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In a development that will reinforce public faith in the capacity of the criminal justice system, a Patna court has sentenced to death former MP Anand Mohan for inciting a mob to kill former district magistrate of Gopalganj G Krishnaiah in December 1994. The court also handed out life terms to Mohan’s wife Lovely Anand, also a former MP, and JD (U) MLAs Munna Shukla and Akhlaq Ahmad.

Apart from Anand Mohan, the additional sessions judge R S Rai awarded death sentence to RJD leader and former Bikramganj MLA Akhlaq Ahmad and former MLA from Lalganj Arun Kumar.

The court had convicted them in the Krishnaiah murder case under section 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 147 (rioting) and 427 of the IPC. The fact that the court had convicted them under Section 302 and 307 of the IPC had led to wide speculation that the court will come hard on them while pronouncing the quantum of punishment.

Expectedly, three of the convicts were awarded capital punishment while the other four were sentenced to life term. If anything, the judgment came as a stinging blow to former MP couple, Anand and Lovely.

A somewhat relieved Uma Krishnaiah, widow of G Krishnaiah, said the case dragged for nearly 13 years but in the end “I am happy with the outcome of the case”. Uma who is currently settled in Hyderabad along with her two daughters could not hold back her tears when a news channel broke the news to her.

G Krishnaiah, a 1985 batch IPS official of the state cadre, was lynched on 5 December 1994 by a mob accompanying the funeral procession of Chotan Shukla, the underworld don who a day earlier was gunned down by his rivals. The lynching incident occurred near Khabra (Muzaffarpur) when Krishnaiah was moving in his official car towards Muzaffarpur.

Krishnaiah, a 1985-batch officer, then posted as DM, Gopalganj, was on his way back to his headquarters after a meeting at Hajipur near Patna. The assault on Krishnaiah was in retaliation to the gunning down of Chhotan Shukla, an underworld don who also worked for the now-defunct Bihar’s People’s Party. Chhotan was a close aide of Mohan and the brother of Vijay Shukla, alias Munna Shukla.

The mob which was part of the funeral procession of Chotan Shukla intercepted Krishnaiah and dragged him out of the car to beat him to death. Mohan, a former MP from Sheohar, who was then the BPP chief and Lovely, former MP from Vaishali, were present at the funeral procession besides Munna Shukla, the younger brother of Chhotan, former MLA from Bikramganj Akhlaq Ahmed, Shashi Shekhar and Arun Kumar Sinha.

The leaders who were part of the procession were accused of inciting the mob even though Krishnaiah pleaded with the mob that he was not the DM of Muzaffarpur and that he had nothing to do with the incident involving the murder of Chotan Shukla.

On October 1, the court had convicted Mohan, Lovely, Ahmed, Shekhar and Arun Kumar Sinha under Section 109 (abetment) of IPC. The judge, however, acquitted 29 of the 36 accused in the case, giving them the benefit of the doubt.

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