

- 14-day judicial remand for ‘poisoning’ son
Awdhesh Mandal.
Picture by Mukesh Kumar Jha

Awdhesh Mandal, the husband of Rupauli JD(U) MLA Bima Bharti, was arrested on Friday from Tikkapatti police station area of Purnea for allegedly poisoning his 10-year-old son, Raja, in November.

Mandal was produced before the chief judicial magistrate Daya Lal Prasad on Friday and was forwarded to Purnea Central Jail on a 14-day judicial remand.

Mandal has criminal antecedents and has been to jail several times earlier. Despite his criminal background, he is the pramukh (head) of Bhawanipur block of the district.

However, Mandal said: “My wife has implicated me in a false case. She is provoking me to do something wrong but I am determined to fight the 2015 Assembly election from Rupauli against her (Bharti).”

Bharti had lodged an FIR against her husband at the Bhawanipur police station for allegedly poisoning Raja on November 1.

Bharti, the estranged wife of Mandal, had claimed that her son was forcibly fed samosa and litti with country-made wine (mahua), after which the boy fell ill.

“What he (Mandal) had laced with the mahua is still not known to my son,” Bharti said. Raja had told his mother (Bharti) about the incident. Later, Bharti had lodged a case against Mandal.

Sub-divisional police officer of Dhamdaha Sanjeet Kumar Prabhat told The Telegraph: “Mandal was supposed to report every day to Banmankhi police station. District magistrate N. Saravana Kumar had booked him under the Crime Control Act. But when Mandal’s wife charged him with poisoning her son on November 1, Mandal went underground. He stopped reporting to the police station.”

Prabhat added: “We were carrying out raids to arrest him soon after his wife charged him with poisoning her son. Banmankhi station house officer had informed the superintendent of police that Mandal was not reporting to the police station. On Friday, he was arrested and sent to jail.”

Bharti has already filed a divorce petition.

Mandal had earlier claimed that a “father cannot poison his own son”. He had said: “It is nothing but a conspiracy against me that my wife has hatched to make her divorce case strong against me.”

According to sources, the medical report of Raja is awaited. His blood samples were sent to Patna for a medical test in November.

Mandal had already produced four children before the superintendent of police where they had confirmed that they had mahua with Raja but did not fall ill. It is still a matter of investigation whether Mandal had influenced the children and concocted the story.