Lalu visits 'unwell' Shahabuddin in jail
Patna, June 7 (IANS) Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Wednesday visited jailed Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Mohammad Shahabuddin, who is said to be suffering from acute spinal pain.
Official sources said Lalu Prasad, chief of the RJD, had an hour-long meeting with Shahabuddin in Bihar's Siwan jail and inquired about his health.
He later told reporters that he was concerned about Shahabuddin's health and the latter needed immediate specialised treatment.
"Any delay in his treatment may cause serious trouble to his health, including paralysis," Lalu Prasad said. He demanded that a medical board comprising experts be constituted and Shahabuddin be sent to Patna or outside Bihar for treatment.
Shahabuddin reportedly is suffering from a slip disc and had earlier been treated in Australia for it.
Asked whether being a central minister he should have visited a man charged with serious offences, Lalu Prasad said Shahabuddin was a party MP suffering from health problems.
"I came here just to meet him and no political motive should be read into it," the railway minister said.
Shahabuddin was shifted to Siwan jail last week from the high security Bhagalpur prison in the wake of a Patna High Court directive to speed up the trial of cases against him.
While being transferred to Siwan jail, he was allowed to travel in a luxury car instead of a police vehicle in violation of prison rules.
After his arrest in New Delhi last year, Shahabuddin was taken to the Bhagalpur prison.
A Lok Sabha member from Siwan since 1996, he faces charges in over 40 criminal cases, including those relating to murder, abduction and possession of illegal arms and stolen vehicles.