Gilzar Azmi, general secretary of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, on Monday alleged that he felt there was a connection between BJP Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Ashish Shelar’s allegations against him and the threatening call that he allegedly received on Saturday.
Azmi had on Sunday submitted a written application to the Mumbai police, alleging that he had received a call on his office landline from a wanted fugitive, who threatened to kill him. Earlier this month, Shelar had said in the Legislative Assembly that the Jamiat had links with terrorist organisations, and that Azmi, as well as Mustaqeem Azmi, another member of the Jamiat, have links with wanted gangster Shakeel Babumiyan Sheikh alias Chhota Shakeel.
“I feel there is a connection between Shelar’s allegation and the subsequent treat call,” Azmi told reporters on Monday.
Azmi said that the call was received on his office landline and was directed to him after the caller asked for him. When Azmi took the call, the caller said that Azmi was fighting cases for terrorists and that people linked to 1993 blasts accused Dawood Ibrahim were visiting him at his office regularly. Azmi said that he told the caller to “stop talking rubbish,” to which the caller identified himself as the wanted fugitive responsible for several recent crimes in the city.
“The man told me that he was speaking with his mouth this time, but would speak with a bullet the next time. I am not afraid of bullets. I have met the Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) and he has assured me that they would conduct inquiries and protect me,” Azmi said.
Crime Branch officers said an inquiry had been initiated in the case, and that further course of action would be decided after they had some more leads pointing to the identity of the caller. “We are obtaining the call records of the Jamiat office landline and will try to trace the call,” said an officer.
In his letter to the police, Azmi has also alleged that “some high ranking officers of the Mumbai police department” are part of the conspiracy. When asked about this, Azmi said that he suspected the hand of some policemen as the Jamiat had consistently defeated the police in court, including in instances like the arrest of Faheem Ansari and Sabahuddin Siddiqui in the 26/11 case, in which the Jamiat helped them get acquittal.