Patna: The CBI will take over probe in the murder of Bihar journalist Rajdeo Ranjan who was killed in Siwan in May this year.
CBI sources said a team will soon leave for Siwan after a case is registered by it in the murder of the Siwan bureau chief of 'Hindustan'.
RJD strongman Mohammad Shahabuddin, who was recently released on bail, was under the scanner of investigation agencies in the case, they said.
Bihar had transferred the case to CBI. The agency is now all set to register an FIR under the charges of criminal conspiracy and murder, the sources said.
The state government had issued a notification requesting the CBI to take over the investigation of the murder case, a demand made by the kin of the journalist.
"In exercise of the powers conferred under section 6 of Delhi Police Establishment Act 1946 (Act 25 of 1946), the Governor of Bihar is pleased to accord his consent to exercise of powers and jurisdiction to the whole of Bihar to the members of Delhi Special Police Establishment to investigate/ supervise and inquire into the Siwan Town P.S. Case No. 362/16, dated May 13, 2016 u/s 302/120 (B)/34 IPC and 27 Arms Act which is related to murder of reporter Rajdev Ranjan," the notification issued by Bihar home department had read.
Meanwhile, a major controversy erupted in Bihar on Wednesday after the surfacing of a photograph of an absconding accused in the murder of journalist with RJD chief Lalu Prasad's son and Health minister Tej Pratap Yadav.
Yadav, however, dismissed the charge and feigned ignorance about the suspect, Mohammad Kaif.
TV channels flashed photograph of Kaif with Yadav which went viral on social media.
Yesterday Kaif was seen in photographs and videos standing beside RJD strongman Mohammad Shahabuddin after his release from Bhagalpur jail on September 10.
Appearance of Pratap in the same frame with Kaif drew severe criticism from BJP.
Kaif and Mohammad Javed, another absconding suspect in the murder of the scribe at Siwan in May, were shown in the same frame with Shahabuddin after his release attracting sharp criticism of the state government.
Following the surfacing of his photo with Kaif, the health minister told reporters that thousands of supporters and people meet him everyday and click photograph with him and it was not possible for him to know their background.
"How would I know who is a shooter from among 1,000 people who click photo with me?" Yadav said.
Yadav, who is elder son of RJD President Lalu Prasad, alleged that BJP was behind the controversy. "It is a conspiracy of opposition BJP. They bring some photograph from somewhere and make some false allegations."
His younger brother and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav jumped to his defence.
"Is it written on somebody's forehead what he is?" he said on the photograph of Kaif with Tej Pratap Yadav.
"Does Prime Minister Narendra Modi verify the background of everybody he shares dais in a function or meet?" he said in a counter-offensive against BJP.
Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly Prem Kumar used the opportunity to attack the state government, saying this reflected the state giving shelter to criminals.
Meanwhile, Siwan Police said their were looking for Kaif and Mohammad Javed, who have been absconding in connection with the killing of the scribe of a Hindi vernacular on May 9 this year.
"We are conducting raids at their residences and other known whereabouts, but so far no success has been achieved," Siwan Superintendent of Police Saurav Kumar Sah told PTI.
Asked about photograph shown today of Kaif with minister Tej Pratap Yadav, the SP said, "Such things does not come under our domain. Our focus is to search for the absconders in the murder of the journalist."
Tejaswi Yadav said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photograph had appeared with jailed religious leader Asaram Bapu... Did Modi resign?"
He was reacting to a question that should Tej Pratap resign after the surfacing of a photo of him and absconding shooter Mohammad Kaif.
"We go to public platforms where it's not written on people's foreheads what somebody is," Yadav said.
To a barrage of questions on former RJD MP, he posed a counter question to mediapersons as to what good the debate on Shahabuddin would do to citizens of Bihar.
(With PTI inputs)