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Dal red card to kidnap accused

- Action hint against more tainted leaders

Patna, Dec. 15: Tainted leader Rakesh Kumar alias Chunnu Thakur was today stripped of his JD(U) membership, barely a fortnight after he joined the party.

Confirming the disciplinary action against Thakur, the JD(U)’s state president, Bashishtha Narayan Singh, told The Telegraph over phone from Purnea: “The party decided to cancel Thakur’s membership after it was confirmed that he was facing criminal charges. Earlier, we had no information about his criminal antecedents.”

Singh, who was away in Purnea to attend a programme of the party, hinted at similar action against the other tainted leaders, inducted into the party fold recently. “So far, we have come to know about the criminal record of Thakur only. Others facing similar charges would not be spared,” he said.

Thakur, the alleged mastermind behind the kidnapping of Kislay Kaushal, son of a senior government official, had joined the JD(U) on December 1. The Telegraph had published a report on people with criminal antecedents joining the ruling party in its December 3, 2013, edition.

The report of Thakur’s removal came within three days after a delegation of the party workers from Muzaffarpur met chief minister Nitish Kumar. Nitish had promised the delegation that suitable action would be taken against the “criminals” allowed to join the party.

The delegation was opposed to the induction of tainted persons into the party ahead of the workers’ rally scheduled at Muzaffarpur on December 20. Nitish, along with a host of senior JD(U) leaders, is likely to address the meeting of the party activists belonging to Muzaffarpur, Vaishali and Sitamarhi.

Sources said Thakur, who was facing charges of murder, attempt to murder and extortion, was inducted in the party on the insistence of a senior leader. Some top leaders had hailed his induction and said it would strengthen the party.

Four persons with criminal antecedents, including Babloo Dev (East Champaran), Shah Alam Shabbu and Md Jamal (both from Muzaffarpur), took the membership of the party in quick succession. Babloo’s name once spelt terror among the contractors and businessmen of East Champaran. Shabbu and Jamal were land mafiosi.