The Bihar government on Monday (24 April) notified the release of 27 prisoners, including former MP Anand Mohan Singh, who was convicted in the murder of the then Gopalganj DM G Krishnaiah in 1994.
The move comes after the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar led state government amended the Bihar Prison Manual.
Anand Mohan Singh allegedly provoked a mob that killed G Krishnaiah, a 1985-batch IAS officer who hailed from Mahbubnagar in present-day Telangana.
A lower court in Bihar sentenced Anand Mohan to death in 2007. However, the Patna High Court reduced the sentence to life imprisonment which was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012.
The Bihar government earlier this month removed a clause that prohibited the remission of jail term for those convicted of murder of public servant on duty.
In a notification, the state's law department stated that the new rules apply to the prisoners who have served the actual sentence of 14 years or a 20-year sentence with remission.
The rule change favours Anand Mohan Singh, a Rajput leader with considerable influence on his caste voters.
It should be noted that Anand Mohan, who was till recently imprisoned in Saharsa jail, has been on parole to attend a wedding in his family.
“In the light of the Bihar state sentence remission council meeting on April 20, 2023, the decision was taken for the release of prisoners having served actual sentence of 14 years or sentence of 20 years with remission,” said the notification issued by the state’s law department, reports Hindustan Times.
Former UP CM and BSP chief Mayawati has criticised the change in rules and release of Anand Mohan Singh, calling it "anti-Dalit".
"The move by the Nitish government to prepare the release of Anand Mohan after changing rules in the case of the brutal murder of extremely honest IAS officer G Krishnaiah, who belonged to a poor Dalit family from Andhra Pradesh's Mehboobnagar (now in Telangana), is being discussed for negative and anti-Dalit reasons in the whole country," Mayawati tweeted on Sunday.
She asked the Nitish Kumar government to reconsider the decision, saying that Anand Mohan Singh's release would anger the Dalit community.
Amit Malviya, head of BJP's IT Cell, criticised Nitish Kumar in a tweet, questioning how a leader who relies on a criminal syndicate for power can represent India, even as an opposition leader.
"Corruption, crime and bid to defend their shrinking political turf is the glue for India’s opposition, from Mamata Banerjee to Nitish Kumar, Kejriwal to KCR…," Malviya added.
Reacting to the opposition backlash, ruling Janata Dal (United) leader Rajiv Ranjan Singh explained that the rule change was aimed at getting the common man and special prisoners on a uniform platform.
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