Jailed ex-MLA goes all out to support Nitish's rally

Jailed former legislator Munna Shukla of the ruling Janata Dal (United) Friday distributed pamphlets appealing to people to participate in Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's "Adhikar Yatra".

After a hue and cry was raised by the opposition, six police officials -- one sub-inspector and five police constables -- were suspended in this connection.

Muzaffarpur Senior Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar ordered the suspensions and also initiated an inquiry into the incident.

JD-U leaders said law would take its own course, and action would be initiated against Munna Shukla.

The pamphlets were distributed Friday within the court premises at Muzaffarpur, where Munna Shukla was brought for a hearing, police said.

Munna Shukla, whose wife Annu Shukla is a JD(U) legislator, is currently lodged in Muzaffarpur Jail, about 70 km from the state capital.

Only last week, Munna Shukla made news when he called up the director of an engineering college demanding a "donation" of Rs.7 crore for the "Adhikar Yatra" of the chief minister.

However, Munna Shukla Friday denied that he demanded a "donation".

Munna Shukla, who faces several criminal cases related to murder, attempt to murder, extortion and abduction, is serving out a life sentence that came with conviction for  the murder of a minister.

Shukla, who was brought to the court in handcuffs, distributed pamphlets in Hindi appealing to people to attend the "Adhikar" rallies of the chief minister. He also requested people gathered at the court to join the rally, even as policemen looked on.

Shukla told those willing to hear him that he considered himself unfortunate since he was not free to attend the rally.

JD-U spokesperson Neeraj Kumar quickly clarified that Munna Shukla had nothing to do with the party.

Last week, a fresh case was lodged against Munna Shukla after it was found that he had made an extortion call to Santlal Yadav, director of the Patna Sahib Group of Colleges, from jail.

None other than Additional Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey admitted that Munna Shukla had made the extortion call from behind bars. Four mobile phones were later found in his cell.

A local court, over two years ago, sentenced Shukla to life imprisonment in the sensational murder of former Bihar minister Brij Bihari Prasad, June 13, 1998.

Shukla had earlier been sentenced to life imprisonment in 2007 in the case of the 1994 murder of an Indian Administrative Service officer, G. Krishnaiya. In that case, he was later acquitted by the Patna High Court.

Krishnaiya, a 1985 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, was fired at and then stoned by a mob near Muzaffarpur town Dec 5, 1994.

The Adhikar Yatra of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is meant to mobilise public support for the state government's bid to pressure the central government to provide special status to Bihar, with which the state could access additional funds for expeditious economic development.

This is the first time Nitish Kumar is holding a party rally in Patna since coming to power November 2005.

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