Days after Mohammad Kaif, the sharpshooter who is one of the accused in the murder of a senior journalist Rajdev Ranjan in May this year, was spotted with don-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin, a picture went viral on Wednesday in which he can be seen with RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap.
The photograph which went viral on social media seems to have increased the trouble for the ruling grand alliance, which is already facing flak after the release of former RJD MP Shahabuddin from Bhagalpur jail.
The accused, Mohammad Kaif alias Bunty, who has been on a run after Rajdev Ranjan’s muder, was last week spotted with Shahbuddin right after he stepped out of Bhagalpur jail on bail.
In the photograph, Kaif, who is said to be an associate of Shahbuddin, can be seen offering flowers to State Health Minister Tej Pratap.
The photograph went viral a day after Siwan SP Saurabh Sah said that the police have taken note of photographs of Kaif in newspapers and video footage in the carcade of Shahabuddin from Bhagalpur to Siwan and a hectic search is on for him.
Tej Pratap, however, dismissed the controversy saying that he has nothing to do with the photograph and blamed RSS and BJP for plotting a conspiracy against him.
On the other hand, Kaif came before the media on Wednesday and denied his involvement in the killing of the scribe and claimed that the journo was in fact very close him.
“We (myself and Rajdeo bhaiya) started a cricket academy. I am a cricketer, I train boys. This accusation (murder of Rajdeo Ranjan) is false,” he said. Kaif also showed a photograph of a function in which he was standing close to Rajdeo to prove his proximity to the slain journalist.
When quizzed about his appearance, which has created furore in the state politics, he said, “I wanted to come into politics. I went as a supporter, I had even asked my lawyer for advice before I went there. I will speak to my lawyer and proceed accordingly. Siwan public, journalists know that I am not a criminal.”
46-year-old Rajdev, the Siwan bureau chief with Hindi daily Hindustan, was shot dead on May 13 while returning home from office. He had covered crime and court reports relating to Shahabuddin.
Though the five accused nabbed earlier have reportedly confessed that they shot Rajdev at Laddan Mian’s behest, Siwan Police have not yet been able to establish Shahabuddin's links with the murder. Mian is said to have close links with Shahabuddin.