The alleged murder of a youth in Bokaro district, who had eloped and married a woman from his village, is threatening the prospects of the JMM candidate from Giridih constituency in the Lok Sabha polls.
Baidyanath Mahto, one of the nine accused in the murder of 27-year-old Santosh Pandey, is the brother of JMM MLA Jagarnath Mahto, the party’s candidate from Giridih. Baidyanath allegedly presided over the kangaroo court which decided that the youth be beaten to death.
Santosh succumbed to injuries at Damodar Valley Corporation Hospital in Chandrapura on Thursday morning. Two people have since been arrested on the basis of an FIR filed by the victim’s brother, Vikas Pandey. “Baidyanath Mahto is one of the people named in the FIR. We are investigating the case thoroughly before making more arrests,” deputy superintendent of police (headquarters) Vinod Kumar Sinha said.
Following the incident, an angry mob torched Jagarnath effigy. But the MLA said, “I am not named in the FIR. If my brother’s name is there, he should be arrested. No excuses for the guilty.”
The couple, who hail from the Alargo village within Chandrapura police station limits, had eloped about two weeks ago. Santosh, who worked in Chennai, took the 21-year-old with him and the two informed their parents once they were married.
The girl’s family reportedly lured the couple back to Bokaro on the pretext of hosting a reception for them. But before they could reach Alargo, the family and village elders allegedly took the couple to a “people’s court” on Thursday, which decided that Santosh be beaten to death.
Incidentally, there have been reports in the past of Jagarnath resorting to extra judicial measures, such as tying errant husbands to trees and caning youngsters who molest girls.
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.