Patna, Sep 16: A Rashtriya Janata Dal MP from Bihar on Friday came out in open support of his former fellow parliamentarian Mohammad Shahabuddin here, terming him a social worker and not a criminal.
Shailesh Kumar, alias Bulo Mandal, the youth RJD president, termed the local Siwan 'bahubali' (strongman) Shahabuddin as a 'samaj sevi' (social worker) and not 'apradhi' (criminal).
Shahabuddin, former Siwan MP, was recently released on bail after 11 years in jail by the Patna High Court.
Mandal, RJD MP from Bhagalpur, said Shahabuddin cannot be a criminal as he has represented people of Siwan four times in the Lok Sabha.
"Shahabuddin is popular not only in Siwan but across the state. The people elected him six times, including twice as legislator and four times as MP," Mandal told reporters.
He slammed the BJP and media for creating unnecessary hype over the release, which has drawn opposition flak.
Mandal said it was the court that granted him bail, and in the past too the same court had granted bail to Ranvir Sena chief Brahmeshwar Singh Mukhiya, involved in the killing of 300 people -- mostly poor Dalits and from the backward castes in Bihar.
He said it was not the state government's decision, and the ruling RJD-JD-U should not be blamed.
Shahabuddin was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 10 in a case involving the murder of a witness in the killing of two brothers in Siwan.