PATNA: When a school boy over took his SUV late at night in May last year, Rocky Yadav was allegedly so enraged that he shot the young driver dead.
Today, a court in Gaya in Bihar will decide if Rocky Yadav, whose mother was a politician with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s party at the time of the shooting, is guilty of murder.
“It has been a grueling 16 months, waiting for justice,” said the victim’s mother, Chanda Sachdeva.
Rocky Yadav (real name Rakesh Ranjan), who was driving a Range Rover accompanied by a bodyguard, has denied any wrongdoing though the police originally claimed he had confessed to the killing. His mother, Manorama Devi, has been suspended by the Chief Minister from their party, the Janata Dal United. His father, a powerful businessman named Bindi Yadav, is accused of destroying evidence to shield Rocky Yadav.
Aditya Sachdeva, 19, was driving home with four friends after a night out to celebrate the end of their Class 12 exams when he was killed. He died immediately. Through the trial, his family has alleged that his mother’s political reach will influence the outcome.
Their fears were not unfounded. The four friends who were driving with Aditya Sachdeva in his father’s Maruti Swift turned hostile in court after originally indicting Rocky Yadav in statements to the police, claiming that he first beat up Aditya Sachdeva. Rocky Yadav’s bodyguard, Rajesh Kumar, who is also an accused in the murder, said he asked “Don’t you know who I am?” before shooting at Aditya Sachdev. But he later retracted his statement in court.
The case against the 22-year-old rests heavily on the pistol recovered from the location of the crime that was allegedly worth 10 lakhs and was licensed to him.
For two days after the shooting, Rocky Yadav went missing; his mother said she did not know where he was; he was later found hiding in a factory owned by his father. He was briefly granted bail but after the Patna government opposed this in the Supreme Court, claiming it would allow him to influence witnesses, he was returned to prison.