Lalu govt’s promises remained on paper, says slain MLA’s wife – Times of India

Better late than never, says a visibly relieved Chandni Devi, wife of slain MLA Ashok Singh a day after a Hazaribagh court on Thursday convicted criminal-turned-politico Prabhunath Singh of murdering her hisband in 1995, just five years after her marriage. “My husband’s brother Tarkeshwar Singh and Prabhunath’s patron RJD chief Lalu Prasad also contributed to making life hell for me and my small children,” the mother of two sons told TOI’s Piyush Kumar Tripathi at her tenanted accommodation at Rajeev Nagar in Patna on Friday. Excerpts:

You were an eyewitness to the murder on July 3 22 years ago. What happened exactly?

It was around 7.20pm. We were readying at our 5, Strand Road official residence in Patna to leave for Masrakh (Saran), our village. My husband was with us on the first floor when contractor Kameshwar Singh along with three others came to meet him. He sat with them in the lawn and offered them sweets and tea. A few minutes later, he asked his bodyguard Rustam Khan to get water for the guests. As Rustam went inside, two assailants entered the lawn and one of them lobbed a crude bomb at my husband’s face. My husband and one Anil Kumar Singh, son of the then BDO of Maharajganj, died.

Why did Prabhunath get your husband killed?

My husband earlier helped Prabhunath win two consecutive elections from Masrakh assembly constituency in 1985 and 1990. He parted ways with Prabhunath as he used to oppress the poor and downtrodden. My husband defeated Prabhunath in the 1995 assembly election in Masrakh. Prabhunath went to town, saying bypolls would be held within 90 days. That’s why he got my husband killed.

The then CM, Lalu Prasad, called on you at PMCH after the murder. His government must have supported you…

Lalu assured me that the government would bear the education expenses of my sons, who were of 30 and 42 months then. We were also assured of a home and other aids, but the promises were never fulfilled. Only, I was allotted a municipal shop in Siwan. I have lived in this rented house at Patna for the last 15 years and struggled with odds to raise my sons. My younger son is sitting idle for two years as I could not arrange money for him to do MBA after his graduation from the University of Delhi. His elder brother is a BTech, wishing to do MTech now.

But your husband’s brother Tarkeshwar Singh, a former MLA, must have helped you…

Rather Tarkeshwar made life difficult for me. When I joined the fray as an independent in the Masrakh bypolls in 1996, Tarkeshwar threw his hat in the ring as a candidate of now-defunct Bihar People’s Party, floated by jailed ex-MP Anand Mohan. He won. He also played a role to ensure denial of JD (U) ticket to me from Masrakh in the 2010 and 2015 elections. He even sold off the municipal shop allotted to me as compensation.

Now that Prabhunath has been convicted, what next?

Prabhunath tried his best to weaken the prosecution’s case. I want at least life term, if not the gallows, for him as a punishment for making me a widow and snatching from my sons their father.

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