Radhe Choudhary (75) pointed to a solar light outside his house at Hakkamgaon village on the outskirts of Siwan. His son, journalist Rajdev Ranjan, had helped install the light by bringing villagers’ problems to the notice of the local administration. Choudhary, a watchmaker who had to stop working because of failing eyesight, said: “Rajdev, my second son, was the light of the family. Jo the mere ghar me wahi the. Mere do aur beten meri hi tarah ghadisaaj hai (Rajdev was the pride of the house. My two other sons are watchmakers like me”.
Choudhary, who built a pucca house with his hard-earned savings, says everyone knows the killer of his son, but he would not name him for fear of reprisal. “No police team has come asking about our well-being. We could be targeted too. My son was doing his job and did not have any enemies. What will happen to my grandson and granddaughter now,” he asks.
He folded hands as BJP leaders Sushil Kumar Modi, Prem Kumar and Mangal Pandey visited their residence. The BJP leaders backed the family’s demand for a CBI probe into the murder and a compensation of Rs 25 lakh.
Inside, Ranjan’s wife Asha Devi wailed. Ashish (15), who is awaiting his Class X results, and Sakshi (7), a Class III student, sobbed by her side.
Asha is a teacher at a village primary school. The couple had planned a party at their Mahadeva Mission Compound home Saturday to mark their 17th wedding anniversary. Ranjan had built the house, barely 2 km from Hakkamgaon, three years ago.
The joint family owns less than a bigha of agricultural land.
Ranjan held a postgraduate degree in Political Science and a a Bachelor’s degree in law. “He always wanted to be a journalist. While his brothers learnt repairing watches from me, he would read newspapers and tell me about his passion,” said Choudhary.
Ranjan’s elder brother Kalicharan, who has a watch shop, said: “Everyone can guess who the killer is, but who can name him? Let there be a CBI probe. We have little trust in the Grand Alliance government”.
Sushil Kumar Modi said: “While there are enough signs that jungle raj has returned, Nitish Kumar has been frequently travelling with his prohibition mission. He calls for an RSS-free India, but does he want a crime-infested Bihar?”