Ex-MP Shahabuddin gets life term for chilling murders

Siwan (Bihar), Dec 11 (IANS) A Bihar court on Friday sentenced former MP Mohammad Shahabuddin and three others to life imprisonment for dousing two brothers in acid and then murdering them 11 years ago.

On Wednesday, Shahabuddin and the other three were convicted. He had been in jail for years in connection with several criminal cases.

The politician – elected to the Bihar assembly twice and four times to the Lok Sabha on Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) ticket – was convicted on charges of criminal conspiracy, kidnapping and murder, a lawyer said.

Additional District Judge of Siwan Special Court Ajay Kumar Srivastava pronounced the judgement, terming it a rarest of rare cases.

According to police, the court found Shahabuddin guilty in the 2004 kidnapping of brothers Girish Raj and Satish Raj, giving them “an acid bath” and murdering them.

Shahabuddin’s son Osama has been charged with killing of a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Rajiv Roshan, who was a witness in the case.

The aged parents of the murdered brothers expressed dissatisfaction over the verdict and demanded death sentence for the politician, who for years was one of the most feared men in Bihar.

“We are not happy. It has disappointed us. We want death penalty for Shahabuddin and the three others who kidnapped and killed our sons,” said Chandrakeshwar Prasad, the father.

“We respect the court but this is not justice. We hope to get justice in God’s court,” he added.

His wife Kalawati Devi also favoured death penalty for the accused. Prasad demanded more security for himself and his wife.

Shahabuddin was a criminal-turned-politician who at one time ran a virtual parallel administration in Siwan, settling family and land disputes, fixing doctors’ consultancy fees and presiding over even marital disputes.

In 1999, his supporters were accused of abducting an activist of the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) who was never seen again.

Widely seen as a law into himself, Shahabuddin slapped a police officer in 2001. In a gun battle that followed, two policemen and eight others were killed in Siwan.

Police later found three AK-47 rifles near the dead men.

Again in 2005, police seized AK-47s, night vision goggles and laser-guided guns at his residence, leading to the intervention of the Supreme Court.

Shahabuddin was viewed by most people in Siwan as a terror. Few dared to oppose him. Some who did in elections ended up dead, increasing his reputation as a man who could not be meddled with.

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