After his conviction by a Special CBI court in a fodder scam case, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad's official residence at 10, Circular Road in the state capital was a deserted, gloomy place Monday.
Usually, the place is bustling with party workers and supporters. Lalu Prasad's wife Rabri Devi also has served as the chief minister of Bihar.
The huge green gate to the sprawling bungalow in the high-security zone here now has a pall of gloom over it.
"Initially, some party workers gathered here to celebrate, if the court acquitted Laluji. But all of them left disappointed as news of the conviction came," a police official deployed in a security tent outside the gate told IANS here.
Another man posted on security duty at the gate said: "Lalu's family members are inside the house. No one visited them."
The situation at the RJD headquarters in the Bihar capital is much the same. Lalu Prasad along with his sons and close aides left for Ranchi Sunday from this bungalow.
An alert has been sounded across Bihar Monday in apprehension of trouble by RJD activists after the court's verdict was made known.
The quantum of punishment is to be pronounced Oct 3.
"The police headquarters has alerted all superintendents of police, and asked them to keep a close watch," a police official said soon after the verdict was pronounced Monday.
There were intelligence reports that supporters of Lalu Prasad would take to the streets and go on the rampage if the verdict went against their leader, a police official said.
Additional security forces have been deployed in sensitive areas to check any attempt at disturbing the peace, police said.
Lalu was forced to quit as the chief minister 1997, when his name figured in investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigation into what has come to be called the fodder scam. The scam first surfaced in 1996.
Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra, both former chief ministers of Bihar, ministers from the department of animal husbandry, two IAS officials and others stood accused of fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.37.70 crore from the Chaibasa district treasury.
When Jharkhand was formed on Nov 15, 2000, by carving out districts from the south of Bihar, Chaibasa became part of the new state.