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India embarrassed as UK rejects extradition of Tiger Hanif

National

May 21, 2020

LONDON: The Indian government has been left deeply embarrassed after the Home Office in the United Kingdom confirmed that it rejected India's request of extraditing Tiger Hanif – also known as Mohammad Hanif Umarji Patel – due to lack of evidence and India’s inability to prove case against the Indian Muslim.

India has been seeking extradition of Tiger Hanif linking him falsely with Dawood Ibrahim’s alleged D-Company, without any proof, and two blasts in Gujarat in 1993 as a revenge for the 1992 Ayodhya mosque demolition by Hindutva extremists linked with the BJP and RSS.

The first explosion was in January 1993 in a market on Varacha Road in Surat, which killed an eight-year-old girl and the second explosion was in April 1993 at Surat railway station.

The British Home Office has now confirmed that it turned down India’s request for Tiger Hanif’s extradition. The confirmation by the Home Office has led to a campaign in Hindutva Indian media against Sajid Javid, the former home secretary of Pakistani origin.

"We can confirm that the extradition request for Hanif Patel was refused by the then home secretary and Hanif Patel was discharged by the court in August 2019," a UK Home Office source said.

Hanif's extradition to India was first ordered by former home secretary Theresa May in June 2012 but he appealed against the order and went to various stages appeals at the courts. The government sources have said that Indian government failed to present any clear evidence linking Tiger Hanif either with the D-Company or 1993 blasts.

A signature from the home secretary is required before anyone is extradited since India is a category two country according to India-UK Extradition Treaty.

India had alleged Tiger Hanif was “part of the Muslim group which obtained explosives, guns and other weapons and then carried out revenge terrorist attacks on the Hindu community, including two explosions, which resulted in loss of life, injury and damage”.

Tiger Hanif’s defence team in the UK presented proofs that any confession by Hanif to the Indian authorities was taken under severe duress and torture and thus has no bearing on the court's decision. The extradition by British officials has been rejected because of the fact that Hanif will be tortured again in India as his legal team was successful in establishing how Hanif was subjected to inhumane torture by Indian authorities.

Tiger Hanif was first arrested in Bolton in February 2010 by Scotland Yard. Islamophobic Indian media outlets have been blaming Sajid Javid, the former home secretary, of denying extradition of Hanif to India but the same media has been quiet about the fact that Indian origin Priti Patel has been serving as home secretary in the last Conservative government as well as the current government and she has been unable to do anything about Tiger Hanif’s case because there is no evidence against him and Indian government has failed to establish its case despite spending millions of pounds on expensive extradition proceedings.

Islamophobic Indian media has been creating a controversy over the origins of Sajib Javed as a Pakistani for allegedly granting relief to Tiger Hanif, not telling the public Javid had nothing to do with the Tiger’s case and ultimately the decisions in such cases is made by independent courts.

Legal experts familiar with the extradition laws of the UK says that India in Tiger Hanif’s case has exposed itself to the perception that it links everything with Dawood Ibrahim, Islam and D-Company to have its way and to generate sympathy but fails in its attempts when it comes to presenting the evidence to back up its claims.