Journalist’s murder case: SC issues notices to Lalu’s son Taj Pratap, Shahabuddin
The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to Bihar Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav and don-turned former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin in connection with the murder of Siwan journalist Rajdeo Ranjan.
“Issue notice to Bihar govt and the investigating agency, CBI Notice also issues to Bihar govt and CBI,” a division bench of the apex court headed by Justice Dipak Misra and Justice C Nagappan said.
The notices were issued after hearing the petition filed by Asha Ranjan, the wife of the deceased journalist.
Expressing grave concern over the alleged politician-criminal nexus in Bihar, the apex court also sought the response of Nitish Kumar government in this case.
Recently, CBI teams on Friday launched an operation to look for Mohammed Javed, another suspect in the murder of the Siwan-based journalist on May 13 this year. Prime suspect Mohammed Kaif is in judicial custody after he surrendered in a Siwan court on September 21.
The agency, which started probe last week has set up a camp office in Siwan where relatives of Javed were called to locate the alleged sharp shooter, agency sources said. They said the teams had also gone to the residence of Javed and were looking for him at a number of other locations.
The top court has given both the leaders two weeks to submit their replies.
The court also decided to monitor the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the journalist’s murder. The top court also ordered protection to the family of the slain journalist.
The apex court, after issuing the notices, fixed October 17 as the next date of hearing in the case.
Kislay Pandey, lawyer appearing for the petitioner Asha Ranjan, said the court was made aware of the politico-criminal nexus working in Bihar.
“The Supreme Court has directed the law enforcement authorities to ensure the safety and security of the Ranjan family. The CBI hasn’t conducted the investigation as yet. The court has taken cognizance,” Pandey told the reporters, after the court’s proceeding for the day.
Ranjan, a journalist with over 20 years of experience and the bureau chief of the Hindi daily Hindustan, was shot dead in Siwan district.
In the incident, Rajan was attacked by firing five shots at him from extremely close range near Siwan’s railway station. Following the incident, the journo was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead.
(With agencies inputs)