Patna: Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad`s private secretary during 1990-96 and his partner in crime in the fodder scam has continued to dodge the CBI for 17 years, even though he was seen reportedly "enjoying life" in Dehradun in Uttarakhand state.
Lalu Prasad is among the 45 people convicted Sep 30 in a fodder scam case by a special CBI court in Ranchi. His secretary Mukul Kishore Kapoor disappeared after the scam was unearthed.
"Mukul knew more than anyone as he was considered the eyes and ears of Lalu Prasad. But he disappeared soon after fodder scam surfaced. It was Mukul who reportedly kept all accounts of huge amount of the fodder scam (money)," said a senior police official here. He had assisted the Central Bureau of Investigation in arresting Lalu Prasad, other leaders and senior IAS and animal husbandry department officers in the case.
"Mukul`s arrest could reveal more about fodder scam. After all, he was powerful and second to Lalu till mid-90s in Bihar. Everything used to pass through him before (reaching) Lalu then," a senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer said.
But the CBI failed to trace Mukul for 17 long years, despite several search operations.
Lalu Prasad`s rivals repeatedly said Mukul was forced to disappear to protect the RJD chief.
"Mukul was asked to go underground and live a life away from the limelight because his arrest would create more trouble for Lalu," state Bharatiya Janata Party leader Nitin Navin said.
Sources close to Mukul and relatives of his estranged wife said that Mukul is alive and living in Dehradun in Uttarakhand for over a decade now.
"Mukul is healthy and enjoying life. We fail to understand why the CBI failed to arrest him in connection with fodder scam," a source said.
Last year, the Bihar government put in advertisements in newspapers asking Mukul to return the money he had borrowed for a foreign trip with Lalu Prasad. He has not returned it.
It was widely reported that Mukul "surfaced" in Patna over a year ago to buy two flats in an apartments building here.