A Siwan court Friday sentenced former RJD MP Mohammed Shahabuddin and three others to life imprisonment in a 2004 double murder case.
Satish Raj (25) and Girish Raj (20), sons of a businessman, were abducted and killed on August 16, 2004. They were drenched in acid before being killed.
Judge Ajay Kumar Srivastava delivered the verdict at a special court created on Siwan prison premises to deal with cases involving Shahabuddin, while his 50-odd supporters waited outside. The others convicted with him are Shekh Aslam, Shekh Arif and Rajkumar Sah.
Convicted in five other cases, Shahabuddin is serving his sentence in the Siwan prison. He faces about 20 cases.
Chandrakeshwar and Kalawati Devi, the parents of the victims, stayed away from the court proceedings because of security reasons. The couple’s eldest son Rajiv Roshan (36), who was an eyewitness in the murder of his two brothers, was shot dead on June 16, 2014, three days before he was to appear as witness.
Chanda Babu and his wife, who stay with their differently-abled son Nitish Raj (26) in Siwan town’s Gaushala Road, said they were not satisfied with the life sentence awarded to Shahabuddin, whose writ ruled large in Siwan between 1990 and 2005.
“As the court had treated it as a rarest of rare case, we had expected him to get death. But we respect the court’s order and have faith in God. We have no wherewithal to appeal for the death sentence,” Chanda Babu said.
Breaking down several times as he sat with portraits of his three murdered sons, he said, “I fear no one now. It does not matter if God takes me away or Shahabuddin kills me.”
His wife Kalawati Devi said they had thought of leaving Siwan several times but had nowhere else to go.
Speaking to media after the verdict, Special Public Prosecutor Jayprakash Singh said, “We had expected the death sentence but the court has delivered life term to Shahabuddin and his three supporters.”
Meanwhile, defence counsel Abhay Kumar Rajan said, “We will challenge the verdict after going through its contents. There are some lacunae in the case.”