Chandrakeshwar Prasad — Chanda Babu to everyone in his native Siwan — and his wife Kalawati Devi had named their four sons Rajiv Roshan, Girish Raj, Satish Raj and Nitish Raj. They were particularly proud of the connotations of brightness and royalty in the names they chose for their boys.
Today, Rajiv, Girish and Satish are dead. Nitish, 24, has been an invalid since he was a child. 67-year-old Chanda Babu’s once flourishing wholesale provisions business has been reduced to a small, struggling shop. Kalawati Devi hardly ever speaks any more. Chanda Babu tries to ensure she does not come across pictures of their dead sons in the house.
For the fate his family has suffered, Chanda Babu blames “Shahabuddin raj”. The rule of Mohammad Shahabuddin, four-time RJD MP and uncrowned king of Siwan, and possibly India’s most infamous criminal-politician. He had stood up to Shahabuddin, Chanda Babu says, and the don had responded by ordering a terrible retribution visit the family.
On June 16, Rajiv, the couple’s eldest son, was shot dead by killers on a motorbike who drew up alongside as he rode home after collecting dues from retailers in his business of mobile phone spare parts.
From some distance away, Chanda Babu saw his son fall off his bike and die from a single bullet that entered his temple and exited through his mouth. Rajiv, 35, had been married for only 20 days.
In his FIR, Chanda Babu accused Osama, Shahabuddin’s 20-year-old son, of Rajiv’s murder. Osama was at the time in Siwan on vacation from Noida, where he is studying for a law degree. Chanda Babu also named Shahabuddin, accusing him of criminal conspiracy.
On June 19, three days from the day he was murdered, Rajiv Roshan was to record his statement as eyewitness to the macabre killings of his brothers Girish, 23, and Satish, 20, in August 2004. Girish and Satish were allegedly drenched in acid before being shot. Rajiv too had been abducted, but he had managed to escape his brothers’ fate. The bodies of Girish and Satish were never found.
Shahabuddin is the only one among the accused in the ‘acid murders’ who did not get bail. The ex-MP is currently in prison, serving
out multiple sentences, including a life term.
Chanda Babu says he can recognise Rajiv’s assailants if he sees them. “I have not seen much of Osama, but I believe it was him. If the police bring them before me, I can surely recognise them,” he said.
Chanda Babu’s FIR says, “When my son reached DAV Mod around 8.30 pm (on 16 June), three persons came on a motorcycle. Mohammad Shahabuddin’s son Osama, who was one of the pillion riders, had a …continued »
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