PATNA The questioning of former RJD MP Mohammed Shahabuddin’s ex-henchman Upendra Singh has revealed that the instructions for the murder of journalist Rajdeo Ranjan came from Siwan jail a fortnight back. Coincidentally, Shahabuddin is the jail.
Based on Upendra’s interrogation, police are searching for at least three criminals recently released from the jail, who were allegedly ordered to kill Ranjan. Sources said Upendra revealed that one of the freed men had approached him to arrange the logistics for killing Ranjan, which included organizing arms and ammunition. He claims he refused to help the man.
Upendra, once a shooter for Shahabuddin, is prime accused in the murder of BJP’s Srikant Bharti in November 2014, for which he was arrested in June 2015. He has been out on bail since November 2015 and is being questioned for the past two days regarding Ranjan’s killing. Siwan SP Saurabh Sah said, “The conspiracy to kill Ranjan was hatched a fortnight back.” He said the killing was planned.
Bihar’s leader of opposition Sushil Kumar Modi on Sunday confirmed that slain senior journalist Rajdeo Ranjan had “leaked” a picture of Bihar minister Abdul Ghafoor visiting Shahabuddin in Siwan jail in March this year.
Ghafoor is an RJD MLA. “The photograph of the minister (Ghafoor) visiting Shahabuddin was released by Ranjan,” Modi said.
Siwan SP Saurabh Sah said that of the three CCTVs installed near the occurrence of the killing, one was partially covering the area while another CCTV’s footage is not clear. The SP also said that a third CCTV, directed towards the spot of the killing, had recordings only till May 10. “The recorder of the third CCTV is with FSL experts in Patna and very soon it would be clear whether the deleted data could be retrieved or not. If not, then the recorder would be sent to FSL in Hyderabad,” the SP said. He also said no silencer was used by the criminals in the shooting and added that four rounds of firing were heard by locals. Two empty cartridges we- re found from the spot.