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Conclude probe into murder of Bihar journalist in three months: Supreme Court tells CBI

The apex court said that none of the accused, including RJD leader Mohammad Shahabuddin, could seek bail in the case.

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to complete its probe into the murder of Bihar journalist Rajdev Ranjan in three months, PTI reported. The court further said that none of those accused, including Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Mohammad Shahabuddin, could seek bail because the police has yet to file the chargesheet in the case.

A bench of justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy also demanded an explanation from a sessions court in Siwan, Bihar, on why two other accused – Mohammad Javed and Mohammad Kaif – were not declared proclaimed offenders after they were publicly seen with Bihar Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav and Shahabuddin. The court also sought replies from the Bihar government, Yadav and Shahabuddin on a petition filed by Ranjan’s wife Asha seeking a transfer of the case from Siwan to Delhi. Asha, in her petition, had alleged that the CBI had not begun its investigation because of “political influence” and “fear of Shahabuddin”.

On September 23, Yadav was issued a notice for allegedly protecting Kaif, accused of shooting Ranjan on May 13. The journalist was shot dead from close range by bike-borne assailants near Siwan railway station. The police had said that it appeared to be the job of a professional shooter, given Ranjan was shot straight through the temple. Ranjan had covered many criminal cases against Shahabuddin. Kaif surrendered before a court on September 21 in connection with a different case.

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