Shahabuddin chargesheeted for poaching

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Patna, Feb 6 : Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Mohammed Shahabuddin has been chargesheeted for poaching cheetals at the Valmiki National Park in Bihar in 2003 by the forest department.

The chargesheet against Shahabuddin, Irshad Hussain, panchayat head of Sirisia in West Champaran district and 12 others was submitted by Divisional Forest Officer Surendra Singh in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bagaha on Tuesday.

Shahabuddin and others were charged of hunting a cheetal in the Valmikinagar Tiger Reserve area in West Champaran during a national convention of RJD in 2003.

The park in West Champaran district is the only tiger reserve in Bihar. It is part of India's Project Tiger.

A case was filed against Shahabuddin by the forest department following the seizure of a live cheetal deer and the skin of two cheetals and a tiger from his house at Pratappur in Siwan district in April 2005.

Photographs of Shahabuddin posing with a rifle resting on a dead cheetal were also recovered. Chargesheets were later filed against all the 13 people seen in the photographs.

The case is pending in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate at Bettiah town. Now lodged in Siwan jail, Shahabuddin was arrested in New Delhi in 2005 following the seizure of arms from his ancestral house in Siwan.

Last year, the Patna High Court directed that a special court inside Siwan jail should try all pending cases against him.

In May 2007, the special court awarded life sentence to Shahabuddin after convicting him for the kidnapping and murder of Chhote Lal Gupta, a CPI-ML worker in 1999.

In August, he was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment for attacking then Siwan Superintendent of Police S.K. Singhal 11 years ago.

A Lok Sabha member from Siwan since 1996, Shahabuddin is involved in 40 criminal cases including those of murder, abduction and possession of illegal arms.

ANI

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