India Politics
Shahabuddin gets life sentence for murder
May 8, 2007 - 11:20:14 AM

Patna, May 8 - A Bihar court Tuesday sentenced Rashtriya Janata Dal - MP Mohammed Shahabuddin to life imprisonment for the murder of a political activist in 1999.

Additional district and sessions judge Gyaneshwar Prasad Srivastava of a special court inside the Siwan jail, 150 km from here, also fined Shahabuddin Rs.1,000 for the kidnap and murder of Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist - worker Chhote Lal Gupta in 1999.

The court had Saturday convicted Shahabuddin on the basis of circumstantial evidence under Section 364 - of the Indian Penal Code.

Gupta, also a trader, was abducted in 1999 after which his whereabouts were unknown.

This is the second time Shahabuddin has been sentenced in a criminal case by the special court. In March, he was convicted of attacking the CPI-ML office in Siwan town Sep 19, 1998.

Shahabuddin and his armed supporters bombed the premises, damaged furniture and assaulted office secretary Keshav Baitha.

The special court also acquitted him of two other criminal charges - one related to assaulting a man in 1997 and another over his role in a bomb blast in DAV College in Siwan 1991.

A Lok Sabha member from Siwan since 1996, Shahabuddin is involved in 40 criminal cases, including those of murder, abduction and possession of illegal arms.

Currently lodged in Siwan jail, Shahabuddin was arrested in Delhi more than a year ago over the seizure of arms from his ancestral house in Siwan.

Earlier this year, the Patna High Court directed that all pending cases against him be tried by a special court set up by the state government in Siwan jail.

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