Indian MLA freed, accomplice Tiwari sent to judicial custody
BIRATNAGAR, Nov 22: The Morang District Court on Thursday released Indian politician Jakir Miyan, who was arrested in connection with a decade-old abduction case early this month, on condition that he will appear in the court for the next hearing.
Immediately after being released by the court, Miyan, a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) in the Indian state of Bihar, headed for Jogbani. Miyan, flanked by supporters, left the court premises in a vehicle bearing Indian number plate.
However, the court sent Bhola Shankar Tiwari, Miyan´s accomplice, to judicial custody. Tiwari was sent to a jail in Hatkhola, Biratnagar following the court´s order. Tiwari, along with Miyan, was arrested by the Nepal police in Jhapa on November 9.
Miyan and Tiwari are among the 10 people accused of kidnapping Tulasi Agrawal, a Biratnagar-based businessman. Agrawal, who belongs to Vishal Group, was kidnapped on January 26, 2002 when he was jogging along Malaya road of Biratnagar. He was freed 41 days later after his family reportedly paid a ransom of over Rs 30 million. Later, Jagdish Chandra Agrawal, one of the victim´s brothers, had lodged a complaint at District Police Office, Morang, accusing Miyan and Tiwari, among others.
One of the 10 accused, Pappu Dev Bhumihar, has already been sentenced to 10 years in jail. Bhumihar, against whom the Morang district court handed down jail sentence in 2006, is now in a prison in Palpa district. Umesh Giri, another accused, was acquitted by the district and the appellate court. Giri´s case is now sub-judice at the Supreme Court (SC). Four of the accused, including Giri, are Nepali nationals.
Those lawyers who pleaded on behalf of Miyan, a leader of Lok Janshakti Party led by Rambilash Paswan, in the Morang District Court had claimed that their client was innocent as he was in a jail in Bihar when Agrawal was kidnapped in Biratnagar.
The district court judge Chandi Raj Dhakal granted Miyan a normal court date as public prosecutors failed to prove that Miyan was involved in Agrawal´s kidnapping. However, Tiwari was sent to judicial custody as his lawyers failed to produce any evidence that could show his innocence.
Miyan, whom the Nepali police had been looking for, was arrested, along with Tiwari, when he entered Nepal to meet his relatives in Kakadvitta of Jhapa. Miyan´s arrest had led his party cadres to stage demonstrations in Jogbani early this month.
Tiwari to face jail term
Meanwhile, the District Police Office of Morang has stated that Tiwari will face a five-year jail term on the charge of shooting a policeman on duty in Biratnagar. According to Uma Prasad Chaturbedi, spokesperson for the Morang police, Tiwari had shot at policeman Bholanath Luintel at Rani of Biratnagar on December 17, 2000. Tiwari was sent to five years in jail by the Biratnagar Appellate Court. But, he had been absconding ever since.