1998 Sitamarhi case: Court awards 10 year jail to BJP MLA, two former MPs

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A Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, two former members of Parliament and 11 other people were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment by a Bihar court today. All the men were found guilty in a 17-year-old case of arson and police firing that had left five men dead in Bihar’s Sitamarhi.

Ram Naresh Yadav, the BJP MLA from Parihar, and former MPs Md Anwarul Haque and Naval Kishore Rai were among those who were given rigorous imprisonment of 10 years. Also, the bodyguard of Naval Kishore Rai, during the time of the incident, was sentenced of five years in prison.

The then MLA of Pupri, Ram Charitra Rai, and four others had died in police firing after protesters demonstrating outside the Sitamarhi collectorate against alleged anomalies in flood relief distribution went on a rampage.

According to reports, District Magistrate of Sitamarhi, Ram Nandan Prasad, Superintendent of Police Paresh Saxena and 22 more government employees were wounded in the incident. The protest was organized Naval Kishore Rai.

The verdict means an end to MLA Yadav’s assembly membership. This is probably for the first time in Bihar, that an elective representative will lose his seat following conviction in a criminal case.

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