A special court on Friday sentenced former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin to life imprisonment after he was found guilty for the abduction and murder of two people in 2004.
Three of Shahabuddin’s associates -- Rajkumar Sah, Sheikh Aslam and Arif Hussain, who were convicted along with the politician on Wednesday, have also been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Additional district judge Ajay Kumar Srivastava passed the order pronouncing the former politician guilty of the charges framed against him under sections 302 (murder), 364A (kidnapping for ransom, etc), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
Shahabuddin, who has been lodged in the Siwan district jail for the past seven years in connection with several other cases as well, is likely to appeal his sentence, his lawyer Abhay Kumar Rajan said.
Rajan argued that Shahbuddin was in jail at the time of the murder and so his association with the crime may not be maintainable.
Hena Shahab, Shahabuddin’s wife went on to suggest a political vendetta against her husband.
“While we will definitely appeal against the verdict, I believe, that it has been done at the instance of Vikas Purush, who does not want his (Shahabuddin’s) political career to be advanced,” she said in an oblique reference to Bihar’s chief minister Nitish Kumar.
According to the prosecution, three sons of Chandrashekhar Prasad, one of Shahabuddin’s political opponents, were abducted from their house at Goshala road by Rajkumar Sah, Sheikh Aslam and Arif Hussain on August 16, 2004. They were taken to Pratappur village where two of them, Girish and Satish, were killed by pouring acid over them. Their bodies were never recovered.
The third son, Rajeev Bhushan, managed to escape and was the sole eye witness in the case but was gunned down in 2014.
The victims’ mother Kalawati Devi had lodged an FIR charging the three henchmen with the murder of her sons.
The former MP’s name had cropped up during the investigation and was named as an accused in the kidnapping of the three siblings.
Meanwhile, given his past crimes and the political clout that Shahabuddin wields, security has been stepped up in the city. Soon after the verdict, hundreds of supporters of Shahabuddin had gathered to show support outside the Siwan district jail.