Fadnavis claims Malik has underworld links; will drop 'hydrogen bomb' on BJP leader tomorrow, retorts NCP leader

As Fadnavis alleged that Nawab Malik and his family entered into land deals with people linked to underworld, Malik hit back saying the former Maharashtra chief minister was maligning his image

FP Staff November 09, 2021 15:52:47 IST
Fadnavis claims Malik has underworld links; will drop 'hydrogen bomb' on BJP leader tomorrow, retorts NCP leader

File photo of Devendra Fadnavis. Firstpost

Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday alleged that state minister Nawab Malik and his family members had purchased land in suburban Kurla at a very cheap rate through fictitious documents from two convicts of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

Addressing a press conference, Fadnavis claimed that one of the two convicts, Saleem Ishaq Patel, was working as frontman of Dawood Ibrahim's sister Haseena Parkar in Mumbai.

Responding to a query on why he didn't reveal these land deals when he was chief minister of Maharashtra (from 2014 to 2019), the BJP leader said he would have exposed Malik had he found this information earlier.

"There are four such land purchase deals where I can firmly say that Malik has entered into land deals with the underworld," said Fadnavis.

He claimed the land was purchased from Patel and Sardar Shahwali Khan, who were convicted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

"Why did you do business with the killers of Mumbaikars?” the BJP leader asked.

As many as 257 people were killed and about 1,400 injured when serial blasts ripped through Mumbai on 12 March, 1993.

“Another question arises that why did these two accused persons sell their land to Malik? They were about to get convicted under then TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act). As per that legal provision, all the properties of convicts get attached and come under government control. Did Malik help them to avoid such land on prime location from getting attached?” he asked.

He claimed Nawab Malik's son Faraz Malik had signed the agreement documents of the Kurla land deal with Khan and Patel.

“Saleem Ishaq Patel was working as the driver as well as the frontman of Dawood Ibrahim's sister Haseena Parkar in Mumbai. He was also given the power of attorney of several properties purchased by Parkar. In the suspicious Kurla land deal, Patel had the power of attorney of the land and he signed the sale agreement which was purchased by Faraz Khan, son of Nawab Malik,” Fadnavis claimed.

What additional explanation does one need when Malik buys land from people having underworld connections and that too at lower than market rates, the former chief minister asked.

Fadnavis said the original value of the entire plot in Kurla, admeasuring around three acres (2.80 acre), was estimated to be Rs 3 crore.

"However, a company controlled by Malik's family purchased this land for merely Rs 20 lakh. The property deal began in 2003 and was completed by 2007. Just before the deal, Nawab Malik had stepped down as a minister after a report authored by retired judge P B Sawant passed severe strictures against him. However, the question remains that how come Malik was not aware of Saleem Patel and his alleged underworld connections,” Fadnavis asked.

Queried about his future course of action, Fadnavis said he would submit the documents to "appropriate authorities" like the CBI, ED or NIA. "I will also share a copy of it with NCP chief Sharad Pawar," he added.

Fadnavis also said he was thinking of handing the documents in his possession to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

'Will drop hydrogen bomb'

Malik, responding to Fadnavis at a press conference a couple of hours later,  said he would expose Fadnavis' underworld connections on Wednesday morning.

The NCP leader said baseless allegations were being levelled against him to malign his image.

“I will drop a hydrogen bomb tomorrow in connection with Fadnavis. I will expose his underworld links,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

“Fadnavis is trying to malign my image by connecting me to blast convicts and the underworld. I have no relations with the underworld and never purchased any land from blast convicts. I don't know Haseena Parkar. Salim Patel had the power of attorney of Goawala family. I did not know Patel was connected to the underworld. Sardar Khan had an ownership of the 300m plot. We paid to surrender the rights to it,” Malik added.

Responding to Fadnavis’ allegation that Malik bought land at throwaway prices, the minister said, “Whatever sum was sought by the owner was given. The watchman had created paperwork for ownership on a 300m plot. Money was paid for that.”

“We were tenants of a plot, whose owner wanted to sell it. We carried out the transaction with the person who had the power of attorney on behalf of the owner... Sardar Wali Khan was the owner of the 300m plot. He still has his house in the Goawala compound. His father worked as a watchman in the compound. We paid to remove his name from the plot,” Hindustan Times quoted Malik as saying.

Fadnavis' remarks came days after Malik sought to link the BJP with an alleged narcotics dealer by tweeting the latter's photograph with the former chief minister and his wife Amruta Fadnavis.

The former chief minister had then said he will make revelations about Malik's “underworld links” after Diwali and also share the "documents and proofs" of the same with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar.

Malik has since last month levelled a series of allegations against Narcotics Control Bureau's (NCB) Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede after he led a raid on a cruise ship, following which actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan and some others were arrested.

The NCP leader's son-in-law Sameer Khan was also arrested by the NCB earlier this year in an alleged drugs case and was later granted bail by a court.

On 1 November, Fadnavis had said Malik's attack on the NCB was an attempt to put pressure on officials of the anti-drugs agency so that the case against his son-in-law is weakened.

With inputs from agencies

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