Slain scribe's wife seeks justice from Nitish

Patna: The wife of slain journalist Rajdeo Ranjan on Wednesday urged Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to provide her justice following the release of former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin from jail. Asha Ranjan, addressing media persons here, said her family was experiencing "sleepless nights" ever since Shahabuddin, allegedly involved in Ranjan's killing, was released on bail on September 10 by the Patna High Court. Asha, a contractual teacher in a government-run school in Siwan, said she feared for her family in the backdrop of the alleged shooter, Mohammad Kaif, being seen accompanying Shahabuddin at his release. In an impassioned appeal to Nitish Kumar, she said: "Shahabuddin was released on bail. He is out of jail, I and my family are living under the shadow of fear."  She told the Chief Minister: "You cannot fathom how we go through sleepless nights. Only four months back I lost my husband, now anything can happen. There is a threat to my family." Asha said that she felt intimidated ever since the main accused and sharp shooter Kaif was seen with Shahabuddin. Kaif's picture with the RJD leader had gone viral on social media. "Shahabuddin should be interrogated by top police officials in connection with the murder, and action should be taken against him," Asha said. She said mere assurances by the central and state governments were not enough.  "Why has the CBI not started a probe," she asked. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had alleged Shahabuddin's involvement in the killing of Rajdeo Ranjan. Police in Siwan had said that Ranjan's killing was part of a pre-planned conspiracy. The state government had constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising two Deputy Superintendents of Police, three Inspectors and five Sub-Inspectors to trace the killers. The Bihar government had already recommended a CBI probe into the killing. Ranjan was the Siwan Bureau Chief of Hindi newspaper Hindustan, which is part of the Hindustan Times Media company. He was shot dead in May at a busy market place near Station Road in Siwan, 145 km from state capital Patna.