Woman whose two sons were killed threatens self-immolation in Patna

November 7th, 2008 - 3:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Nov 7 (IANS) A woman has threatened to immolate herself in front of the Patna High Court premises to protest the acquittal of Janata Dal-United (JD-U) MP Prabhunath Singh in the case of murder of her two sons. Security has been tightened in and around the court since Friday morning, the police said.Lal Muni Devi, in her 60s, threatened to immolate herself Friday at the Patna High Court premises to protest the acquittal of the MP, who is from Bihar’s ruling party.

Last month the Patna fast track court-III acquitted Prabhunath Singh and six others for lack of evidence in the double murder case.

Singh was one of the prime accused in the double murder that took place in Saran district during the 1995 assembly polls.

He represents Maharajganj in parliament and is deputy leader of the JD-U parliamentary party.

Singh was reportedly busy in Delhi Friday, leading the party’s MPs to submit their resignations to protest the killing of Rahul Raj, a Patna youth, by the police in Mumbai.

Lal Muni Devi, a witness in the murder case, and her family were upset over the court judgement and announced that they would challenge it in the high court. But her threat to immolate herself in front of the court was keeping the police on its toes.

“A large number of police forces are deployed in and around the court to prevent her bid to immolate herself. A fire brigade vehicle was also deployed,” said Mundirika Prasad Singh, officer in charge of Kotwali police station.

He said that police were not taking any chances after they got information of her threat.

The case relates to the murder of Daroga Rai and Rajendra Rai when they were returning home after casting votes in the Masrakh assembly constituency March 25, 1995. It was alleged that they had been murdered because they had voted for Singh’s rival.

The case against Singh was filed on the basis of the statement of Rajendra, who succumbed to his injuries at the Patna Medical College and Hospital six months later.

During the trial, officials said in court that the original seizure list prepared by the investigating officers in the case was missing from the record.

Two officials investigating the case - N.N. Thakur and Badri Ram - have not appeared in court despite repeated summons since the hearing started some two years ago.

Over a year ago the Patna High Court ordered the transfer of the trial from a Bhagalpur court to the sessions court here to complete it in three months.

Harendra Rai, another son of Lal Muni Devi and brother of the murder victims, had filed a habeas corpus petition, saying that Lal Muni Devi had been kidnapped. Harendra’s wife Girija Devi had on Oct 24, 2006, filed a complaint with the police in Saran district, alleging that her mother-in-law was abducted by the associates of Prabhunath Singh to influence the trial in the case.

Singh faces over two dozen criminal charges, including murder, kidnapping and extortion.

The high court has directed the Bihar State Bar Council to inquire into the role of the public prosecutor in this trial.

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