“Irreplaceable damage to party,” says Tejashwi Yadav as former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin dies of COVID-19 in a Delhi Hospital

Former RJD leader Mohammad Shahabuddin was serving a life sentence in a murder case, at the Tihar prison where he had spent the last four years on orders of the Supreme Court.

Gangster-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin, 53, died of COVID-19 at the Delhi’s Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) Hospital on Saturday, confirmed the Delhi Prisons Department, as reported by the PTI.

Shahabuddin was serving a life sentence in a murder case, at the Tihar prison where he had spent the last four years on orders of the Supreme Court. The former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP was admitted to the hospital on April 21 after he tested positive for the Covid-19 on April 20.


Director General (Prisons) Sandeep Goel said, “Information has been received from DDU Hospital about the death of Mohd Shahabuddin, an inmate of Delhi Prisons. He was suffering from COVID-19.”

This is reported to be the fifth death in five days of a Tihar prisoner due to the novel coronavirus and crippled the healthcare infrastructure across several states in the country including the national capital Delhi.

Prison officials said Shahabuddin was admitted to the ICU two-three days ago.

The former RJD MP was lodged in high-security jail number 2 at Tihar, reported the news agency PTI.

Earlier this week, the Delhi High Court had reportedly directed the Delhi state government and prison authorities to ensure proper medical supervision and care of Shahabuddin.

On December 9, 2015, a special judge in Bihar’s Siwan convicted Shahabuddin and his associates in a 2004 double murder case and sentenced them to life imprisonment.

Two brothers, Satish and Girish Roshan were murdered in August 2004 in Siwan for allegedly refusing to pay extortion money.

A third brother, Rajiv Roshan, who was an eyewitness to the crime committed by Shahabuddin’s men, was shot dead on June 6, 2014, when he was on his way to a trial court to depose against the strongman.

Mohammad Shahabuddin was brought to the Tihar prison in February 2017 after the Supreme Court’s order on petitions by Siwan-based businessman Chandrakeshwar Prasad, whose three sons were killed in two incidents.

The reports suggest that two of them were drenched in acid before they were killed.

Asha Ranjan – the wife of journalist Rajdeo Ranjan who was murdered in Siwan, also pleaded that they would never get a fair trial as long as Shahabuddin was in a Bihar jail.

Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav expressed his condolences over the demise of Mohammad Shahabuddin.

“Former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin’s untimely demise due to COVID infection is sad news. May God give him a place in heaven, provide support to family and well-wishers. His demise is irreplaceable damage to the party. During this time of sadness, RJD is with the bereaved family”: read RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav’s tweet.

The former Rashtriya Janata Dal leader, Mohammad Shahabuddin was shifted to Tihar from Siwan jail following a Supreme Court order on February 15, 2018.