On Monday the CBI took custody of former RJD MP Mohammed Shahabuddin in connection with the murder of Bihar-based journalist Rajdeo Ranjan, an official said. Shahabuddin premeditated in the Tihar Jail in New Delhi. Earlier, the Supreme Court has adjourned a CBI plea challenging a trial court’s decision to drop the criminal conspiracy charges against several BJP and other Hindu right-wing leaders in the Babri mosque demolition case.

The former MP was, on May 26, named one of the ten accused in the murder of Ranjan, who hailed from Bihar’s Siwan district, by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The CBI is preparing to file a charge sheet by evidence collected by it, official sources said.

The suspicion over Shahbuddin’s involvement deepened after names of two of his henchmen, Mohammad Kaif and Mohammad Javed, surfaced during the investigation. A charge sheet has been filed against six of the accused. Javed and Kaif are on bond and Shahabuddin has been made the 10th accused. Police in Bihar had first claimed that the murder was the result of “premeditated conspiracy“.

Shahabuddin

The suspicion over Shahbuddin’s involvement deepened after names of two of his henchmen, Mohammad Kaif and Mohammad Javed, surfaced during the investigation.

The sources claimed that the slain journalist had become a “threat” for criminals because of his news reports against the deteriorating law and order condition in Siwan.

The event was handed over to the CBI in September last year after the slain journalist’s widow Asha Ranjan and his father Radhe Krishna Chaudhary repeatedly alleged that Shahabuddin was behind the murder. The suspicion over Shahbuddin’s involvement deepened after names of two of his henchmen, Mohammad Kaif and Mohammad Javed, surfaced during the investigation.

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A charge sheet has been filed against six of the accused. Javed and Kaif are on bail and Shahabuddin has been made the 10th accused. Police in Bihar had earlier claimed that the murder was the result of “premeditated conspiracy“. Sources alleged that the slain journalist had become a “threat” for offenders because of his news reports against the deteriorating law and order situation in Siwan.

Shahabuddin was in prison when the journalist was gunned down in Siwan while retiring from office on May 13, 2016. He is facing 39 criminal cases including those of kidnapping and murder and was shifted to Tihar Jail on February 18.