Patna: Dreaded gangster-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin walked out of Bhagalpur divisional jail on Saturday to a hero’s welcome after 11 years behind bars.
The four time Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP came out of jail exactly at 7 am amidst much fanfare and celebrations by his supporters at the jail. His supporters were waiting outside the jail since 5 am to welcome their leader. As soon as they got a glimpse of Sahab, as he is called by his supporters, they chanted “zindabad” slogans in his support. Shahabuddin left in a convoy of three hundred vehicles for Siwan.
Later, he was accorded a grand reception by his supporters and RJD workers. He was welcomed by RJD Lok Sabha MP from Bhagalpur, Shailesh Kumar alias Bulo Mandal, at Jehangir Chowk in Bhagalpur and by other supporters at Naughachia in the same district.Couple of legislators from Mahagathbandhan government, one each from JDU Giridhari Yadav and RJD Hari Shankar Yadav were also present at the jail to welcome the dreaded gangster.
The RJD parliamentarian had got final reprieve on Wednesday when Patna High Court granted him bail in a case of murder of a witness in the 2004 killing of two brothers in Siwan. He had got bail in nearly 12 other cases earlier.
Rajiv Roshan, an eyewitness in the acid attack case of Siwan, was gunned down allegedly by Shahabuddin’s sharp shooters in 2011. Roshan was eyewitness in the murder of his two brothers Satish Raj and Girish Raj who were sons of a noted businessman Chandrakeshwar Prasad. Satish and Girish were kidnapped and murdered on August 16, 2004 in Siwan, the turf of the former RJD MP Shahabuddin. However, it was the brutal manner in which both brothers were killed that shocked everyone. Both, brother were drenched in acid before being killed allegedly on Shahabuddin’s direction.
Speaking to India Today Shahabuddin said, “Everyone knows I was framed… Politics has nothing to do with my bail”. The gangster-turned-politician praised party chief Lalu Prasad while making it clear that there was no love lost between him and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Asserting that he is loyal only to Lalu, Shahabuddin said, “Nitish Kumar changes stance according to situation. He is not my leader, Lalu Prasad will always be my leader.” Shahabuddin was known for his reign of terror in Bihar before Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had considerably lessened his clout by putting him in jail.
Rajiv who was the sole witness in the killing of his two brothers was to appear before the court three days later from when he was killed. Shahabudin was sentenced to life imprisonment in the killing of the two brothers by a special court in December, 2015. He, however, got bail in March 2016 in this case.
Shahabuddin, who was recently inducted into the national executive of the RJ(D), is considered very close to Lalu Prasad. Sources say, Lalu played a key role in Shahabuddin’s ouster from jail as the Bihar government did not pursue the case of eyewitness Rajiv Roshan’s murder seriously.