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Former minister son killed

Patna, July 13: A son of a former state minister in the erstwhile RJD regime was lynched to death in the small hours today after being caught trying to steal a four-wheeler with an accomplice.

A mob thrashed Rajiv Kumar Sahni (35), the son of former animal husbandry minister Ramashray Sahni in Lalu Prasad’s cabinet, brutally near Dalsingsarai in Samastipur district, around 120km northeast of Patna. He died on the spot.

Rajiv’s accomplice Rajaram Kewat (32), a resident of Vidyapatinagar in Samastipur district, suffered serious injuries in the assault.

He was rushed to the Dalsingsarai hospital, from where he was referred to the Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital.

Police said Rajiv was caught stealing a car at Asimchak market under the jurisdiction of the Dalsinghsarai police station around 2am. The mob brutally assaulted him and his associate Rajaram.

Samastipur superintendent of police (SP) Baburam confirmed the death of the former minister’s son in the incident.

He said Rajiv, a resident of Korbadha village in Samastipur district, had criminal antecedent and was earlier arrested on the charges of vehicle thefts.

“He was a part of an inter-district gang of vehicle lifters. The details of the criminal cases pending against him are being gathered,” he added.

The SP said a police team led by Dalsingsarai sub-divisional police officer Pankaj Kumar had been sent to the village to get details about the incident. “The post-mortem has been conducted. Its report is awaited,” he added.

Dalsingsarai station house officer (SHO) Animesh Kumar said he received information about the detention of two persons at Asimchak by a group of residents while the duo were trying to steal a Bolero pick-up van. By the time the police reached the spot, Rajiv had succumbed to his injuries, he said, adding that the incident occurred near Paswan Tola.

During interrogation, Rajiv’s associate Rajaram admitted that they were caught “red-handed” while trying to escape with a four-wheeler parked at Asimchak market. “I was forced by Rajiv to accompany him,” the SHO quoted Rajaram as saying.

The SP, Baburam, said an FIR had been lodged with the Dalsingsarai police station based on the statement of Rajaram. “The complainant, however, refused to disclose the name of the assailants. Efforts are on to ascertain the identity of those involved in the assault on the two alleged vehicle thieves,” he told The Telegraph over phone from Samastipur.

This is not the first time when the name of a member of the former minister’s family has appeared in the criminal offence. Ramashray’s another son, Mukesh Kumar Sahni, was arrested June last year with his associate Ganga Prasad Singh allegedly for stealing vehicles. Two stolen vehicles were recovered from their possession. Then Samastipur SP Varun Kumar Sinha had ordered the arrest of Mukesh and his associate after they were spotted near a garage on June 30, 2014.

Sources said Ramashray was also facing murder charges. “All the three sons of the former minister have criminal antecedents. Even the former minister was facing murder charges,” said a police officer earlier posted in Samastipur district.