1 convicted in CPI-ML leader's murder case

A special CBI court on Wednesday convicted Rustam Mian, one of the prime accused in the murder of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students’ Union leader and CPI ML (Liberation) activist Chandrashekhar.

Pronouncing him guilty, CBI judge Choudhary Bijendra Kumar Rai fixed November 9 as the day when the punishment to Rustam would be awarded. Earlier, the CBI court on March 23 awarded life term to the other three accused—Dhruv Jaiswal, Sheikh Munna Khan and Illiyas Bari.

Chandrashekhar, a firebrand student leader, was gunned down on March 31,1997, at JP Chowk in Bihar’s Siwan district. Two of his associates, Shyam Narayan Yadav and Bhutti Miyan, were also injured in the attack. Both of them succumbed to their injuries.

It was widely believed that then Rashtriya Janata Dal MP from Siwan, Mohammad Shahabuddin, was behind the killing as he faced a political threat from the JNU leader. The Bihar government eventually ordered a CBI probe into the case.

The CBI on August 7, 1997, registered a case against Shahabuddin, his close aides Dhruv Jaiswal, Rustam Mian, Munna Khan, Mintu Khan, and Reyazuddin under 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and various provision under the Arms Act.

Twenty witnesses deposed in the case on behalf of the prosecution while 15 appeared on behalf of the defence.

It was Chandrashekhar’s mother Kaushalya Devi, who, braving life threats from Shahabuddin and his henchmen, relentlessly pursued the case. She passed away on December 30, 2007, while waiting for justice to be delivered.

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