With his one hand in handcuffs, jailed JD-U leader Munna Shukla, who allegedly demanded Rs 2 crore from a private engineering college for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's rally, on Friday distributed leaflets in court premises appealing to people to participate in the event.
As Shukla's controversial action raised questions, a sub-inspector and five constables were later suspended for dereliction of duty for not stopping him after he was produced in handcuffs in a court in connection with the case of murder of former RJD minister Brij Bihari Singh.
The suspension was ordered by Muzaffarpur Senior Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar.
Shukla rejected as a conspiracy the allegation of making the demand. The "Adhikar" rally is scheduled to be held in Patna on November 4.
"It's a conspiracy. I have asked for votes and blessings of people for elections and never indulged in extortion from anyone," he told reporters in the premises of the fast track court.
A former legislator and husband of Annu Shukla, the JD-U MLA from Lalganj, Shukla distributed leaflets with an appeal to people to take part in the ruling JD-U's rally in large numbers.
Shukla, who is at present in the Khudiram Bose Central Jail in connection with the murder case, is alleged to have called the director of a private engineering college Santlal Yadav twice on his mobile from inside the jail demanding Rs two crore for the rally seeking special status for Bihar.
The police have confirmed that phone calls were made on the cellphone of the college director from two mobiles mentioned in the FIR.
The Prison Department yesterday suspended the head warden of the Muzaffarpur jail and a recommendation was made for dismissal of a Special Armed Police official after recovery of mobile phones from Shukla's cell.
The complaint of extortion in the name of rally kicked off a political storm with opposition RJD, LJP and Left targeting the Nitish Kumar government. The chief minister has assured action in the extortion case.
Hoardings with Shukla's photos in the state capital in which he appealed to people to attend the Adhikar rally in huge numbers have been removed.