LONDON: The Indian government was left embarrassed after the United Kingdom’s Home Office rejected New Delhi’s request of extraditing Tiger Hanif – also known as Mohammad Hanif Umarji Patel – due to lack of evidence and the Modi-led government’s inability to prove a case against the accused.
India has been seeking the extradition of Tiger, linking him falsely to Dawood Ibrahim’s alleged D-Company, without any proof. The Indian authorities also claim that Hanif was involved in the two Gujarat blasts in 1993.
The first explosion was in January 1993 in a market on the 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’s extradition. The confirmation by the Home Office has led to a campaign in 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 Mr Patel was discharged by the court in August 2019,” a UK Home Office source told Geo News.
Tiger’s extradition to India was first ordered by former home secretary Theresa May in June 2012. However, Hanif had appealed against the order in the UK courts.
Government sources have said that the Indian government failed to present any clear evidence linking Tiger either with the D Company or the 1993 blasts.
For any extradition to India, the UK home secretary’s signature is required as New Delhi is a category two country, according to the India-UK Extradition Treaty.
India had alleged Tiger 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”.
During the appeal, Tiger’s defence told the UK courts 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 was first arrested in Bolton in February 2010 by the Scotland Yard.
Islamophobic Indian media outlets have been blaming Sajid Javid, the former home secretary, of denying extradition of Hanif to India.
However, the same media has been ignoring that Indian origin Priti Patel has been serving as Home Secretary since the last Conservative government and has been unable to do anything about Tiger’s case due to a lack of evidence.
The Islamophobic Indian media has been creating a controversy over the origins of Sajid Javed as a Pakistani for allegedly granting relief to Tiger Hanif. The media has hidden to the Indian public that Javed had nothing to do with the case and ultimately the decision was made by the independent courts.
Legal experts familiar with the extradition laws of the UK say that India in Tiger’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.