Former RJD MP Md Shahabuddin, whose associate is allegedly under the police scanner in the murder of journalist Rajdeo Ranjan, was on Thursday shifted to Bhagalpur central jail from the district jail at Siwan, , even though there is no trial in progress against him at present.
Shahabuddin is serving a life sentence for the murder of two brothers. The RJD MP has been in Siwan jail since 2004, which incidentally happens to be his home district. In his 12 years at Siwan,he was shifted twice to Bhagalpur for six months each during elections.
Siwan policehad on Wednesday raided the divisional jail and detained 63 persons who had come to meet the RJD leader. The raids were conducted following inputs that orders to kill 42-yearold Ranjan, the head of Hindi daily Hindustan in Siwan town, on May 13 came from somebody lodged in the jail.
Bihar prison rules state that anyone awarded over a five-year sentence should be lodged in the central jail.
Those serving up to five years should be lodged in the district jail while others serving up to three years should be kept in the sub-division jail.
The rules are subject to the condition that no trial is under progress against the prisoner concerned.
Shahabuddin is serving a life sentence and official sources said he has not made a trial court appearance in the past six months.
However, IG (prisons) Anand Kishore said Shahabuddin was kept in Siwan to ensure that the trial against him is not hampered.
“If he is shifted outside, the trial will suffer,” he added, without elaborating the case in which he is facing a trial.
With the police carrying out raids in Siwan jail on Wednesday, there has been growing demand from the Opposition to shift the former MP.
“His trial can be conducted through video-conferencing even from the central jail. The most important thing is to check his influence outside the prison,” said BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday,
A Siwan jail official admitted Shahabuddin had made no trial appearance since December 10, 2015, when he was awarded life sentence in the infamous case of murder of two brothers — Girish Raj and Satish Raj — sons of a Siwan businessman, Chandrakeshwar Prasad alias Chanda Babu, on August 16, 2004.
The special court had called it the rarest of rare case.