Prime sus­pect in Bi­har jour­nal­ist’s killing sur­ren­ders

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Av­inash Ku­mar let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

PATNA: Azharud­dim Beg alias Lad­dan Mian, the prime sus­pect and con­spir­a­tor in the killing of Si­wan jour­nal­ist Ra­jdeo Ran­jan, sur­ren­dered be­fore po­lice on Thurs­day morn­ing.

Lad­dan, who had been elud­ing cap­ture since the mur­der took place on May 13, was forced to sur­ren­der as po­lice sealed district bor­ders and in­ten­si­fied their man­hunt, Si­wan su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice Sau­rabh Ku­mar Sah said.

Se­nior jour­nal­ist Ran­jan was shot dead last month at close range near the Si­wan railway sta­tion. The 42- year- old was the bureau chief of Hindi daily Hin­dus­tan, a sis­ter con­cern of Hin­dus­tan Times.

Lad­dan, who had been re­leased from Si­wan jail 15 days be­fore Ran­jan’s mur­der, fled from Si­wan with his fam­ily just two hours af­ter the crime. He is con­sid­ered to be a close aide of for­mer Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP, Mo­ham­mad Sha­habud­din, who is cur­rently serv­ing a life sen­tence for the ab­duc­tion and mur­der of two peo­ple in 2004.

Sha­habud­din, who was ear­lier lodged in Si­wan jail, was shifted to Bha­galpur cen­tral prison af­ter sub­tle links con­nected him to the case. In­ves­ti­ga­tions in­di­cated that kill or­ders for Ran­jan had come from in­side Si­wan jail. Po­lice claimed they ar­rested 10 of 20 peo­ple close to Lad­dan who knew of the mur­der con­spir­acy.

Ear­lier, raids were con­ducted across sev­eral dis­tricts in Bi­har and the neigh­bour­ing Ut­tar Pradesh to nab Lad­dan. When they pro­duce him in court, po­lice in­tend to plead for a 15-day re­mand to in­ter­ro­gate Lad­dan and cor­rob­o­rate ev­i­dence.

CON­TIN­UED ON P9

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