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Latest sting victim: Bihar minister
January 03, 2006 23:06 IST
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Ramashray Prasad Singh has been caught on camera allegedly attempting to get preferential treatment for a prisoner in the Beur prison.
A private television channel on Monday showed images of Singh talking to Home Secretary H C Sirohi asking him to move Bhanu Pratap Verma, who was arrested on Saturday along with others in the Bihar Public Service Commission scam, to a hospital and allow him to receive visitors.
While opposition parties clamoured for his resignation for having abused his position, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar defended his cabinet colleague saying he had telephoned the official for extra care for the jailed person purely on humanitarian grounds and that did not smack of any foul play.
Verma, an employee of the BPSC, is handicapped. He was arrested by the vigilance department along with seven others, including BPSC chairman Ram Singhashan Singh in connection with the irregularities committed in a departmental examination conducted by BPSC.
''There is no fault in seeking special care for a sick person even if he is lodged in the prison,'' the chief minister added.
Singh added he had only requested the home commissioner for special care for Verma as he was a handicapped person.
''I am a politician but I also have feelings,'' he said, adding it will be violation of human rights if extra care was not taken to an ailing prisoner.
He accused Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Jatan Sinha of trying to 'fish in troubled waters' out of jealousy for his status and position.
"The chief minister is a very practical person and he will act accordingly in the case. I do not think that any embarrassment was caused to the government due to my act,'' he added.
Singh said the correspondent had visited his house to record his reaction on the sudden demise of the BJP MLA Navin Kishore Prasad Sinha but had kept waiting despite completion of his work.
He said a senior Congressman Om Prakash Lal had called on him requesting extra care for Verma, his brother-in-law.
The correspondent then recorded his telephonic conversation with the home secretary, he said.