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The Hindu
The Hindu
Amarnath Tewary

Anand Mohan goes incommunicado after release from jail

In the wee hours of April 27, gangster-turned-politician Anand Mohan walked out from Saharsa jail after 15 years, nine months and 25 days. He was released on remission for his “good conduct” in prison. However, a case lodged against him at Saharsa Sadar (town) police station in October 2021 said prohibited items like mobile phones, SIM cards and chargers were seized from his prison ward during a raid in the jail.

Mohan himself has gone incommunicado after his release, and his whereabouts could not be traced. His children — son Chetan Anand who is a Rashtriya Janata Dal MLA and daughter Surabhi Anand — did make a brief visit to their ancestral village Panchgachhia in Saharsa where people had gathered in large number to welcome Mohan on Thursday. But he was not spotted.

Avoiding media

Sources close to the family said he wanted to avoid the media so he chose to go straight to Dehradun, where his son’s marriage has been fixed. Mohan was on a two-week parole from jail — his third in the last six months — to attend his son’s engagement. “He did not want to create more buzz while speaking to media on his release, so he might have gone straight to Dehradun for his son’s marriage ceremony,” said a close aide.

Claims not right

However, the claims by several ruling party leaders that Mohan’s “good conduct” in jail was the reason for his remission and release from jail seem inflated. During the raid, conducted by the district administration in his prison ward of J.P. Block inside Saharsa jail on October 23, 2021, four mobile phones, some SIM cards and chargers were seized.

At that time Mohan was serving a life term inside ward number 1 since 2007 following his conviction in the murder case of IAS officer and the then District Magistrate of Gopalganj G. Krishnaiah on December 5, 1994.

The raid was conducted by the then District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police in Saharsa and later jail superintendent Suresh Chaudhary. However, Mr. Chaudhary was transferred from Saharsa jail after the raid.

On April 27, when Bihar Chief Secretary Amir Subhani defended Mohan’s release from jail and said it was “done under the standing normal procedure,” he expressed ignorance about the FIR lodged against him. “I’ve no information,” he had said.

“Doesn’t it sound ironical when the Chief Secretary of a State holding a press conference on the release of a prisoner like Mohan says he has no idea of an FIR lodged against him in 2021 for keeping prohibited items inside his jail ward?”, asked a senior bureaucrat of the State who preferred not to be named. “It’s ridiculous”, he added.

PILs filed

Meanwhile, three PILs have been filed in Patna High Court challenging the release of Mohan after the tweaking of Bihar Prison Manual, 2021. Apart from the Central IAS Association, units from Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand have expressed their dismay and concern over Mohan’s release.

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