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CBI was today directed to proceed with its probe into the murder of journalist Rajdev Ranjan by the Supreme Court which asked the Bihar police to provide protection to his family that has claimed threat to life from controversial RJD leader Shahabuddin.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and C Nagappan also sought the response of Shahabuddin, Bihar's health minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad's son Tej Pratap Yadav and Bihar government on a petition by Ranjan's wife who has also sought transfer of the case from Siwan in Bihar to Delhi.
The RJD chief's son was seen in a photograph published in newspapers with one of the two sharp shooters of alleged gangster Shahabuddin.
"In view of that, we direct that the CBI may proceed with the investigation but not finalise it and shall file the status report before this Court on October 17," the bench said, adding "Superintendent of Police, Siwan district, shall provide police protection to the petitioner and her family."
The counsel for Ranjan's wife Asha Ranjan claimed before the bench that CBI has not even started its probe into the case due to "political influence" and "fear of Shahabuddin" as the state machinery was protecting the history sheeter, against whom there were 58 criminal cases according to Bihar government's 2014 affidavit in the apex court.
When the counsel said the case should be transferred to Delhi, the bench said "CBI shall continue the investigation there. Eventually, after hearing them, we may consider whether to transfer the case. There is no trial as of now. Let them investigate."
The counsel told the court that five persons were arrested by Bihar Police in connection with the case, but the two alleged sharp shooters of Shahabuddin were not.
"CBI did not dare to take up the investigation in the case due to fear of Shahabuddin. Two sharp shooters, Md Kaif and Mohd Javed, were seen with Shahabuddin and Health Minister of Bihar Tej Pratap Yadav. Entire state machinery is protecting Shahabuddin," he alleged. Kaif surrendered before a Siwan court two days ago.
He said that Rajdev, a journalist, had written various stories about the "criminal deeds" of Shahabuddin and after RJD-JD(U) alliance came to power in Bihar, he was shot dead.
"Terror of Shahabuddin was so high that even the trial judge, who had convicted him in one of the case, has requested for transfer from Siwan to Patna," he alleged while seeking transfer of the case from Siwan to Delhi.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)