The Story of Mohammed Shahabuddin – Bihar’s Most Dreaded Criminal

Since long, I have been a fan of Arnab Goswami. When the much awaited Republic TV went on air on May 6, I was delighted. And within minutes of the premier of Republic TV, Arnab Goswami sent our a major shockwave. It sent ripples across the country. For the first time, a mainstream media house played phone recordings of Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mohammed Shahabuddin.

I was born in Ranchi in 1990. The Prime Minister was VP Singh and the Chief Minister was Lalu Prasad Yadav. (I am not happy about either!) I am well aware how things are done in Bihar. Since time immemorial, Bihar has been home to some of the country’s most dreaded criminals. Almost every man, woman, child, cat, and dog in Bihar knew for several years what Republic TV has exposed.

The dreaded criminal, Mohammed Shahabuddin, is the right hand of Lalu Prasad Yadav. Those who have seen the Bihar of the 90s know that though the Lalu-Rabri duo occupied the CM House, Mohammed Shahabuddin, in fact, would run the entire state police and administration. The fact known to everyone in Bihar is now in front of the entire country; with evidence so damning, the matter does not even call for a probe. It is an open-and-shut case. While the journalists at the Quint office must be tearing through the internet, schlepping to find positive aspects of Shahabuddin’s life to highlight, I will tell you bare facts. Because that’s what I do best!

Shahabuddin has a wide variety of activities ranging from robberies, rapes, murders, extortion, kidnappings, arson, illegal mining, smuggling, illicit liquor, illegal weapons – you name it! Mohammed Shahabuddin’s empire of crime, spread throughout Bihar and beyond, consists of all possible violent crimes. Shahabuddin has been an active criminal since his teens and currently has some 35 cases pending against him. 8 of them are murder cases and 10 kidnappings (some “with intent to murder”). Bribing Voters, Booth Capturing, and Criminal Intimidation were his common practices during elections.

Shahabuddin – A History-Sheeter Type A

He would do all the dirty work for Lalu Prasad Yadav. Such has been Shahabuddin’s inclination towards crime that he is listed as a “History-Sheeter Type A” (a hardcore criminal, beyond reform) in Siwan’s Husain Ganj Police Station. Shahabuddin does not fear the law. He has the self-styled messiah of Siwan, holding janta darbaars for mediating personal feuds and solving the citizens’ family matters. However, Shahabuddin’s parallel government did not make him a messiah that he has portrayed himself as over the years.

The common man is easy pickings; Shahabuddin would not hesitate to kill even SPs, DMs and political leaders. For instance, immediately after the 2004 General Elections (which he had won fairly comfortably); at least 9 JD (U) cadres who had campaigned against him were found murdered. 3 years earlier, Shahabauddin engaged Siwan Police in a deadly gunfight. He escaped unhurt, killing 10, including 2 policemen. His men also set fire to 3 police jeeps while escaping.

The situation was so pathetic that people would be scared to even get out of the houses after sunset. In the first decade of my life, I could see that fear in my family’s eyes. Have you ever wondered why many Biharis work as taxi drivers in Mumbai, laborers in Gujarat, and other blue collar workers elsewhere? It is partly due to lack of opportunity in their home state; and partly due to fear of their lives that these people had left the state 20-25 years ago.

Then, in 2005, Nitish Kumar happened. And Nitish brought the organised crime racket of Bihar to a standstill. How he did it, we shall discuss later.

However, Shahabuddin’s Acche Din started again in 2015. Today, he sits in a jail in Siwan and openly talks about spending a whopping 3000-4000 Crores to prevent his alcohol business from dying out. He literally orders the CM’s prime coalition partner to contain the action on his men. He even warns him about the SP of Siwan and talks of “teaching him a lesson”. Then, he goes on to threaten that he will disrupt the government.

From the comfort of a prison cell, a convicted criminal has brought the government to its knees. The Bihar Police’s inaction towards his crimes was impeccable! They were indirectly sheltering him then, as they are sheltering him now. As a result, Shahabuddin continues to treat the entire Siwan district as his yard, despite being locked up in a jail in the same district. Perhaps Yogi has the best solution. He has shifted several dreaded criminals to other jails, far away from their own home districts.