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Jitan Ram Manjhi's Party Linked With Bihar Engineers' Murder Accused


Ruling Janata Dal-United and Rashtriya Janata Dal today attacked the former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, linking his party with the couple arrested yesterday on charges of conspiring in the killing of two engineers at Darbhanga.

Baheri block head Munni Devi and her husband Sanjay Laldeo, arrested from outside Laheriasarai railway station today in connection with the December 26 killing of two engineers, featured prominently on the posters of Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), an ally of BJP, along with him, JD(U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar told reporters. He claimed that Munni Devi, sister of jailed gangster Santosh Jha, had even tried for a ticket from HAM(S) in the recently held Assembly elections.

Neeraj Kumar, an MLC, urged state police chief P K Thakur to probe this "linkage and political patronage" provided to criminals to tarnish image of the Nitish Kumar ministry. RJD spokesman Mundrika Singh Yadav said the appearance of the lady and her husband in HAM(S) posters with Manjhi has revealed the "hidden face of people encouraging criminals." "Plans are being hatched systematically to tarnish the image of the secular government in the state," he said.

Mr Manjhi, however, said it is not possible for him to know background of everyone coming in a political meeting. In a statement, he said several people come in political meetings and honour leaders on the dais. "How does one know about personal life and background of someone in such a situation?" he asked in the statement. He denied JD(U)'s allegation of sitting on dharna at Darbhanga in the past with the accused woman and her husband.

"I staged no dharna in Darbhanga. So the question of Munni Devi participating in the dharna does not arise," the HAM(S) chief said.

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