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Why has Anand Mohan become a headache for the Nitish Kumar administration

Several people and bodies, including the wife of slain IAS officer G Krishnaiah and the Central IAS Association, have expressed their dismay over the decision of Mohan's release

anand mohan singh

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav with Anand Mohan at engagement function of his son and MLA Chetan Anand in Patna on Monday (Photo: ANI)

BS Web Team New Delhi
Former member of Parliament (MP) from Bihar, Anand Mohan, who is serving a life sentence in a three-decade-old case of an IAS officer's murder, is set to walk out of jail along with 26 others. In a notification on Monday, the state's law department released a list of people to be released after spending 14 or more years in jail.  

Several people and bodies, including the wife of slain IAS officer G Krishnaiah and the Central IAS Association, have expressed their dismay over the decision to release Mohan and have asked the state's chief minister Nitish Kumar to reconsider it.

Mohan was out on parole for his son Chetan Anand's engagement ceremony when the news of his release from jail reached him. Chetan is an MLA for the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

Who is Anand Mohan?

Born on January 28, 1954, in Saharsa district in Bihar, Mohan came into politics during the 1974 Sampoorna Kranti movement of Jayaprakash Narayan. He dropped out of college to join the movement.

In 1990, he was elected as a member of the legislative assembly (MLA) from Mahishi in Bihar, representing the Janata Dal. In 1993, Mohan formed his political party, Bihar People's Party. Later, however, BPP joined Samata Party, and he was elected as an MP from the Sheohar constituency.

BPP merged with the Indian National Congress party in February 2004.

The lynching of G Krishnaiah

On December 5, 1994, an IAS officer of the 1985 batch, G Krishnaiah, was killed in Muzaffarpur by a mob. Krishnaiah, who hailed from Telangana and was a Dalit, was beaten to death while his car tried to overtake a funeral procession of former MLA and gangster Chhotan Shukla. Mohan was a part of the procession.

In 2007, Patna High Court sentenced Mohan and five other politicians to death for the abetment of crime. Mohan also became the first politician since the country's independence to be given the death penalty.

In 2008, however, the sentence was reduced to rigorous life imprisonment. It was due to a lack of evidence to prove that Mohan was the actual assailant.  

In 2012, Mohan failed to appeal against the decision in the Supreme Court.

After 15 years of him being in jail, the order for his release was issued on Monday.

A Robinhood-like figure in his heyday who liked to pose for photographers holding a gun in his hand and surrounded by henchmen armed to the teeth, Mohan is said to be immensely popular among Rajputs, an influential upper caste.

How was Anand Mohan released?

On April 10, the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government tweaked the Bihar Prison Manual, 2012. They removed the "murder of a public servant on duty" clause (Rule 481) from the list of cases for which remission of jail term cannot be considered. It opened the way for Mohan's release.

BSP chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati recently tweeted, "Bihar's Nitish government's preparation to change the rule to free Anand Mohan in the case of the merciless murder of a very honest IAS officer from a poor Dalit community of Mahbubnagar, Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana) is quite in discussions among a lot of Dalit people across the country for anti-Dalit negative reasons."

'Gratitude towards Nitish Kumar'

Talking to reporters after his release, Mohan expressed his gratitude towards CM Nitish Kumar. Kumar, along with his deputy Tejashwi Yadav, was among the attendees at the wedding of Mohan's son organised on the outskirts of Patna.

"The incident that happened in December 1994 was unfortunate. Whatever happened on that day was painful. One of the victims of that case was the wife of Gopalganj DM G Krishnaiah and the other was my wife Lovely Anand. The former had lost her husband and the latter spent more than 15 years without her husband," he said.

Widespread criticism of Mohan's release

BJP leaders like former Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi have unequivocally condemned the order of Mohan's release, linking it to the RJD. RJD's Tejaswi Yadav is the current deputy CM of Bihar.

G Uma Krishnaiah, widow G Krishnaiah, has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and stop the release of Mohan. She said she was shocked by CM Kumar's move.

Krishnaiah said that the decision will set a bad precedent and have serious repercussions for the entire society. "My husband was an IAS officer and it is the Centre's responsibility to ensure that justice is done," she said.

She alleged that Nitish Kumar was releasing the killer of her husband for the votes of Rajputs and to form a government again.

"He (Nitish Kumar) thinks that by releasing him, he will get the votes of all Rajputs and this will help him from the government again. This is wrong," said Uma.

"This goes on in Bihar but this is not good. There should be good people in politics and not criminals like Mohan," she added.

A group representing central civil services officers then expressed "deep dismay" at the decision to change the prison manual.

In a statement, the Indian Civil and Administrative Service (Central) Association said this is "tantamount to denial of justice" and urged the state government to reconsider its decision.

"The Central IAS Association expresses its deep dismay at the decision of the state government of Bihar to release the convicts of the brutal killing of G Krishnaiah, IAS, former district magistrate of Gopalganj, by a change in classification rules of prisoners," it said

The statement asserted that a convict of the charge of murder of a public servant on duty cannot be reclassified to a less heinous category. Amendment of an existing classification which leads to the release of the convicted killer of a public servant on duty is tantamount to a denial of justice, it said.

"Such dilution leads to impunity, erosion in the morale of public servants, undermines public order and makes a mockery of the administration of justice," it said.

The association also urged the Bihar government to reconsider its decision at the earliest.

Some come out in support of Nitish Kumar

Union minister Giriraj Singh, the MP from Begusarai and arguably one of the most popular upper caste leaders in the current crop, was, however, circumspect.

"Anand Mohan is being made a scapegoat. The Bihar government has ordered the release of a large number of criminals. Poor Anand Mohan is being defamed in the process," Singh told reporters after Mohan's release orders were issued.

Rajiv Ranjan Singh, national president of Nitish Kumar's JD(U), came out with an angry social media post accusing the BJP of having used its B-Team, referring to BSP supremo Mayawati, to attack the Nitish Kumar government ever since the word went around that Mohan was set to be released.

Singh also slammed Malviya and alleged that the BJP believed in the policy of getting its opponents framed while saving its people.

(With agency inputs)

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First Published: Apr 26 2023 | 2:35 PM IST

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