The Siwan district administration has got down to serious brainstorming after the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the shifting of incarcerated RJD strongman Md Shahabuddin from Siwan divisional jail to Tihar central jail, like any ordinary prisoner.
The challenge, according to police sources, is to maintain law and order in the district and at the same time respect the apex court order to shift Shahabuddin. Though there are over eight trains from Siwan for New Delhi, the administration is still not sure if that would be the best option to shift him.
Security was beefed up in Siwan and adjoining areas as soon as the news of the SC order reached the town through electronic media. “We may try to shift him overnight so that people don’t get a wind of it, else there could be security problems,” said a police officer, recalling previous instances when it had become a challenge.
“When he was taken to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi for treatment, he was taken by Rajdhani Express from Naugachia in Bhagalpur district, but there was huge security arrangement. There were 30 policemen accompanying him,” he added.
The Siwan police has already enhanced security cover of three vulnerable persons — trader Chandrakeshwar Prasad alias Chanda Babu, Asha Ranjan, wife of slain Hindustan journalist Rajdeo Ranjan, and family members of slain Srikant Bharti, former BJP leader. It is alleged that Shahabuddin had a hand in the killing of Chanda Babu’s three sons, Ranjan’s husband and Bharti. The Supreme Court passed the order on the petitions of Babu and Ranjan.
Siwan SP Saurabh Kumar Sah said, “We have alerted all police stations, as it is a high-profile case. Patrolling has been intensified in the district, especially in areas where vulnerable people reside.”
He directed the SHOs of police stations concerned to be on alert till Shahabuddin was shifted, as the RJD leader was believed to wield a huge clout in the area.
Shahabuddin was granted bail after 11 years in prison on September 7, 2016 and was released from Bhagalpur jail on September 10, 2016. However, it created a furore, with the Opposition BJP blaming the Nitish government for “facilitating Shahabuddin’s release under pressure from its ally RJD,” but within a few days he was back in prison.
“Even in prison, his clout remained undiminished, as visitors kept meeting him and there was an uproar when a new profile picture of Shahabuddin went viral on social media,” said a police officer.
Siwan district magistrate Mahendra Kumar assured prompt compliance on getting the SC order.
Meanwhile, three guards have been assigned for the security of Chanda Babu. On Wednesday, additional forces and policemen of Muffasil police station as well as Mahadeva police outpost were also deployed around his residence.