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Delhi,

As told by our Political sources, Today, a special CBI court sentenced RJD chief Lalu Prasad to five years in prison and imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh in fodder scam. Lalu, Jagannath Mishra and 43 others were convicted on charges of fradulently withdrawing Rs 37.70 crore from the Chaibasa district treasury. With Thursday’s sentencing, Lalu Prasad becomes the second politician to lose membership of Parliament in line with a Supreme Court ruling. Reacting to the jail term of five years in fodder scam, Lalu’s instant reaction was – “When I have not done any crime, how have I been punished?” The RJD chief asked the question at the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi over video conferencing facility. Judge Pravas Kumar Singh retorted: “You can appeal in the higher court.” Talking to a news channel, Lalu’s wife, Rabri Devi said that the RJD chief did not get justice. She also said that they will appeal in the High Court against the verdict and also go before the people. An agitated former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Joginder Singh says RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav should have been given a life term in jail. He adds that the VIP culture in jails should be curbed. “I think he is getting free boarding and lodging for the next five years. I think the law needs to be changed. And why should my money be spent on a prisoner if he is capable of paying for himself? The law should be changed and the prisoner should be made to pay for his stay in the jail, it is so in America also. And just jail is not enough,” said Singh. RJD workers protest outside Birsa Munda jail in Ranchi, where party chief Lalu Prasad has been lodged. On micro blogging website Twitter, former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Kiran Bedi tweets that Lalu’s five-year jail term and Rs 25 lakh fine imposed on him are not enough. “We must recover proceeds of crime too! Only then crime will stop paying…In Lalu’s crime its known how much he fraudulently withdrew and benefits he has had since. Punishment to be salutary must recover moneys too.” Bedi adds that judiciary needs to set Lalu’s case as an example to deter others that they cannot “enjoy proceeds of crime and trade off with few yrs in jail”. Commenting on Lalu’s five-year jail term, head of Bihar BJP and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said it would be “too early to write obit. It all depends if higher courts give any relief or not”. We’re not demoralized by the sentencing, says RJD’s Ram Kripal Yadav, adding the party expected this right at outset. “Laluji is innocent, he is a victim of political conspiracy. The BJP and Nitish (Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar) are behind this,” said Yadav.

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