Bihar scribe murder: SC orders shifting of Shahabuddin from Siwan to Tihar jail

NEW DELHI
15 Feb 2017

The Supreme Court today directed the shifting of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) strongman Mohammad Shahabuddin from Bihar's Siwan jail to Tihar jail here on the plea of the widow of slain Siwan journalist Rajdeo Ranjan.
A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Amitava Roy said that its order be communicated to the Bihar Home Secretary forthwith. The apex court also said that no special privileges be extended to Shahabuddin in the course of his shifting. The judgement was pronounced on a plea filed by Asha Ranjan, wife of Rajdeo Ranjan, the Siwan bureau chief of Hindi daily Hindustan who was shot dead in May last year. Asha Ranjan has urged that Shahabuddin be shifted to Tihar to ensure a free and fair trial in the case. Rajdeo Ranjan was shot dead in a busy market near Station Road in Siwan district by criminals on motorcycle as he was on his way home from office.
Ranjan worked for Hindustan -- a sister concern of Hindustan Times and one of Bihar's largest circulating newspapers. Police has already arrested Upender Singh, an aide of Shahabuddin, in connection with Rajdeo Ranjan's killing. Singh is known as a sharpshooter of Shahabuddin. Police in Siwan has said that Ranjan's killing was part of a pre-planned conspiracy. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing the murder. The apex court also asked the Patna High Court to decide in four months some of the matters relating to the cases against Shahabuddin pending before it.
Chandrakeshwar Prasad, father of three brothers allegedly killed at the instance of mafia don-turned-politician Shahabuddin, and Asha Ranjan and wife Ranjan, have expressed happiness over the order. Prasad, alias Chanda Babu, whose three sons were allegedly killed at Shahabuddin's orders, has welcomed the apex court's order to shift Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) strongman Shahabuddin to Tihar jail. "Now, we will live here without any fear and hope to get justice," Prasad, who along with his wife Kalavati Devi has been living at their house in Siwan town despite threats, told a news agency.
Prasad also expressed happiness that at last Siwan will be free from Shahabuddin's terror. "Shahabuddin's presence in Siwan jail for years was enough to create terror among people. We have been demanding for long to shift him from Siwan jail to Tihar jail in Delhi for free trial to ensure justice to us." Both Prasad and his wife said they had faith in the justice of the Supreme Court. "After God, we have our hopes pinned on the apex court for justice," they said. Asha Ranjan, wife of the slain journalist, allegedly ordered killed by Shahabuddin last year, said it is like a victory for her.
"Shahabuddin's shifting from Siwan to Tihar jail in Delhi will provide us a sense of relief and peace. There will be no fear or threat," she said. Asha, a contractual teacher in a government-run school in Siwan, said she had appealed to the apex court to shift Shahabuddin from Siwan to Tihar jail last year.