The Surat police have expressed happiness over the order of a British court to extradite Hanif Umarji Patel,alias Hanif Tiger,who is wanted in a 1993 grenade attack case in which an eight-year-old girl had died in the Varachha area of the city.
Hanif will be extradited from London after a two-year long legal battle.
The order is being seen as a positive sign for India as extraditions of two others music director Nadeem Saifee (a suspect in the Gulshan Kumar murder case of 1997) and Mohammed Iqbal Memon alias Iqbal Mirchi (accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case) may follow.
On Wednesday,the city police learnt about Hanifs extradition order through media reports,following which the Commissioner of Surat Police coordinated with Interpol officials to discuss the future course of actions.
We are happy that we have got success in the long legal battle for extradition of Hanif Patel. At present,it is difficult for us to say about the connection of Hanif with Dawood Ibrahim,but once we get his custody,we will find that out. There are still days left (for the extradition) as Hanif has been given time to appeal in the court, said Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthaana.
Hanif is wanted for the 1993 grenade attack in the city,which was carried out allegedly to avenge the demolition of Babri Masjid. The other accused in this case,including former state fisheries minister Mohammed Surti,have already been convicted for 20 years.
Hanif was earlier arrested by the Surat police in an arms case. When he was out on bail,he fled to the UK reportedly using a forged passport.
The Surat police came to know that Hanif was picked up by the UK police in 2010. The UK police informed the Indian authorities about him and sought his finger prints and photographs.
Later,former Surat deputy commissioner of police (crime branch) Manindersingh Puwar visited the UK with affidavits of police officials and case papers (translated in English),and handed it to a British court to get Hanifs custody. The documents included confessional statements of all the convicts in the case.
Sources said the Surat police had been coordinating independently with their counterparts for Hanifs extradition.
During the case proceedings in the Westminster magistrates court in London,Hanif had filed an application that many incidents of human rights violation were reported from Surat and Gujarat jails. Based on this,British rights expert Derrick Pounder was sent to Gujarat in December 2011 to see the condition of jail inmates. Pounder was reportedly not satisfied with the administrative work of jail officials and also had difference of opinion.
Later,Inspector General of Police (Jail) P C Thakur had submitted a report in this regard before the London court.