UK ‘refuses’ Dawood aide Hanif Tiger’s extradition

UK refuses Dawood aide Hanif Tiger's extradition.
UK refuses Dawood aide Hanif Tiger's extradition.

LONDON: Britain has reportedly refused India’s request to extradite Tiger Hanif, a close aide of India’s most-wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim, accused in two cases of bomb blasts in Gujarat. Top sources in the Home Office revealed that Tiger’s extradition was refused by then Home Secretary Sajid Javid, a British politician of Pakistan origin.

Even as Tiger gets relief, Dawood’s another close lieutenant Jabir Motiwala, accused of drug financing, is still lodged in British jail and continues to face extradition charges. While India might request British authorities to find a way to reassess Tiger Hanif’s extradition, the refusal by Sajid Javid ostensibly helped the defence lawyers to get Tiger’s case discharged by the court.

Tiger Hanif, known as Hanif Mohammed Umerji Patel, was arrested in the UK by the Metropolitan police in February 2010, on a tip-off from Indian agencies. Also linked with Iqbal Mirchi, Tiger was accused in two cases of terror attacks in Gujarat in 1993. Tiger had conspired to launch a grenade attack in a crowded Surat market in which an eight-year-old girl was killed and several people injured.

In another attack, in a bid to avenge the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, Tiger Hanif was accused of hatching a conspiracy to execute a bomb explosion at the Surat Railway station, injuring over a dozen persons. The 59-year-old Hanif was traced to a grocery store in Bolton, Greater Manchester, and arrested by the Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant from Indian authorities in 2010.

Tiger lost his appeal in the UK High Court in April 2013, following which the case was handed over to the UK Home Secretary. However, after years of pondering over the files, the UK Home Secretary in 2018-19, Sajiv Javid, reportedly refused extradition of Tiger Hanif. Sajid Javid, son of a Pakistani bus driver who migrated to England, has a strong following in British Pakistani community. 

Sources said that Tiger Hanif has been close to Dawood Ibrahim and has been working for D-company, known for its underworld activities. During his stay in Britain, Hanif had also come in contact with late Iqbal Mirchi, another Dawood aide known for narcotics smuggling in Europe. Mirchi was also wanted by the Indian police but his extradition request was rejected by British courts.

Sources said Tiger’s lawyers have pleaded with the courts and Home office that in case Tiger is extradited he would be subject to torture in Indian jails. Another Dawood aide and alleged financier of D-company Jabir Motiwala is also lodged in British jails facing extradition to the United States of America in case of drug financing.

Motiwala is presently on remand at the crowded Wandsworth prison allegedly affected by a coronavirus outbreak. Lawyers of several inmates at this prison have asked the government to release the inmates to save them from the deadly coronavirus. Jabir Motiwala was arrested in London in August 2018 during a raid at Hilton Hotel on Edgware Road. However, like Tiger, Jabir Motiwala’s lawyers have denied all charges against him and said he has never been associated with Dawood Ibrahim.

On the other hand, US authorities have presented strong legal evidence and several video tapes in the courts to prove that Motiwala was deeply involved in drug trafficking activities and finance operations of the D-company, run from Dawood’s hideout in Karachi.

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