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|October 8, 1998||
Siwan MP plays hide-and-seek with authorities over arrest warrant
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi
It has all the elements of a political farce. The Siwan police in Bihar tried to serve the local member of Parliament, the Rashtriya Janata Dal's Mohammad Shahabuddin with an arrest warrant, but thought the better of it after getting a taste of his muscle power. So they decide to serve the warrant on the MP's official address in the capital, but find that he is missing!
According to senior officials of the Bihar administration who are in the capital, the Siwan police issued the warrant against Shahabuddin for his alleged role in the murder of Chandra Shekhar, former president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University students union. The officials said Opposition parties in Bihar, including the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the CPI-ML, had been agitating for Shahabuddin's arrest, for over six months now.
However, it is believed that Shahabuddin vented his ire on the local authorities and the police when they approached him to serve the arrest warrant. The MP allegedly manhandled some officers, following which they returned without serving the warrant.
The officials pointed out that besides being a force to reckon with in Siwan, Shahabuddin enjoys the patronage of RJD leaders who have gone out of their way to protect him. Consequently, even the local police seems hesitant to take up the matter.
In the latest twist to the bizarre drama, Shahabuddin's arrest warrant was sent to Delhi so that it could be served on him at his official residence in the capital.
However, when he got wind of what lay in store for him, he 'disappeared' once again, leaving the authorities red-faced.
But other MPs, it is learnt, are mounting pressure on the central authorities to track him down so that he can be arrested. MPs from the Left parties have reportedly said they would support the move to arrest Shahabuddin.
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