Former RJD strongman Shahabuddin walks out of Bhagalpur jail after 11 years

Patna: Former RJD parliamentarian Mohammad Shahabuddin was on Saturday morning released from Bhagalpur jail after 11 years as Patna High Court granted him bail in the Rajiv Raushan murder case.

Celebrations erupted at former RJD parliamentarian Mohammad Shahabuddin's native village in Bihar's Siwan district and elsewhere ahead of his imminent release from jail after nearly 13 years behind bars.

The residents of his native village Pratappur in Siwan as well as the residents of Siwan town distributed sweets, burst firecrackers and announced a grand welcome for the criminal-turned-politician with a music band.

After the Patna High Court granted bail to him in a case related to the killing of a murder witness, Shahabuddin is set to be released on Saturday morning as the process for the same is in the final stage, a police official in Siwan said.

Shahabuddin's wife Hina Sahab told the media in Siwan that she had been waiting for his release since 2003.

"I have faith in God and ultimately justice has been done to him; he will be released on bail now," she said.

Interestingly, while Shahabuddin was behind the bars, she contested two Lok Sabha polls from Siwan but without success.

Shahabuddin's supporters, including over a dozen ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal legislators and former ministers, have plans to accord him a grand welcome on his release from Bhagalpur jail.

"We will arrange a rare welcome on his release from jail," RJD legislator Gridhari Yadav claimed on his Facebook wall on Friday.

In May, Shahabuddin was shifted from Siwan district jail to Bhagalpur Central Jail after the murder of Hindustan newspaper's journalist Rajdeo Ranjan. 

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders alleged that Shahabuddin had been pulling the strings from the jail in Siwan and had played a role in the killing of Ranjan. 

Ranjan, the Siwan bureau chief of Hindustan, was shot dead in May in a busy market near the Station Road in the district.

Shahabuddin was lodged in Siwan jail for over a decade. He has twice been shifted to the Bhagalpur and Gaya jails for brief periods only.

With IANS inputs