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Nitish’s order freeing IAS officer’s killer faces opposition from batchmates

NewsNitish’s order freeing IAS officer’s killer faces opposition from batchmates

NEW DELHI: The batchmates of a slain 1985 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, G. Krishnaiah, are planning to challenge the Nitish Kumar government’s decision to release prematurely the killer of the officer, former Member of Parliament, Anand Mohan Singh. Krishnaiah was lynched by a mob in December 1994 in Bihar. Singh was given a death sentence by the trial court in 2007. The Patna High Court turned it into a life sentence in December 2008.
Uma Krishnaiah, G. Krishnaiah’s wife, told The Sunday Guardian from Hyderabad that a few of her husband’s batchmates had held a meeting on this matter. They decided to challenge the Bihar government and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s order to free Singh prematurely. “In the meeting, they decided to challenge the order in the Supreme Court. They asked me if I had any objections to it. I told them I did not have any objections. The petition will also have my signature,” said Uma Krishnaiah. She retired from the Chemistry department at a government women’s college in Begumpet, Hyderabad.
Almost all the officers of the 1985 batch are retired, which possibly has helped them to gather the courage to challenge the Bihar Chief Minister’s decision. Kumar’s order has generated significant discontent among serving officers as well.
Krishnaiah was only 35 at the time of his death on 4 December 1994 and was the district magistrate of Gopalganj in Bihar. He was lynched by a mob on National Highway 22 during the funeral procession of a local gangster, Chhotan Shukla. The procession took place at Khabra village in Muzaffarpur where Chhotan was a candidate of the now-defunct Bihar People’s Party (BPP) for the 1995 Assembly elections. Anand Mohan and his wife Lovely Anand were the leaders of the BPP and eyewitness accounts suggested that Mohan had instigated the mob to attack the IAS officer.
The 69-year-old Singh will walk free from prison after an order on 10 April. The Bihar government dropped the “murder of a public servant on duty” as a case in which an accused would not be eligible for premature release. This decision was made under the Bihar Jail Manual. On 17 April, the screening committee of the Prison Department reviewed his remission recommendation and recommended his release. Now, the only thing remaining to complete the process is Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s signature.
The six other co-accused, including Singh’s wife and former MP Lovely Anand, were acquitted. This was due to lack of evidence.
The news that Singh was going to be released prematurely gained ground after the Chief Minister attended the marriage of Anand Mohan’s daughter in February. He responded to Anand Mohan’s supporters’ request during the function and told them that his government was doing everything to release him soon.
Singh was first elected to the Bihar Assembly from Mahisi, Saharsa, in 1990. He was elected on the ticket of the late former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar. In 1996, he joined the Samata Party, which Nitish Kumar formed. He won from the Rajput-dominated Sheohar Lok Sabha constituency. Later in that same year, Lovely Anand won from Vaishali, another Rajput-dominated Lok Sabha seat.
Singh is already out of prison on a 15-day parole. He joined the marriage celebrations of his son, Chetan Anand, an RJD MLA from the Sheohar seat. Two months ago as well, Singh was out on parole to attend his daughter’s wedding.
Patna-based political observers told The Sunday Guardian that one of the primary reasons behind Kumar’s decision to release Singh prematurely was the Rajput forward caste vote, a community to which Anand Mohan belongs. “The CM has been under a lot of pressure from the Rajput leaders of RJD and JDU who have been seeking Anand Mohan’s early release. Anand Mohan, his wife Lovely, and their son Chetan are being seen by Nitish as those who will bring in significant votes from the forward community in the next year’s general elections,” a Patna-based senior journalist said.
The BJP has refused to criticise this move, as it does not want to appear as a party that is “anti-forwards”. Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Sushil Kumar Modi, a vocal critic of the Nitish Kumar government, limited his comments on Singh’s premature release. He stated that if the prison manual can be relaxed for the release of some influential people despite being convicted in serious cases, then the same relaxation can be done for those who have been booked for breaking the prohibition law.
Born to a landless Dalit family in Mahboobnagar, then undivided Andhra Pradesh, Krishnaiah started his career as a coolie (porter), just like his father. While working as a porter, he continued his studies, graduated in journalism, and then worked as a clerk. He went on to become a lecturer and eventually made it to the IAS.
After he was killed, the then CM of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, appointed Uma as a lecturer in Patna Women’s College. However, after she told him that she did not want to stay in Patna, Lalu used his contacts with other leaders to transfer her to Hyderabad in the same profile.

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