RJD Leader Convicted in 22-year Old Murder Case

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Patna: Senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former Member of Parliament Prabhunath Singh was convicted by a Hazaribagh (Jharkhand) court on Thursday in a case involving the murder of Janata Dal - U (JD-U) legislator from Masarakh in Saran district Ashok Singh on July 3, 1995.

Prabhunath Singh, who was present in the court at the time of the judgment, was promptly arrested and taken into judicial custody. Sentencing will be done on May 23, Additional District and Sessions Judge Surendra Sharma said.

Singh later joined hands with the RJD and became an MP from Maharajganj in 2013. He, however, lost his bid for re-election in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Candni Singh with her husband's picture.Candni Singh with her husband's picture.As recalled, Ashok Singh, the newly-elected legislator who had defeated Prabhunath Singh in the state Assembly elections, was sitting outside his government bungalow on 5 Mangles Road in Patna on July 3, 1995 when three unidentified men lobbed several powerful bombs at him killing the legislator instantly.

He was 28 and had been married to his wife Chandni for about five years. Besides other family members, he left behind two boys aged three and a half and two and a half year-old.

A case of murder was filed by the widow of Singh who squarely blamed Prabhunath Singh for orchestrating the killing of her husband.

Visibly pleased by the court verdict, Chandni Singh told the reporters that though it took 22 years for the court to decide whether Prabhunath Singh was guilty or not, she was, nonetheless, happy that justice was finally delivered in the case.

"We had complete trust in the judicial system and were confident that one day the long arm of law will catch up with Prabhunath Singh who masterminded the murder of my husband. We are, however, unhappy about the court exonerating RJD legislator Kedar Singh and Ritesh Mukhia who we know, were part of the assassination team 22 years ago," she said adding the court's decision to let go the two would be challenged by her in Patna High Court.

Ashok Singh's mother also expressed her thanks to the court for convicting the RJD leader and hoped the court awarded him death penalty on May 23.

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