Three sentenced to life in Chandrasekhar murder case

March 25, 2012 01:49 am | Updated 04:45 pm IST - Patna:

Fifteen years after iconic student leader and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) office-bearer Chandrasekhar Prasad was brutally gunned down in broad daylight in his hometown of Siwan in north Bihar, a CBI court on Friday sentenced three persons to life imprisonment.

‘Chandu,' as he was affectionately called by friends and admirers, was slain along with fellow CPI (ML) leader Shyam Narayan Yadav on March 31, 1997 by sharpshooters allegedly in the employ of the notorious political strongman and former Rashtriya Janata Dal parliamentarian, Mohd. Shahabuddin, who is now lodged in the Siwan jail in connection with 35 other cases.

Handing out the sentences, designated CBI judge Dhirendra Pandey said the case “did not fall under the rarest of rare category” and slapped fines of Rs. 40,000 on Dhruv Jaiswal, Sheikh Munna Khan and Ilyas Bari, who were convicted last week.

Chandrashekhar's principled resistance to injustices of all kinds, coupled with his moving struggle to overcome his humble origins, earned him the widespread admiration of students at Jawaharlal Nehru University, where he twice served as president of the students union.

‘Inadequate

Speaking to The Hindu after the verdict, CPI (ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya termed the verdict “disappointingly inadequate” and said it skirted “the political character of Chandrashekhar's murder.”

Arguing that the political complexion of the case needed to be brought to the fore, Mr. Bhattacharya urged the investigating agency to plumb the depths of this case and hoped that the CBI would take the trouble to go to that extent by launching a fresh probe into the matter.

Outraged at the fact that Shahabuddin has yet not been chargesheeted for the murder, the All India Students Association (AISA), the student wing of the CPI (ML), is planning to launch a massive nationwide agitation on March 31.

“Despite Shahabuddin's claims that he was in jail at the time of the murder, it is well known that one of the accused, Dhruv Jaiswal, was nabbed from the RJD MP's home,” says Mr. Abhyuday, national vice-president AISA.

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