RJD leader and former animal husbandry minister Ramashray Sahni’s son Rajiv Shani was beaten to death by a group of people at a village in Samastipur, Bihar, while he was trying to escape allegedly after a failed attempt to steal a pick-up van on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.
The police said the incident took place at around 1.30 am when villagers overpowered Rajiv, 25, and his accomplice Rajaram Kevat as they were trying to flee Asimchak Sethia village under Dalsingsarai police station. Four other suspected accomplices, however, managed to escaped, said police.
A motorbike and a master key were also found from the spot. “We took the two to Dalsingsarai hospital where Rajiv was declared dead on arrival. Kevat is out of danger and has been referred to Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital,” said Dalisingsarai police station in-charge Animesh Kumar.
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Samastipur SP Babu Ram said police were also questioning the villagers.
RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Kumar Tiwari told The Indian Express that it was police’s responsibility to find out if Rajiv was a vehicle thief or not.
“The police should take stern action against those who took law in their hands,” Kumar added. Police sources said there were several complaints of vehicle theft against Rajiv, who resided at Korbaddha near Samastipur. A few years ago, 10 suspected thieves were beaten to death at Rajapakad under Vaishali.
Rajiv’s father, who is currently district unit president of the RJD, refused to comment and said he would speak on the incident only after identifying the body.