Former Union Railway Minister Lalit Narayan Mishra’s assassination in a bomb attack at Bihar’s Samastipur Railway station in 1975 remains one of the biggest mysteries to date. Forty-six years since the former Minister’s death, there is still no clarity regarding the true culprits who caused his death.
Now, Lalit Narayan Mishra’s family is seeking a reinvestigation by the CBI into the high-profile case and the former Union Minister’s grandson even approached the Delhi High Court in the matter.
In order to find out the truth behind Lalit Narayan Mishra’s assassination, a Commission of Inquiry headed by Supreme Court Judge Justice KK Mathew was constituted in the year 1975 by the Indira Gandhi government. In its report, the Mathew Commission had accepted the CBI version “in the absence of any plausible alternative.”
The CBI had held four people – Advocate Ranjan Dwivedi and three “Ananda Margis” Santoshananda Avadhuta, Sudevananda Avadhuta and Gopalji in the case. However, in 1977, the Janta government came to power and constituted Justice VM Tarkunde Commission for a fresh report on the matter. The Tarkunde report suggested a bigger conspiracy behind the assassination of Lalit Narayan Mishra.
Present status of the LN Mishra murder case:
In what symbolises the inefficiency and sluggishness of the justice-delivery system, the LN Mishra assassination case is still pending. In 2014, the trial court held Ranjan Dwivedi and the three “Ananda Margis” guilty of murdering the former Union Railway Minister.
The court held that the conspiracy to assassinate LN Mishra was hatched in the year 1973 itself and that the assassination was aimed at pressurising the Indira Gandhi government to release the Anand Margis group’s jailed chief. All four accused were awarded life imprisonment by the trial court.
However, in 2015, the Delhi High Court quashed the trial court verdict, and all four accused were released on bail, as the evidence provided by the CBI in the case couldn’t convince the High Court bench hearing the case. Presently, the Appeal before the High Court is pending as the former Railway Minister LN Mishra awaits justice.
LN Mishra’s family wants a reinvestigation:
Last year, Vaibhav Mishra, the grandson of LN Mishra and an advocate by profession, claimed that the four accused who were convicted by the trial court in 2014 are not the ‘real accused’. He alleged that the real conspirators behind his grandfather’s assassination were politically connected.
Vaibhav Mishra added, “We have filed a representation before the CBI with a demand for re-investigation into the case. The trial court in 2014 had sentenced the accused and in 2015 the accused filed a criminal appeal in Delhi High Court after which they were granted bail and the matter is still pending adjudication.”
Vaibhav Mishra had also said, “Since, the case still remains unsolved and due to plethora of material signalling involvement of greater political powers at that time in the assassination, we have filed the representation before the agency for proper investigation. We are hopeful that this time at least the real accused shall come on record.”
Delhi High Court directions to CBI:
This year, Vaibhav Mishra petitioned the Delhi High Court seeking direction to CBI to reconsider his representation for reinvestigation made in November 2020. In August, the Delhi High Court asked the CBI to consider the representation and intimate the petitioner about the outcome within a period of six weeks.
Forty-six years down the line, the nation ought to know who assassinated LN Mishra, the former Union Railway Minister, so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice.