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Worry for favour to Siwan strongman

- Trader dead, father alleges slow probe

Patna, July 1: Jailed former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin has got a supporter in the ruling JDU at a time he has been accused of orchestrating the murder of a Siwan trader.

The Siwan leader was the first to feel the heat of the state’s change of guard in 2005. He was arrested from Delhi in November 2005 for the kidnapping of a CPI-ML (Liberation) worker, Chhotelal Gupta.

On June 16 this year, 29-year-old trader Rajiv Roshan was murdered near his shop in Siwan, around 150km northwest of Patna. The victim’s father has lodged an FIR against Shahabuddin and his son Osama Sahab.

The victim’s father Chanda Babu said: “Roshan was shot in his head from point-blank range, three days before he was scheduled to record his statement regarding the murder of two brothers.”

Shahabuddin is also facing trial in the double murder of Roshan’s brothers, Satish (20) and Girish (23), in August 2004. Roshan was an eyewitness.

At such a time, Kavita Singh, the JDU MLA from Daraudha, Siwan, has defended Shahabuddin in the Assembly.

Kavita, the wife of another don-turned politician, Ajay Singh, said Osama has been falsely implicated in the June 16 murder. Her statement stunned the opposition party leaders, who alleged that the terror unleashed by Shahabuddin during the Lalu-Rabri era was set to return to Siwan almost after a decade.

Chanda Babu also alleged that the police investigation is proceeding at snail’s pace.

“It is yet to be ascertained whether Osama was in town on the day of Roshan’s murder,” said Sunil Kumar, the Siwan Town police station house officer, today.

Siwan superintendent of police Vikas Burman, said the police would not spare anyone. “This is a sensitive case. So we are taking all precautions. It’s true that the father of the deceased, in his FIR, has named Shahabuddin and his son as accused. The case would be probed from all angles.”

He said: “Raids were conducted at the former MP’s ancestral house at Pratappur twice to apprehend his son.”


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