Victim families in Bihar have expressed happiness, describing it as the “victory of justice” after Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered immediate shifting of controversial Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) politician Mohammad Shahabuddin to Tihar jail from his hometown Siwan jail where he is currently lodged. The court has directed the Bihar government to shift him Delhi’s high-security prison within a week.
Especially Chandrakeshwar Prasad whose three of his sons were killed by the alleged goons of the jailed don turned emotional saying, “Bhagwaan ke ghar der hai aandhe nahin hai (In God’s home, there is delay but not disappointment).”
He said he can now expect for a fair trial in the case as the accused wouldn’t be able to influence the witnesses anymore. “The judgment is in the interest of the society and the witnesses will feel free to record their statements in the court,” he said. He remarked further, “Jaisa karm kiya waisa bhog rahe hain (As you sow, so will you reap).”
He, though, demanded that the Siwan don be shot dead at public square saying life imprisonment was not the right punishment for a person like Shahabuddin who faces over 50 criminal cases, as serious as murder, kidnapping, extortion and sedition, pending against him. In about six cases, the court has already delivered its judgement while the rest cases are on various stages of trial.
Prasad got the severest pain in his life after three of his sons were killed in cold blood allegedly on the orders of Shahabuddin. While two of his sons were brutally killed by giving them an acid bath, the third one who was the lone eyewitness in the twin murder case was kidnapped and shot dead later. In both the cases, Shahabuddin has been made accused and in the acid bathe case, the local Siwan court has even served him life sentence.
Asha Ranjan, the widow of Hindi journalist Rajdeo Ranjan who was killed in cold blood by the motorcycle-borne shooters in May last yera, too has welcomed the SC judgment. “The judgment is a great relief to me as I can now expect a fair trial in my husband murder case,” she said, adding “Tihar is his right place. He should be kept the entire life there”.
According to her, she was literally shattered after death of her husband. “While the death of my husband brought a vacuum in my life, the goons of Shahabuddin kept on threatening me to withdraw case against me. Instead of succumbing to pressures, I took a vow to bring the case to a logical conclusion hardly caring about my own life. Now my faith in the judiciary has got strengthened further after today’s court verdict,” she said.
It was the petitions filed by both Ranjan and Prasad which ultimately sealed the fate of Shahabuddin. Both had moved the Supreme Court seeking to shift Shahabuddin to Tihar jail after the Patna High Court granted him bail in September last year. However, the don was back to jail very soon as the apex court cancelled his bail after the state government challenged it there.
As such, jail hardly proved any barrier for the mighty RJD politician who was elected to the Lok Sabha four times in the past. While he continued holding courts in jail with his men and the ministers in the government, he also faced no problem in taking selfies and changing his profile picture on the social networking site. Quite many a time, the police also recovered cell phones and SIM cards allegedly from his cell during the surprise raids.