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Since 1st March, 1999
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Scam case leads to lawyer murder

Patna, Dec. 25: Additional public prosecutor Deendayal Yadav (55) was shot dead last evening when he was going from Tehra Bazaar to his residence in Mirabigha village.

The police suspect the involvement of an RJD functionary in the murder.

According to police, around 6pm the additional public prosecutor (APP) was walking home with fellow villager Akhilesh Yadav when three motorcycle-borne men stopped the senior advocate near Dargha river. One of them shot the APP. The bullet hit Deendayal on his right temple and he died on the spot.

Jehanabad sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Anand Srivastava said: “An old enmity with fellow villager and former RJD functionary Chandrika Yadav seems to be the reason for the murder”.

The victim’s son, Jhulan, told the police that his father had lodged a case against Chandrika for misappropriating government funds meant for the upkeep of some archaeological findings. The case of financial irregularities had reached the trial stage at Jehanabad civil court.

The SDPO said Chandrika was heading the Mirabiga village committee constituted in 1997.

Jhulan, who reportedly had knowledge of Chandrika’s involvement in the scam, had 15 days ago appeared in court as witness. The son of the deceased has stated in the FIR that Chandrika had tried to “pressurise” him to reach a “compromise” and not appear in court. “After Jhulan refuted the compromise offer, he was allegedly threatened,” said Srivastava. The police were not informed about the threat, he said.

Chandrika has been named as the main murder conspirator and his son, Sanjay, and brother Satyendra Yadav have been charged with murder in the FIR. “We have conducted raids at Mirabigha village and Pali, Chandrika’s in-laws place, but to no avail,” the SDPO said.

The police officer said Chandrika, who lives with his family at Pali, teaches at a private college and is not involved in politics after severing ties with the RJD. The teacher has no criminal antecedents.

Deendayal was not dealing with any other high-profile case. “Prolonged enmity with Chandrika alone seems to a tenable reason for the murder at this stage of investigation,” said Srivastava.

The murder has led to Jehanabad court lawyers demanding for security. They are even more concerned as a month-and-a-half ago, Begusarai additional public prosecutor Ramnaresh Sharma was also murdered. This killing had triggered state-wide protest by lawyers. The Patna Lawyers’ Association reacted sharply to the incident. Over 700 lawyers had stayed away from work for a day to express solidarity with their peers after the attacks at Uttar Pradesh courts recently. The lawyers had demanded security at Bihar courts. Senior advocate Vinay Kumar said: “We can no longer put up with the attacks. Targeting lawyers is a threat to democracy.”

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