Former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin, 53, died of COVID-19 at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital (DDU) on Saturday, Delhi’s prison department said.

Shahabuddin, who was serving a life sentence in a murder case, was admitted to hospital on April 20, he said.

Director General (Prisons) Sandeep Goel said: “Information has been received from DDU Hospital regarding the death of Mohd Shahabuddin, an inmate in Delhi prisons. He was suffering from COVID-19.” Prison officials said Shahabuddin was admitted to intensive care two to three days ago.

The former Siwan MP was held in Tihar High Security Prison No. 2, they said.

Earlier this week, the Delhi High Court ordered the AAP government and prison authorities to provide medical supervision and appropriate care to Shahabuddin.

Here’s everything you need to know about the gangster turned politician

One of the most feared criminals not only in Bihar but also in northern India, Mohammad Shahabuddin’s rise in politics and crime has been meteoric. After being elected as an independent lawmaker at a young age in the early 1990s, Shahabuddin saw his fortune increase as Lalu Yadav ruled Bihar for 15 years. After receiving an RJD ticket from Siwan, Shahabuddin won the Siwan Lok Sabha constituency, a BJP stronghold, for the first time in 1996. He again won the siege in 1998, 1999 and 2004. Such was his terror in the region. that many parties were afraid to run candidates against him. And if they did, many candidates were afraid to campaign openly.

Over the years, Shahabuddin has been accused of carrying out various criminal activities, including murder, kidnapping and extortion.

On December 9, 2015, a special judge in Siwan, Bihar, convicted Shahabuddin and his associates in a double murder case in 2004 and sentenced them to life imprisonment.

Two brothers, Satish and Girish Roshan, were murdered in August 2004 in Siwan for allegedly refusing to pay extortion money.

A third brother, Rajiv Roshan, who was an eyewitness to the crime committed by Shahabuddin’s men, was shot dead on June 6, 2014 while on his way to a lower court to testify against the strongman.

The conviction and conviction of Shahabuddin and three others were ultimately upheld by the Patna High Court and Supreme Court.

Former Rashtriya leader Janata Dal was transferred to Tihar from Siwan prison following a Supreme Court ruling on February 15, 2018.

(With contributions from agencies)