Hours before RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was convicted in one of the fodder scam cases against him, two of his personal aides allegedly got themselves arrested in order to "serve" the former Bihar chief minister in Ranchi's Birsa Munda Jail, media reports said.
According to The Indian Express, Madan Yadav and Laxman Mahto, who have served as Lalu's cooks in the past, were sent to jail in an apparent false case.
As per reports, the two were sent to Rachi jail after they picked up a fight with a neighbour Sumit Yadav and snatched Rs 10,000 from him on 23 December.
The Times of India reported that both men surrendered before the CJM court in Ranchi on the same day.
"Even as an investigation was initiated into complaint, the accused reached the court and surrendered before the Chief Judicial Magistrate. They were sent to judicial custody… The police had not sought any warrant from the court — we were not even communicated about the surrender either by the counsel for the accused or the court.” The Indian Express quoted Ranchi’s DSP (City) Raj Kumar Mehta as saying.
However, close associates of Madan claim that he had no reason to steal anything as he comes from a financially sound background, The Times of India reported. They also noted that "serving" their leader would have been the only reason for picking up such a case.
The same report also noted that the police began investigating the case only after realising that both men were close to Lalu and are part of his inner circle.
According to another report in Deccan Chronicle, Madan had used the same trick to get into the Rnachi jail when Lalu was convicted in another fodder scam case in 2013. However, the report noted that Laxman did not do so as the RJD was an ally of the JMM, which was in power in Jharkhand at the time."
The superintendent of Birsa Munda Central Jail, where the RJD boss has been lodged since 23 December after his conviction in a fodder scam case relating to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar treasury 21 years ago, had not commented at the time of writing.
The RJD jumped to its leader's defence, insisting the presence of the two was "co-incidental". However, the latest revelations have drawn criticism from rival JD(U).
The JD(U) latched on to the news report to attack the RJD leader, with its spokesman Neeraj Kumar issuing a statement in Patna saying, "Lalu is a person with feudal mindset who could make his party workers go to any extent to serve his personal interest."
"This shows that Lalu's commitment to social justice is a sham and he cares only for himself and his family members," Kumar, a JD(U) MLC, said.
RJD spokesman Shakti Singh Yadav rubbished the allegation that Lalu "managed" to have his two aides behind bars to serve him, saying their presence in jail was "coincidental", and that the two had criminal cases against them. The nature of offences for which they were in jail was, however, not clear yet.
He asked those making the claim that Mahto and Madan were serving Prasad in jail to come up with evidence to back it.
"They (the accusers) should show any video footage of the two serving the RJD supremo," Yadav, an RJD MLA, said.
When asked if he would want an inquiry into the matter, Yadav shot back, saying "Why? They have been, after all, sent to jail after an inquiry by the police administration and it is for the administration to say something on the matter."
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jan 10, 2018 10:19:14 IST