New Delhi, October 20 (NIA): Britain has extradited Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel (40), who is accused in India for burning alive 23 Muslims of Gujarat’s Ode village in Anand District in the March 2002 anti-Muslims riots.
Over 2000 Muslims were killed in the riots spread across the Western Indian state which was then under the watch of Narendra Modi as Chief Minister.
Patel was deported on October 18 to face trial in India, the British High Commission said in a press release.
This is the first time UK is extraditing an Indian national after the signing of the UK-India extradition treaty in 1992. Fourteen cases including those of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, former Indian cricket honcho Lalit Modi, and Tiger Hanif, bomb expert and loyalist of terrorist Dawood Ibrahim are pending.
The Indian authorities had issued a Red Corner notice against Samirbhai Patel. In August this year, Scotland Yard had arrested him. The extradition order was signed by Amber Rudd, Secretary, Home Office.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, Patel had “consented” to the extradition, unlike others on India’s extradition list. This helped fast-track the process. His reasons for agreeing to the extradition have not been disclosed.
Patel was arrested in India, but jumped bail and made his way to the London suburb of Hounslow.
Tiger Hanif Resists Extradition
Unlike Patel, Tiger Hanif, wanted in India in connection with the 1993 blasts in Surat , has consistently and so far successfully resisted extradition.
An aide of gangster cum terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, was arrested in Bolton, Greater Manchester, in March 2010 and lost all legal avenues to avoid it.
One of his pleas to prevent extradition – that he would be tortured in Indian jails – was overruled by the judge in the Westminster Magistrates Court in May 2012. The court sent a team to Gujarat to examine jail conditions and to assess the validity of Hanif’s plea, but the judge dismissed it and called him a “classic fugitive”.
Hanif, whose full name is Mohammed Umarji Patel, made a final appeal to then Home Secretary Theresa May soon after the court judgment.
A Home Office spokesperson confirmed to Hindustan Times last week there has been “no update” on Hanif’s final appeal with the Home Secretary. Since the appeal was made, the Home Office’s standard response on Hanif’s case has been: “Further representations have been made to the Home Secretary in this case and they are currently being carefully considered.”
15, Including Some High Profile Cases, Are Pending
Over the years, India has sought individuals wanted for various crimes from Britain under the processes of extradition and deportation, the latter being a quicker process. However, in either process, India has not met with much success.
India revoked the passports of individuals such as Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya – allegedly involved in financial irregularities – and sought their deportation, but Britain has not yet agreed to the requests.
The list of individuals sought by India from Britain through extradition and deportation is said to be around 15. Some recent cases of individuals wanted for alleged offences in India are: Vijay Mallya (financial), Lalit Modi (financial), Ravi Shankaran (Indian Navy war room leak case), Tiger Hanif (1993 blasts in Gujarat), Nadeem Saifi (film industry man Gulshan Kumar murder case), and Raymond Varley (UK citizen for child abuse cases in Goa).