Known as Siwan’s strongman, he was serving a life sentence in Tihar prison.

Former Rashtriya MP Janata Dal from Siwan to Bihar Mohd. Shahabuddin, who was serving a life sentence for murder in Tihar Prison in Delhi, died of COVID-19 on Saturday. The head of the RJD was known as a Bahubali (strong man) and close to party leader Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Shahabuddin, 53, was admitted to a private Delhi hospital on April 20 after testing positive. However, his condition deteriorated two days ago and he was put on life support.

“Information has been received from Deen Dayal Upadhayaya Hospital in Delhi regarding the death of Mohd Shahabuddin. He was suffering from COVID-19 and was admitted to DDU on April 20, ”said Sandeep Goel, director general of Tihar prison.

Previously, the RJD leader contacted the Delhi High Court for better medical treatment after his infection, after which the Delhi High Court gave the necessary instructions to the prison authorities.

Accused in more than three dozen cases, the quadruple deputy RJD and the double deputy Mohd. Shahabuddin is a name that has sowed terror in Siwan for several years. He was infamously known as “Sultan of Siwan” and “Saheb” among the local people. In April 2005, during a police raid on his ancestral home in the village of Pratapur, illegal weapons including AK-47s, hand grenades, laser-guided rifles and night vision goggles were seized. His name was also featured in the murder of former Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union President Chandrashekhar and a local scribe Rajdeo Ranjan.

He ruled his stronghold in Siwan with impunity from 1990 to 2005, so much so that a report by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties in 2001 stated: “Patronage and de facto immunity from prosecution offered by the RJD government have gradually made it a law to itself, giving it an aura of invincibility. The police turned a blind eye to his criminal activities and allowed him to transform Siwan District into his stronghold where his fiat was in effect. Shahabuddin’s reign of terror was so complete that no one dared to testify against him in the cases where he was accused.

In 2003, Police Director General DP Ojha had prepared a lengthy dossier on Mohd Shahabuddin with details of his alleged links not only with a Kashmiri terrorist organization but also with ISI and Dawood Ibrahim.

However, when the NDA government came to power in 2005 in Bihar with Nitish Kumar as chief minister, a speedy trial in most of the cases against him was put in place and he was convicted in many. ‘between them and subsequently imprisoned. His conviction later led to his disqualification from the elections. After 11 years of incarceration, Mohd. Shahabuddin was released from Bhagalpur prison in 2016 in a case of the double murder of two young sons of a local businessman Chandeshwar Prasad in 2004. He was sentenced to life in this case. “The freedom of Mohd Shahabuddin is our death sentence,” Mr. Prasad said. The Hindu after his release on bail. But, shortly after his release from prison, Mohd Shahabuddin made a controversial remark against Nitish Kumar saying he was the prime minister of the circumstances ”. A few days later, his bail was rejected and he was back in jail. Following a Supreme Court ruling, Shahabuddin was transferred to Tihar prison in February 2018.

In his absence, his wife Hina Sahab had challenged Siwan’s parliamentary ballot three times as an RJD candidate, but without success. Mohd Shahabuddin has two daughters and a son.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav and several other leaders from all political parties offered their condolences on Shahabuddin’s death.

“The untimely death of former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin due to Covid-19 infection is sad news. May God give him a place in heaven, support his family and his supporters. His disappearance is irreparable damage to the party. During this time of sadness, RJD is with the bereaved family, ”tweeted Tejashwi Yadav.