India's mafia don-turned-politician gets life for murder of ex-lawmaker

India's mafia don-turned-politician gets life for murder of ex-lawmaker
D.P. Yadav

Mafia don-turned-politician D.P. Yadav was on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment by a CBI court for his involvement in the murder of former Dadri legislator Mahendra Singh Bhati.

Yadav surrendered to the court Monday but excused himself from the court proceedings on Tuesday, citing ill health.

Yadav's three aides Pal Singh, Pranit Bhatti and Karan, who also surrendered on February 28, have been convicted as well and sentenced for life in the same case.

The court also imposed fines varying from Rs.45,000 to Rs.1.17 lakh on the convicts.

Three other convicts in the case were present in the courtroom when the sentence was pronounced.

Prior to his surrender, Yadav had tried to evade the court hearing on medical ground. But after announcing him guilty, the court asked the CBI, which has probed the murder, to arrest and bring him before the court.

The Central Bureau of Investigations conducted three raids at his Ghaziabad residence but could not trace him. Yadav surrendered in the trial court on Monday.

Bhati was peppered with bullets in broad daylight in what was believed to be a part of the gang wars in the western Uttar Pradesh.

After initial probe into the murder, the case was recommended for a CBI probe. The premiere investigative agency took up the case on September 10, 1993.

Yadav began his formative political innings under former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav but later parted ways with him.

He was also in the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and also was a member of the BJP for a day, before being fired after a media furore on his entry in the party that claimed to be "different".

Yadav has been a member of the state assembly four times from Sahaswan and Bulandshahr in western UP and also served as an MP, both in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. His son Vikas Yadav was convicted of the murder of Nitish Katara, a bureaucrat's son, and is currently in jail.

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