Ground Report | New Delhi: Who is Riyaz Bhati; Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s name is included in the ongoing allegations and counter-allegations between Nawab Malik and Devendra Fadnavis. Nawab Malik has alleged that Riyaz Bhati, who had links with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, was patronized by BJP leader and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Who is Riyaz Bhati
Riyaz Bhati has been accused in the past of being an alleged aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. In a 2016 interview, Bhati had denied allegations of being an aide of Dawood Ibrahim.
Malik said that 57-year-old Versova-based Mumbai builder Riyaz Bhati believed to be fugitive mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar’s henchman, has always been seen close to Fadnavis at BJP events and even at his (Fadnavis) dinner table.
Bhati is a gangster who has suspicious relations with gangster Dawood Ibrahim. He has several cases registered against him including land grabbing, extortion, cheating, and forgery. He was caught in fake passport cases on two occasions – October 2015 and February 2020 – when he was trying to flee the country in violation of court orders. His name also cropped up in land grabbing cases.
In September this year, his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the court, and he has been absconding since then. A lookout circular has been issued against him and a search is on for him. Riyaz Bhati’s name had cropped up in the Parambir Singh case this year. A case has been registered against former Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh for demanding extortion. An FIR was also registered against Riyaz Bhati in this case.
Riyaz Bhati was summoned by the Mumbai Crime Branch for questioning in the ransom case, but Bhati escaped without joining the interrogation. Riyaz Bhati had applied for bail, but the court rejected his application. Mumbai Police is looking for him these days.
BJP denied allegations
On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has denied the allegations made by Nawab Malik that Fadnavis had mafia links. Fadnavis quoted George Bernard Shaw on microblogging website Twitter, writing, “I learned long ago, never wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and moreover the pig likes it!”
Talking to media persons, BJP leader and former minister Ashish Shelar protested by displaying pictures of fugitive goon Riyaz Bhatti along with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, NCP President Sharad Pawar, Malik, Prithviraj Chavan, Aslam Shaikh and other top MVA leaders. Di, “You show one, we’ll show you four pictures.”