Bhagalpur: Former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Mohammad Shahabuddin walked out of jail after 11 years on Saturday, as the Patna High Court granted him bail in the much-publicised Rajiv Raushan murder case. He had got bail in nearly 12 other cases earlier.
He was found guilty in 2004 for kidnapping of brothers Girish Raj and Satish Raj, giving them ‘an acid bath’ and then murdering them.
“Everyone knows I was framed. It was court who jailed me…now court has released me. No one should take Sushil Modi seriously. This has got nothing to do with politics, judicial has its own procedures,” Shahbuddin told the media.
"During his early days in Bihar Assembly in the 1990s I remember he used to speak very incoherently leaving deskmen in trouble as to what actually he said. Now he speaks properly and is good in giving news to mediaperson by telling unsubstantiated facts," he said.
Earlier, BJP had alleged that the Bihar government paved the way for Shahabuddin’s release in a systematic manner. "The state government in a systematic manner paved the way for release of Mohammad Shahabuddin, who is part of the RJD top policy-making body, from jail," senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
Shahabuddin said he has never done back door politics. “I am going to my village after 13 years. Why would I try to change my image? People have accepted me the way I am for 26 years. I haven’t met with anyone for the last ten years,” he added.
The former MP was in jail since November 2005 after he was rounded-off from his residence in New Delhi by a joint team of Siwan and Delhi Police.
Shahabuddin’s son Osama was charged for killing of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Rajiv Roshan, who was a witness in the case.
Roshan was the main witness in August 2004 murder case of his two younger brothers.
He was shot dead three days before he was to record is statement in the murder case of his brothers Girish Raj and Satish Raj.
Shahabuddin praised party chief Lalu Prasad while making it clear that there was no love lost between him and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. "For me Lalu Prasad is the leader" and Nitish Kumar is the chief minister "circumstantially", said the controversial leader, who has been a four-time MP from Siwan, as he emerged out of the Bhagalpur divisional jail and left in a convoy of three hundred vehicles for Siwan.
Shahabuddin, who is a member of RJD National Committee - the top decision making body of the party- and is known to be close to the RJD chief, said categorically that he never enjoyed good relations with Kumar.
Various pending cases against Shahabuddin were reopened and he was sent to jail after Kumar had assumed power in 2005. He was, however, quick to add that it was the court which sent him to jail and the court again which ordered his release from the jail.
Shahabuddin was accorded a grand reception by his supporters and RJD workers. He was welcomed by RJD Lok Sabha MP from Bhagalpur, Shailesh Kumar alias Bulo Mandal, at Jehangir Chowk in Bhagalpur and by other supporters at Naughachia in the same district.
Shahabuddin said for him Lalu Prasad is the leader and "We all are standing solidly behind him."
He said after reaching Siwan he would meet the family of journalist Rajdeo Nandan, who was shot dead recently.
Shahabuddin's close associate Laddan Mian is in jail in connection with the scribe's murder and though the inquiry into it has so far not named the RJD strongman, he was shifted to Bhagalpur divisional jail from Siwan a little after the incident.
The Nitish Kumar government had recommended CBI probe into the murder on demand of the scribe's family.
Asked by newsmen whether his prolonged jail term had harmed him politically, Shahabuddin said, "A little damage has happened." His wife Heena Sahab lost to Om Prakash Yadav of BJP in the last parliamentary election from Siwan in 2014.
Asked how he spent his time in jail, the RJD leader said he is an avid reader. "Out of four cartons I am taking back from jail, two are full of books which I read during my stay."...