Family members of former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Mohammad Shahabuddin, who passed away on Saturday battling Covid-19, want to bury his body in his hometown Siwan in Bihar while officials are not allowing that and not giving his body to the family.
This comes a time the family alleged that Shahabuddin was lodged in the high-risk ward in Tihar Jail where he was sharing his cell with an inmate who had tested positive for COVID-19.
Many, mostly people from Shahabuddin’s hometown, shared a photo of Osama Shahabuddin, standing outside the Delhi hospital and demanding justice for his father, one of the most popular politicians of Bihar.
“Late Shahabuddin Sahib’s family want to bury him in Siwan. Officials are not allowing that and not giving his body to the family. Shahabuddin Sahib was not given proper treatment. He was kept with a COVID-19 patient,” said AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi.
He further demanded: “At least his family should not be stopped from burying him with proper rituals. Goes without saying that they’d take due COVID-19 precautions.”
AIMIM’s Bihar chief Aktharul Iman MLA also raised the same demand and urged RJD to intervene immediately for Shahabuddin’s justice.
“First Late Shahabuddin Sahib was not provided proper medical treatment and now that their family wants to bury him in his hometown, they’re neither allowing that not are they handing over the body to the family. I request the central government to help the family,” Aam Admi Party politician and Delhi MLA Amantullah Khan said.
“Authorities are not handing over the body of former MP and RJD politician Dr Shahabuddin Sahib to his family. Politicians have shown their true colours, his son is fighting with the authorities alone. Dr Shahabuddin’s burial should happen in Siwan only,” demanded student activist Sharjeel Usmani.
“National President Lalu Yadav Ji himself has been in constant contact with the family from the time of Late Shahabuddin Sahib’s treatment to until now. Legal procedure and reaching out to government has been tried for his Namaz e Janaza in his hometown,” read a tweet from RJD Siwan official twitter handle.
RJD’s response comes at a time Shahabuddin’s followers took to Twitter to criticise RJD top leadership’s silence over Shahabuddin’s death.
They killed my father
Taking to twitter his Shahabuddin’s daughter Tasneem Shahbuddin blamed the DG of Tihar jail for his father’s death.
“My father Dr. Md Shahabuddin has been murdered by the DG of Tihar Jail and people who commanded him,” she tweeted.
According to Muslim Mirror, the son of former MP, Osama went to court to seek his father’s postmortem before burying him as no autopsy is done on a COVID-19 dead body.
According to Indian Express, on 28 April, Shahabuddin’s lawyers, senior advocates Salman Khurshid and Randhir Kumar had argued his writ petition before Justice Pratibha M Singh in the Delhi High Court, asking that directions to protect his life, monitor his health, and allow a mobile phone be issued so that he may be in contact with his family members.
“… Inspite of his being Covid positive, the applicant was kept in the same cell by the jail authorities knowing about the fatality rate of this disease, no separate arrangement was made by the jail authorities for the petitioner and inspite of repeated requests, he was impelled to share the same cell with the Covid-19 patient and this way, the jail authorities have endangered the life of the petitioner,” the lawyers said.
They also told the court that Shahabuddin was a “victim of political rivalry” and expressed the apprehension that his life “might be put deliberately in danger by the authorities” and that “manipulation could not be ruled out”.