L N Mishra was the first Cabinet minister to be assassinated in Independent India.
After Monday's judgment, almost 40 years after the murder, the minister's son tells Rediff.com why the government must reveal who really killed his father.
Nearly 40 years after former railways minister Lalit Narayan Mishra, left, was killed in a bomb blast at Samastipur in Bihar, a Delhi court on Monday, December 8, convicted four men of murder and criminal conspiracy.
Following the verdict, Vijay Mishra, the late minister's son, tells M I Khan why he is disappointed with the verdict.
Are you satisfied with the verdict?
The verdict disappointed us because the four people found guilty by the court -- advocate Ranjan Dwivedi, Gopalji, Santoshanand Avadhuta and Sudevananda Avadhuta -- are actually innocent.
We are not happy; we are still waiting for justice.
We never thought it would take 40 years for the verdict in the case of a railway minister who was so popular back then.
The four accused convicted by the court are innocent, I am 100 per cent sure. Innocents have been framed in the case.
I am not blaming or questioning the court because the verdict is on the basis of the chargesheet filed by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). The CBI is known for manipulating such things.
What do you base your views on?
I have been saying this ever since I appeared as a witness in the case years ago.
The Ananda Marg (a religious group) was not behind my father's killing ( the four men convicted in the case belong to the Ananda Marg which was then accused of anti-government activities).
Anand Margis had no reason or cause to go to the extent of eliminating my father. My father was a deeply religious person and a devout Hindu. He used to worship and offer rituals.
Who do you think was involved?
It is for the government and its investigative agencies to come out with the real story and the real people behind the murder of a powerful leader of the country.
Can you recall the incident?
I was only 22 or 23 years old and never dared to talk to my father directly, who was considered close to Mrs Indira Gandhi, the prime minister.
I remember when he was brought to Danapur near Patna (after the blast), hours were lost because of a delayed train, but my father was coherent despite serious injuries.
While he was being taken for an X-ray, he told me, 'Hum theek hain, humko kuch nahin huan hain, Jagannath ko dekho, bahut khun nikla hain' ('I am alright, you look after Jagannath -- he is bleeding profusely' -- referring to his younger brother Jagannath Mishra, who was also injured in the blast, and later became Bihar chief minister twice.)
What do you think should be done now?
The government should order the CBI to re-investigate the case. They should re-investigate the case on the basis of the initial inquiry conducted by the Bihar government following my father's murder.
I have information that the CBI had taken over the case without the recommendation of the Bihar government which was then investigating the case.