While being the CM Fadnavis appointed criminals on govt boards: Malik

MUMBAI: Continuing his tirade in the backdrop of Aryan Khan drug case, Nationalist Congress Party leader (NCP) and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik today accused Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis of appointing people with criminal backgrounds on government boards.

He also claimed that Fadnavis had protected a fake currency racket busted following the demonetisation of currency notes in 2016 with help from NCB zonal director, Sameer Wankhede, who was then joint director with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had seized Rs 14.56 crore of fake currency in BKC Mumbai but was reported as the case of a fake note of Rs 8 lakh only.

Malik further alleged that one Imran Alam Sheikh was arrested in this case but he got bail and no further investigation was carried out. He also said that Shaikh was the younger brother of Haji Arafat Shaikh, a BJP leader, who was appointed chairman, state minorities commission by Fadnavis.

He said that Shaikh had links with Riyaz Bhati, an alleged aide of underworld don and 1993 serial blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim. Malik sought to ask, "Who is Riyaz Bhati? He was caught with a fake passport and is linked to Dawood but was let off in two days. The same Bhati was seen at functions with Fadnavis and at BJP events."

Malik further claimed, "This same Bhati who was arrested in a fake passport case (in 2015 and again in 2020), was permitted entry to the VIP enclosure in a function attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. How did such a man who is close to Dawood and other underworld people, gain access to the VIP event and even manage to get his photos clicked with the PM".

Bhati is known for several criminal activities in suburban Mumbai and was in news recently for his involvement in the extortion case linked to suspended Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze and Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh where money was extorted from bar owners.

He has been detained at the Mumbai international airport several times in 2013 for using a fake passport to travel, 2015 and most recently in February 2020, when he was trying to flee to Saudi Arabia while out on bail.

Malik also alleged that a certain Munna Yadav from Nagpur, who faces serious criminal charges was appointed as the head of the state construction workers welfare board by Fadnavis and he also put pressure on the police to not investigate BJP leader Haji Hyder Azam wife, who was found to be a citizen of Bangladesh. 


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