Bihar police arrest JD(U) MLA Anant Singh in kidnapping-cum-murder case

Bihar Janata Dal-United legislator Anant Singh was on Wednesday arrested in connection with a kidnapping-cum-murder case

Patna: Bihar's Ruling Janata Dal (U) legislator Anant Singh was arrested today in a case of kidnapping and extortion at Bihita in rural Patna.

"Anant Singh, a bahubali legislator of JD-U from Mokamah, was arrested," Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Vikash Vaibhav told the media here.

Earlier, security forces led by Vaibhav entered the official bungalow of Anant Singh with a court order for search and questioned him and placed him under detention.

JD(U) MLA Anant Singh  JD(U) MLA Anant Singh during a police raid at his residence in Patna on Wednesday. Pic/PTI


Police also arrested five people, considered close to Anant Singh, from his bungalow for interrogation in the case. "Police have recovered a magazine of Insas rifle and two bullet-proof jackets during the search," an officer said.

The arrest took place a day after a senior police officer disclosed his involvement in another case of kidnap-murder of four persons, an issue which has snowballed into a major political challenge for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Anant Singh was arrested in a 2014 case of kidnapping of a builder at Bihta in rural Patna, Senior Superintendent of Police Vikash Vaibhav said.

The Mokamah MLA, known for his strong arm tactics, has been kept in Sachivalay police station where a large number of his supporters gathered raising slogans. 

Singh's arrest came after hours of search by the police under the leadership of Patna SSP at his official residence for evidence in connection with the June 17 kidnapping of four youths one of whom was later found murdered.

The SSP said that six magazines of Insas rifle were found during the search at his official residence besides clothes soaked in blood, which would be sent for DNA test.

While being taken away by the police, the MLA told reporters that he had not committed any wrong.

Though Singh was arrested today in an old case, the disclosure by outgoing SSP of Patna Jitendra Rana of Singh's alleged involvement in the June 17 case of kidnapping of four persons in his native Ladwa in Barh block of Patna district posed a challenge to Nitish Kumar government as RJD, ally of JD-U, demanded Singh's arrest.

Hours after RJD spokesman Mundrika Singh Yadav told reporters about party demand of arrest of Singh in the Barh case, in which Putush Yadav was found murdered, party chief Lalu Prasad also made it clear that the government should allow law to take its course.

Prasad had said the matter was an "acid test" for the new Patna SSP Vikash Vaibhav who had a tenure with NIA before
coming to the state.

Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have accused Nitish Kumar of transferring out Patna police chief Jitendra Rana -- who arrested the criminals -- to protect Anant Singh.

But Additional Director General of Police headquarters Sunil Kumar refuted it and said the transfer was a routine one along with seven other IPS officers.

Rana told media persons that the criminals allegedly responsible for the June 17 abduction of four men from Barh in Patna district -- one of those abducted was later murdered -- confessed to the police that they were acting on Anant Singh's orders.

Anant Singh, second term MLA, popularly known as "Chote Sarkar" for reportedly running a parallel administration in Barh area of Patna district, had put Nitish Kumar government in a spot on a number of occasions in the past.

He was ealier accused of confining and manhandling a mediaperson and also defying Patna Municipal Corporation which had ordered demolition of two floors of his mall in the heart of the town.

Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, at the height of his power struggle with Nitish Kumar, had accused him of threatening to slap him for revolting against Kumar. 

RJD has taken a strong stand on his alleged involvement in a kidnapping-cum-murder case in Barh forcing Nitish Kumar government to act promptly against him.

Hours after the RJD spokesman made the party demand public in a press conference, a large contingent of police led by the Patna SSP, armed with a special search warrant, swooped on his home in the state capital looking for evidence in the Barh case.

RJD spokesman Mundrika Singh Yadav, who led a party team to Barh yesterday, told reporters that the victims' families and locals confirmed the MLA's "involvement." 

He demanded inclusion of the MLA's name in the case and his immediate arrest. He also sought reinstatement of Jitendra Rana in Patna till the probe was completed in the case.

Rana had made the disclosure to reporters before vacating office as SSP Patna. He has been transferred to Motihari and his place has been taken by Vikash Vaibhav. 

State JD(U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar said Rana's transfer had nothing to do with the case and asserted law would take its own course.

Bihar Congress President Ashok Choudhary said Nitish Kumar has always said that nobody would be shown any favour and said the party was sure that in the present case too law would take its own course.

Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi alleged that in order to shield Singh, Nitish Kumar transferred Patna SSP Jitendra Rana, which proved that he wished to establish "Atank ka raj" (rule of fear) in the state.

Modi in a statement described Anant Singh as a "right hand man of CM Nitish Kumar" who he alleged was behind mobilising crowd in CM rallies.

He said the MLA's name came up so many times in connection with land-grabbing to build hotel and mall in the
capital. 

"The administration never dared to touch him," Modi, who was Deputy CM during NDA rule, said. 

Anant Singh has, however, denied any involvement in the case and his party has also backed him. 

"It is a conspiracy by my rivals, who wanted to defame me and take political advantage ahead of upcoming Bihar assembly polls. It is nothing but purely politics by my rivals," Anant Singh said.

The legislator, who belongs to the powerful upper caste Bhumihar community and is considered close to Nitish Kumar, has dozens of criminal cases, including several for murder and kidnapping, registered against him.

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