There is a common refrain in Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad’s family that the leader may be killed in prison while serving the multiple jail terms in fodder scam cases.
Lalu’s wife Rabri Devi, who has also been Bihar chief minister, is issuing repeated statements and videos in this regard, alleging that there is threat to her jailed husband from the government.
According to Rabri, her husband could be poisoned by the ruling BJP-led Union Government which wants to get rid of him.
Lalu is lodged at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi where there are imposing restrictions on his food and people whom he can meet, she says.
Although Rabri’s fears may be lost in the strings of allegations and counter-allegations in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, but leaders in alliance with RJD say the apprehensions aren’t unfounded.
Convicted in several fodder scam cases, Lalu has been serving jail terms in RIM’s prisoners’ ward while undergoing treatment for multiple ailments since December 2017.
The latest trigger to Rabri’s unrest was the ban imposed by Jharkhand jail authorities on the scheduled weekly meeting of Lalu with his family and friends on April 20.
Lalu has always been allowed to meet family and acquaintances in the ward every Saturday.
Earlier, Lalu’s younger son and opposition leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav was not granted a meeting when he went to Ranchi from Patna on April 6.
Even on the intervening night of the New Year 2019, the police personnel keeping guard of the camp jail at RIMS did not allow anyone to take water or food to Lalu.
One of the doctors attending on Lalu confided that he was left hungry and thirsty since December 31 night till the noon of January 1, until a doctor took water and food to him to the discomfiture of the jail personnel.
“How could I allow my patient, who was on high dose of antibiotics, left to die without water and food. Police personnel insisted against taking water bottles and food inside, and also took my snaps on their mobiles. But, I did my professional duty,” the doctor said, pleading anonymity.
Lalu’s family also allege that the jail authorities are planning to shift him to the upper floor of the hospital ward with a view to restricting his movement.
Currently, Lalu’s hospital bed is on the first floor, where he can walk in corridors connected to another ward equipped with modern amenities.
“The BJP government wants to kill Lalu ji by poisoning him in the hospital. If the Centre as well as the state governments of Bihar and Jharkhand want to kill him, if they want to kill the entire family of Lalu Prasad, they can do so, but their dictatorship will not be accepted,” Rabri Devi said in a recent video.
The question thus arises why would Rabri accuse the BJP of poisoning her husband and RJD chief? BJP, on its part, has refuted any such conspiracy.
by Madhu Mishra