PATNA: Influential Bihar politician Manorama Devi’s son, Rocky Yadav, was on Thursday convicted by a lower court of the brutal murder of a class-XII student in a fit of rage for overtaking his car on a road in Gaya last year.
Additional district judge Sachhidanand Singh pronounced Yadav, his uncle Teni Yadav and Manorama Devi’s bodyguard Rajesh Kumar guilty under Section 302 of IPC. Rocky’s father, well-known history-sheeter Bindi Yadav, was also held guilty for the destruction of evidence. The court will announce the quantum of punishment on September 6.
The victim, 19-year-old Aditya Sachdeva, son of a prominent businessman of Gaya, was shot dead by Rocky and the two other accused on May 7, 2016, evening when he was returning home with his friends in his car after attending a birthday party in nearby Bodh Gaya. Rocky Yadav was enraged when Aditya’s car overtook his car. So he chased Aditya’s car and shot at him.
Aditya, who was hit in the head by Rocky's bullets, was rushed to AN Medical College and Hospital in Gaya by his friends, but he was declared brought dead.
Rocky escaped immediate arrest as the police did not dare touch him because he was the son of Manorama Devi, an MLC of the ruling JD(U). But, as the media and Opposition (BJP at the time) exerted pressure on the state government to take action against the 'VIP criminal', the police were forced to arrest him three days later. The arrest came amid a whole lot of drama, as Rocky and his mother Manorama Devi, who was accused of shielding him, were absconding.
The outcry over the case forced JD(U) to suspend Manorama Devi from the party. In October 2016, a day after Patna High Court granted Rocky bail and he was released, the Supreme Court stayed the bail order. He then surrendered and was remanded in judicial custody. The apex court also directed the lower court to complete the trial before September 11, 2017.
The conviction is seen as a triumph of justice due to the setbacks the trial had suffered as Rocky’s parents are said to have tried to influence the outcome. Six key witnesses, including Rocky’s four friends who were eyewitnesses, turned hostile and retracted their statements recorded before a first class judicial magistrate earlier.
The government also replaced the public prosecutor SDN Singh midway with Sartaj Ali Khan. Then, just weeks before the trial was to be completed, it was transferred from the court of ADJ SP Mishra to the court of ADJ Sachchidanand Singh.
“Justice has won. I had full faith in the judiciary. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had also assured that justice would prevail,” said Rocky’s father Shyam Sachdeva. The slain teenager’s mother, Chand Sachdeva, wept after hearing the court’s verdict. She said she did not want the death penalty for Rocky. “I do not want any mother to bear the loss of her son,” she said.
LJP leader convicted in 2006 murder case
PATNA: Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Arvind Singh and five other men were on Thursday convicted of the murder of a young man in 2006 over a political rivalry.
Begusarai district and sessions judge Gangori Ram Tripathy held Singh and five other accused guilty of shooting Rakesh Kumar dead with an AK-47 rifle on May 4, 2006, after a cricket match he was a part of at Matihani village. The accused chased Rakesh when the match ended and shot him dead.
Police had filed a charge sheet against five accused except Arvind Singh, but his involvement in the murder surfaced during the trial. Singh, who was with the BJP earlier, had contested Assembly polls from Bachwara constituency as an independent in 2010 and lost. He then joined LJP and contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, but lost.