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Printouts point to MP's links with underworld

patna Updated: May 18, 2007 01:04 IST
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The Siwan police are investigating whether the incarcerated RJD MP Shahabuddin talked to a high-profile politician of Uttar Pradesh with the cellphones he was using from within the Siwan jail after his conviction in a kidnapping case.

The authorities are now checking back on the call details of the MP to ascertain the persons he contacted or was in regular touch with, even from behind bars.

What have drawn the attention of the authorities are the phone calls made from Shahabuddin’s phone late in the nights and in the early hours of some days.

Some calls were reportedly made to don-turned-politician of Uttar Pradesh, seeking details about a person lodged in Lucknow jail, while some other calls were made to other parts of the country.

The day after the cellphones were recovered from Shahabuddin and his supporters, the Siwan district administration said it would investigate how the RJD leader had got the phones ‘smuggled’ into the jail and who were the people in touch with him.

"We are examining the printouts of the calls made from the cellphones that were recovered from Shahabuddin and his supporters," Siwan District Magistrate S K Mall said on Thursday.

It may be mentioned in this context that the Siwan MP’s association with high-profile underworld dons operating in India, Nepal and some countries in West Asia, are well known, and have been under observation by the intelligence agencies.

A report submitted by the then IG, Muzaffarpur, Yashwant Malhotra, had also hinted at his links with Kashmiri terrorists.

In a surprise raid at Siwan district jail on Tuesday night, the district and prison authorities had seized two mobile phones from Shahabuddin's prison cell. Two mobile phone sets and four chargers were recovered from his supporters in the adjoining cell, jail officials had said.

A case has been lodged against the MP and others for violating the Jail Manual. Further, on Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah’s directive issued to the Siwan District Magistrate, the details of the cellphone printouts are being scrutinised.

A special court set up inside the Siwan jail awarded life imprisonment to Shahabuddin on May 8 for kidnapping a CPI-ML worker in 1999.

This was the second time Shahabuddin was sentenced in a criminal case by the special court. In March, he was convicted of attacking the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) office in Siwan town on September 19, 1998.

A Lok Sabha member from Siwan since 1996, Shahabuddin is involved in 40 criminal cases several of which involve murder, abduction and possession of illegal arms. He was arrested in Delhi more than a year ago following seizure of arms from his ancestral home in Siwan by a police team.

Earlier this year, the Patna High Court had directed that all pending cases against him be tried by a special court that was to be set up in the Siwan district jail by the State Government.


Email author: ramaashankaar@indiatimes.com