M A I N   N E W S

RJD minister quits, Shahabuddin held
BJP calls it diversionary tactic
Tribune News Service and Agencies

New Delhi, November 5
RJD MP from Bihar Syed Shahabuddin was arrested from his official residence here in a dramatic manner by a five-member Bihar Police team led by Sub-Inspector Gauri of Hussainganj police station, even as Union Minister of State for Water Resources Jai Prakash Narain Yadav resigned from his ministerial post today.

RJD Spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari confirmed the report of the resignation.

The minister was eluding the police for a fortnight after a non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against him for allegedly facilitating the illegal release of his brother and RJD candidate from Jamui, Vijay Prakash, from police custody on October 18.

MP Shahabuddin had been evading arrest for his involvement in more than 30 cases, including kidnapping and suspected killing of two CPI (ML) activists in his home district Siwan.

Acting on a tip off, a team of the Bihar and Delhi Police raided his 5, Bishambar Dass Marg bungalow and arrested him. He was not even allowed to change clothes. He was taken to the Parliament Street police station. He is being taken to Siwan on transit remand.

Known for strong-arm tactics, Mr Shahabuddin has been evading arrest after eight non-bailable warrants (NBWs) were issued against him. A nationwide alert for his arrest was issued in August by the Bihar Police after it was accused of going soft on the elusive MP.

Immediately after his arrest, at least 10 RJD workers arrived at the Parliament Street police station, raising slogans against the arrest. They were pushed out of the police station.

With eight non-bailable warrants pending against Mohammad Shahabuddin, the Siwan administration had, three months ago, barred him from entering the district.

A district court had also rejected his anticipatory bail application in a case related to false information in the affidavit submitted during the filing of nomination papers for the 2004 Lok Sabha elections from Siwan.

According to the FIR in this case, Mohammad Shahabuddin had mentioned that only 19 criminal cases were pending against him while the actual number was 34.

He also repeatedly denied any possibility of surrendering and had charged the authorities, particularly Bihar chief secretary G. S. Kang, of prejudice against him.

The BJP termed the resignation as a “diversionary tactic” on part of UPA government to deflect national attention from the international food-for-oil scam allegedly involving the External Affairs Minister.

“The arrest of RJD member from Siwan Mohammad Shahabuddin and the resignation of Jai Prakash Narain Yadav from the Union Council Ministers on the same day is a national drama being enacted to divert public attention from the international oil-for-food scam,” party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

“While Shahabuddin had been freely roaming around in the Capital all this time and the minister had been absconding since a long time, how come both developments have taken place on the same day,” he asked. 


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