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‘We lived in fear’: For Bihar double murder victims’ kin, SC verdict against ex-MP ends 28-year ordeal

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For the families of an 18-year-old looking forward to his wedding and a 48-year-old father of three, the morning of March 25, 1995, signifies great loss and the beginning of a 28-year quest for justice.

The fight for justice culminated on Friday, August 18, with the Supreme Court reversing a trial court’s 2008 acquittal of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former MP Prabhunath Singh in connection with their murder.

Rajendra Rai (18) and Daroga Rai (48) were shot dead by Singh at a polling booth in Bihar’s Panapur, near Chhapra in Saran district, allegedly because they did not vote for him. Singh, who was the sitting MLA of Masrakh constituency at the time, had won the previous election on a Janata Dal ticket and was trying to retain his seat after having joined the newly formed Bihar People’s Party (BPP).

According to the prosecution, Rajendra had said that those who were shot had told Singh and his associates that they had cast their votes for the Janata Dal candidate. After this, “Prabhunath Singh opened fire from his rifle pointing towards the informant (Rajendra) and others and thereafter the car sped away.

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