Mohammad Shahabuddin
Mohammad ShahabuddinIANS

Mohammad Shahabuddin, former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP, was taken into custody by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday in connection with the murder of Bihar journalist Rajdeo Ranjan. The bureau chief of Hindi daily Hindustan was gunned down on May 13, 2016. Shahabuddin, who was lodged in Tihar Jail, was taken to the CBI headquarters in Delhi for questioning.

On Friday, the CBI had accused Shahabuddin in the murder case. He was produced in the agency's Special Court in Muzaffarpur through video-conferencing. The investigating agency told the Muzaffarpur court that the former MP's name had emerged as an accused in the murder case and, therefore, the CBI would need to take him into custody to interrogate him.

The counsel representing the CBI also submitted to the court that the agency would soon file a charge sheet against Shahabuddin for allegedly conspiring to kill Ranjan. The central investigating agency has already filed a charge sheet against seven people accused of being involved in the murder. Two of them — Mohammad Javed and Mohammad Kaif — are out on bail. Kaif is alleged to have killed the journalist at the behest of Shahabuddin.

Ranjan, who was the Bihar bureau chief of Hindi daily Hindustan, was shot dead by assailants in Siwan in May 2016. Following the murder, his wife Asha Ranjan accused Shahabuddin of conspiring to kill her husband and moved Supreme Court demanding that the CBI take over the investigation. She met Home Minister Rajnath Singh as well in connection with the matter.

Shahabuddin was previously released on bail for a short period of time in connection with a separate case but was sent back to after the Bihar government challenged his bail. He is an accused in over 45 criminal cases.

The next hearing in the Rajdeo Ranjan case is scheduled to be held on June 9, 2017.