UK Court Orders Extradition of Gujarat Bomb Blast Suspect Tiger Hanif
Mohammed Hanif Umerji Patel who is said to be an aide to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim was reportedly involved in two bomb attacks that killed an eight-year-old girl and injured 12 others.
After the bomb attacks, Hanif fled to Britain but was tracked by the UK police in 2010 at a grocery store in Bolton, Lancashire, in north-west England after Interpol made a worldwide appeal three years ago. He was working in the name of Mohammed Patel.
The Indian authorities had sought Hanif's extradition to face charges of conspiracy to murder and also conspiracy to cause explosions. He is also said to have been accused of helping one of his fellow bombers escape by giving him cash, a weapon and a passport, reports mathrubhumi.
The 1993 bomb blast took place in the diamond and textile city of Surat, Gujarat, following communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims that broke out in the wake of the demolition of the Babri mosque at Ayodhya in 1992.
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Hanif and his accomplices were involved in two bomb attacks, including one at the Surat railway station and the other for allegedly hurling a grenade near a school on Varacha Road, in which the eight-year-old schoolgirl was killed.
In 2008, former Congress minister of Gujarat Mohammed Surti and 11 others were found guilty of the bomb blast. While Surti and five others were sentenced to 20-year imprisonment, seven others were sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment.
According to sources, Hanif was closely involved with Dawood Ibrahim and also carries information on the activities of Lashkar-e-Taiba. Hanif was reportedly taking charge of Dawood's operations in Gujarat, according to a Times of India report.
Earlier, in a court hearing, Hanif's lawyers had claimed that he would face torture if returned to India. Hanif can appeal against the extradition order but the issue is now in the hands of the British home minister who will decide on extraditing Hanif to India to face trial.
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