Saharsa/Patna, April 27
Gangster-turned-politician Anand Mohan Singh, who was serving a life sentence, was released from Saharsa jail on Thursday morning after being behind the bars for 15 years.
The former Bihar MP was released under a jail sentence remission order after the state government’s recent amendment of prison rules which allowed the early release of 27 convicts, including him.
Singh was convicted for his role in the 1994 murder of then-Gopalganj collector G Krishnaiah during the funeral procession of Muzaffarpur gangster Chotan Shukla.
A local court had sentenced him to death in October 2007 but Patna High Court commuted it to life imprisonment in December, 2008, after an appeal.
The Nitish Kumar Government amended the Bihar Prison Manual, 2012, on April 10 removing a clause that said those convicted for murder of a public servant on duty could not be given remission of their jail term.
This critics claim was done to help release Mohan.
The move had sparked political controversy with the coalition government facing criticism from the Opposition.
BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said Kumar has “sacrificed law to stay in power” with support from ally RJD.
Krishnaiah’s widow, too, has expressed disappointment over the state government’s decision to release Singh.
Anand Mohan Singh refused to comment on the Opposition to his release by the former Collector’s Hyderabad-based widow as well as the IAS Officers’ Association.
“I offer my salutations (pranam) to all people, be it Krishnaiah’s wife or the IAS Officers’ Association. I do not want to say anything at this moment. I will say whatever I have to say when I come out,” he had told reporters in Patna before leaving for Saharsa on Monday.
He was out on parole to attend the engagement of his son, Chetan Anand, an RJD MLA, in the Bihar capital when he received the news of his impending release.
Singh’s release is being seen as the Mahagathbandhan Government’s attempt to shore up support from Rajputs who are traditionally considered BJP voters and had voted for the saffron party in sizable numbers in the previous polls in the state.
His release however, seems to have left the BJP a divided house.
While the party’s leaders Sushil Kumar Modi and Amit Malaviya have been unequivocal in their criticism of the order to let off Singh, other upper-caste BJP leaders in Bihar have taken a nuanced but divergent view.
They have not come out openly against Singh’s release but preferred to criticise the principle stating this would aid other criminals.