Lalit Narayan Mishra

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Lalit Narayan Mishra (February 2, 1923 – January 3, 1975) was Minister of Railways in the government of India from 1973 to 1975. He was brought into politics by the first Chief Minister of Bihar, Krishna Sinha, when he was made parliamentary secretary at his insistence to the First Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.[1] In 1975, he died in a bomb blast at Samastipur railway station. The court case in was delayed for years and was finally completed in December 2014.

Early life[edit]

Lalit Narayan Mishra was born on Basant Panchmi in 1922 at Basanpatti in Saharsa District of Bihar. He did his MA in economics from Patna University in 1948. The young Mishra held nationalists Sri Krishna Sinha and Anugrah Narayan Sinha in high esteem.[2] He married Kameshwari Devi and had two daughters and four sons, including politicianVijay Kumar Mishra.

Political career[edit]

Mishra joined the Indian National Congress party and was a member of the first, second Lok Sabha and 5th Lok Sabha. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1964 to 1966 then in 1966 to 1972. He held various posts in the party and government. He was Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Labour and Employment (1957–60), Deputy Minister for Home Affairs (1964–66), Deputy Finance Minister (1966–67), Minister of State for Defence Production (1967–70). From 1970 till February 4, 1973 he was Minister of Foreign Trade. On 5 February 1973 he was made Cabinet Minister of Railways by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

As a Minister of Foreign Trade, he was one of the first to recognize the potential of the former Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh and appointed him as his adviser at the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Their first meeting happened coincidentally on an India-US-Chile flight.[3] Mr. Mishra the minister for commerce (then called minister for foreign trade) was on his way to Santiago, Chile, to attend a meeting of UNCTAD.[3]

Assassination[edit]

As Minister of Railways, he visited Samastipur on 2 January 1975 to declare open Samastipur-Muzaffarpur broad gauge railway line. A bomb explosion on the dais, seriously injured him. He was rushed to the railway hospital at Danapur where he died next day.

Investigation and trial[edit]

Indira Gandhi blamed "foreign elements" for the murder, probably referring to the CIA.[4] His brother Jaganath Mishra refutes the claim that his LN Mishra or Indira Gandhi had received any bribe from the KGB as alleged in the Mitrokhin Archives; the Congress Party describes the book as "pure sensationalism and vague".[5][6] On 26 July 2012, the Supreme Court stated that it will go into the causes of delay as even after 33 years, the trial is yet to conclude in the session court.[7] As of July 2013, the 27-year-old man accused of the murder is now an ailing 65. Of the 39 witnesses he cited to prove his innocence, 31 have died. More than 20 different judges have heard his case over the years, supposedly on a day-by-day basis.[8] After 39 years of trial, On 8 Dec 2014 four men accused of his murder have been found guilty by a Delhi court. A fifth accused in the case has died.[9] Three Ananda Marga followers Santoshanand, Sudevanand and Gopalji along with advocate Ranjan Dwivedi were held guilty of murdering Mishra and two others. They were sentenced to life imprisonment by distict judge and were fined amount ranging from Rs 25,000 and Rs 20,000. The court noted that Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, the religious leader of Ananda Marga, was jailed following his accusations in a murder case so his followers murdered Mishra to build pressure on Indira Gandhi government to release Sarkar. Sarkar was later acquitted. The court also noted that the six Ananda Marga followers met at a village in Bhagalpur district, Bihar and planned the conspiracy in 1973.[10]

Legacy[edit]

A university, Lalit Narayan Mithila University, MBA institutes, L N Mishra Institute of Economic development and Social Changes, L N Mishra Institute of Business Management in Bihar is named after him. A railway Hospital in Gorakhpur, UP is named after him. The Government of India issued a postage stamp in his memory.

Family[edit]

Many of Mishra's family members are involved in public service and one of them is renowned media personality. Mishra's son Vijay Kumar Mishra is a MLC of Jatna Dal United in Bihar. Mishra's younger brother Jagannath Mishra has been Chief Minister of Bihar for three terms. His nephew Nitish Mishra is a cabinet minister in Bihar. His another nephew Rajiv Mishra is managing Lok Sabha TV as CEO and hosts weekly show "Special Guest" on LSTV. Rishi Mishra, his grandson has been elected as an MLA in recently held by election 2014 in Bihar.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pranava K Chaudhary (2009-06-01). "Prez releases book on Nehru, Sri Babu letters". The Times of India. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  2. ^ LN MISHRA Commemorative Volume:1978 (2012-03-01). "LN MISHRA Commemoration Volume". Google Books. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  3. ^ a b Speaking softly & making it stick
  4. ^ Indira's India and the KGB http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article567013.ece Indira's India and the KGB.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Sudhi Rajan Sen. "Timeless mystery". The Indian Express Ltd. 
  6. ^ PTI (2005-09-18). "Allegations in Mitrokhin Archives vague: Congress". Rediff News. Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  7. ^ Venkatesan, J. (27 July 2012). "Supreme Court to go into delay after 1991 in L.N. Mishra murder case". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  8. ^ SA Aiyar (17 July 2013). "Without quick justice, politics will stay criminalized". The Times Of India. 
  9. ^ http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/former-union-minister-l-n-mishra-gets-justice-39-years-after-his-murder-631563
  10. ^ "L N Mishra case: Four convicts awarded life sentence". Business Standard. PTI. Dec 18, 2014. Retrieved Dec 18, 2014. 

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