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Bihar lawmaker faces arrest

Court issues non-bailable arrest warrant in murder case

Gulf News

Patna

A local court in Bihar has issued a non-bailable warrant of arrest against a ruling party woman lawmaker in connection with a decade-old murder case.

The lawmaker Bima Bharti, a former minister, hails from chief minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United (JD-U) and figures among a dozen politicians from the ruling parties who faces such serious charges. Bharti who is the wife of dreaded gangster Awadhesh Mandal, represents Rupauli seat (under Purnia district) in Bihar assembly.

Additional district and sessions judge Vidyasagar Pandey issued the non-bailable arrest warrant against the woman lawmaker in a May 2005 murder case on Thursday after the advocate prayed to the court to include her name in the murder case. The court also issued arrest warrants against two of her aides.

Reports initially said the lawmaker’s name didn’t figure in the case, but eventually the court issued summons against her after some witnesses during trial revealed the victim was killed in the presence of Bharti who was with Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) party at that time.

Bharti described it as a political conspiracy to defame her and said she had moved the higher court for bail. Her husband Mandal who previously led the notorious Faizan gang is already in jail in connection with a number of serious crimes such as murder, extortion, kidnapping and rape. He faces as many as 46 criminal cases.

Bharti who has her political career spanning over some two decades is the sixth politician from her party who has earned notoriety for her party boss for her alleged involvement in serious crimes.

In February this year, the JD-U suspended Mewalal Chaudhary after the police registered a case against him in connection with illegal appointment of over 160 junior scientists. All these appointments were made while Chaudhary served as vice-chancellor of Bihar Agricultural University, Bhagalpur.

Apart from them, quite many JD-U lawmakers have been suspended from the party for their controversial activities. They include Manorama Devi, Gopal Mandal, Rana Gangeshwar Prasad Singh and Sarfaraz Alam, while Shyam Bahadur Singh has been charged with seeking Rs2 million (Dh113,657) extortion from two doctors.

A number of lawmakers from RJD, coalition partner in the ruling Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, have also been fired for their alleged involvement in criminal activities.

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