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CBI files chargesheet against Shahabuddin, 6 others in Bihar journalist murder case

The special CBI court had named Shahabuddin as the seventh accused in the Rajdeo Ranjan murder case in May.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2017 13:20 IST
Ajay Kumar
Ajay Kumar
Hindustan Times, Muzaffarpur
CBI,Central Bureau of Investigation,Chargesheet
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and former MP Mohammad Shahabuddin is, at present, lodged in Tihar jail in New Delhi . (PTI File Photo)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday filed a chargesheet against Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and former Siwan MP Mohammad Shahabuddin in the in the murder case of journalist Rajdeo Ranjan.

The chargesheet against Shahabuddin and six other accused —Laddan Mian alias Azharuddin Beg, Rishu Kumar Jaiswal, Rohit Kumar Soni, Vijay Kumar Gupta, Rajesh Kumar and Sonu Kumar Gupta — was filed in a special CBI court at Muzaffarpur, 71 km north of Patna.

The former MP and other accused have been charged under Indian Penal Code sections 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) and 302 (punishment for murder) as well as section 34 of the Arms Act.

Rajdeo Ranjan, then bureau chief of Hindi daily Hindustan, was shot dead near Siwan railway station on May 13, 2016.

Siwan journalist Rajdeo Ranjan, who was killed on May 13, 2016.

Shahabuddin, at present lodged in high security Tihar jail in New Delhi as per a Supreme Court direction on the appeal of slain journalist’s wife Asha Ranjan and other complainants, was earlier produced before the CBI court through video conferencing.

Defence lawyer Sharad Sinha said a four-member team of the premier investigating agency reached the court of special CBI judge Anupam Kumari on Tuesday morning and submitted the chargesheet. “The CBI team told the court that it had enough evidence against Shahabuddin and other accused,” Sinha said.

The CBI officials also mentioned the names of Mohammad Kaif and Mohammad Javed, the two other accused who had been granted bail after the probe agency failed to submit chargesheet against them within the stipulated 90 days of their arrest, Sinha said.

The former MP’s complicity in the case was alleged by an accused, Mohammad Kaif, during his interrogation in the murder case. The special court had directed the CBI include the name of the former MP as an accused in the case on May 22 this year.

The Bihar government had handed over the probe to the CBI on May 16, 2016, within three days of the murder. The central agency began probe into the case on the intervention of the Supreme Court after the slain journalist’s wife filed a petition before it on September 23 last year. Asha Ranjan claimed before the top court that the CBI had not even initiated probe into the case due to “political influence” and “fear of Mohammad Shahabuddin”.

The top court had directed the CBI to proceed with its probe into the murder and asked the Bihar police to provide protection to Ranjan’s family, which claimed receiving threats from Shahabuddin.

First Published: Aug 22, 2017 12:17 IST