The former Lok Sabha member, Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, walked out of the Beur jail here on Tuesday, four days after the Patna High Court acquitted him, along with two others, in the case of murder of Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA Ajit Sarkar in 1998.

The court set aside the conviction by a lower court in 2008 of Mr. Pappu Yadav; the main accused and former MLA, Rajan Tiwari; and Anil Kumar Yadav, and the life term awarded to them.

As Mr. Yadav emerged from the prison, accompanied by his wife and former MP, Ranjeeta Ranjan of the Congress, his supporters cheered and garlanded him. Congress MLA Afaq Alam hosted him at his residence. Hailing the verdict, Mr. Yadav told The Hindu: “One can only say that justice has been done at last. My family and I had lost all hope. Rajan Tiwari got bail, but my bail [petition] was rejected by the Supreme Court. I wondered whether I would ever get my life back. I had many misgivings, and at times even contemplated suicide. I was innocent then. I am innocent today and I have been proved innocent…”

But Ajit Sarkar’s family plans to challenge the acquittal in the Supreme Court, which has denied him bail in the past. “I respect their decision. They have every right to appeal. But I don’t want to think of what will happen next. I just want to enjoy the moment and be happy that I have been acquitted and released,” Mr. Yadav said.