Supreme Court Orders Shahabuddin Shifted to Tihar Jail

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Mohammed Shahabuddin (file photo).

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New Delhi: With the Bihar government failing to keep notorious criminal and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Mohammed Shahabuddin in check, the nation's apex court on Wednesday directed the state government to shift him to Delhi's high security Tihar Jail where he is to be housed without any special privilege.

A Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Dipak Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy, while hearing on a plea filed by Asha Ranjan, the widow of Rajdeo Ranjan, a senior journalist who was shot and killed by criminals in Siwan allegedly at Shahabuddin's order last year, asked the officials to communicate the court's decision to Bihar Home Secretary so he could initiate steps to transfer the RJD leader from Siwan Jail to the Tihar Jail in Delhi.

As noted, Ranjan, the Siwan bureau chief of Hindi daily Hindustan was shot in his head on May 13, 2016 outside Siwan railway station. He died on the spot.

In a harsh ruling, the court, knowing Siwan Jail was the personal playground of Shahabuddin who managed his criminal empire from within his luxurious cell, made sure to deny the criminal-turned-politician any special privilege saying he should be treated no different from any other prisoner and should not be allowed access by anyone unless first cleared by the top Tihar officials.

In her plea, Asha Ranjan had told the court that she did not expect a free trial in her husband's murder case as long as Shahabuddin, who has tremendous clout in the state, was imprisoned in Siwan Jail. She and her family members had also expressed fear on their lives with the RJD leader being able to run his criminal activities while his gang members were roaming free in Bihar.

Reacting to the court's decision, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mohammed Shahnawaz Hussain commended the court and expressed his hope of peace prevailing in Siwan after the banishment of the man known as the 'Terror of Siwan'.

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