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Raids at Shahabuddin's house yield firearms

Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna
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April 24, 2005 16:26 IST
Last Updated: April 24, 2005 21:06 IST

Over 250 cartridges, four semi-automatic rifles, one revolver, deer and animal skin were recovered on Sunday during raids at Rashtriya Janata Dal member of Parliament Mohammad Shahabuddin's ancestral house and that of his relatives at his native Pratappur village in Siwan district of Bihar.

The raids, by a joint team of Special Task Force and district police, which began at 0400 IST, were on even in the night, Siwan Superintendent of Police Ratan Sanjay told reporters.

Of the 250 cartridges recovered during the raids, 82 were seized from the ancestral house of Shahabuddin alone, the SP said.

One sophisticated Webley Scott revolver and a country made revolver of 315 bore were also recovered from the MP's house, he said.

Six two-wheelers, one Tata Sumo, one Maruti [Get Quote] car and a Tata Sierra vehicle without proper documents, skin of two deer and that of a tiger were also seized from the house, he said.

Two persons -- Jamaluddin and Maksud -- were arrested during the raids, Sanjay said.

Siwan district administration and Shahabuddin have been at loggerheads ever since district magistrate C K Anil banned the RJD leader's entry into Siwan for six months just a few days before the February assembly polls.

Two days ago a first information report was registered against Shahabuddin on Anil's directive. The complaint alleged that the MP had 'concealed' facts while filing his affidavit for the Lok Sabha election.

In the affidavit, filed for nomination from the Siwan Lok Sabha constituency last year, Shahabuddin showed that only 19 cases were pending against him, even though the actual cases pending at that time were 34, the complaint said.

However, the RJD MP disputed all the charges and alleged that the district administration was 'prejudiced' against him. "I have been in jails for the past two years and have not visited Pratappur since then. There is no fresh case lodged against me," Shahabuddin, who is out of Bihar, said.

He said the raids were part of the local administration's 'revengeful' attitude towards him since he had approached Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee against Siwan district magistrate C K Anil, complaining breach of privilege of an elected representative.

On the recovery of arms and ammunition during the raids, Shahabuddin said, "The administration had raided my house and some of my neighbour's houses at Pratappur on Saturday and didn't find nothing. But today they are saying that illegal arms have been recovered."

He said he would draw the attention of the Lok Sabha Speaker to the latest instance of 'highhandedness' by the district administration against an elected representative.

The RJD president told reporters before leaving for Ranchi that a party team would soon visit Siwan to take stock of the situation.

Standing stoutly in defence of Shahabuddin, Yadav said the RJD MP had not visited Pratappur for the past two years since he was incarcerated and after getting bail from the Patna high court, he was externed from Siwan for six months during assembly election.

Prasad also expressed doubts that the firearms and ammunition recovered during the raids might have been 'planted'.

In 2001, raids at Shahabuddin's ancestral house in the same area had led to prolonged exchange of fire between the police and Shahabuddin's supporters. Ten persons, including two policemen and eight of his supporters, were killed in the encounter.

The police failed to catch Shahabuddin and had to return empty handed. 

With Inputs from PTI

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