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Patel shows love for criminals

india Updated: Sep 06, 2006 01:06 IST
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Offers tickets to Salem and Dawood

PRESIDENT OF the Apna Dal Sone Lal Patel on Tuesday sent an open invite to criminals: “Come, join my party!”

The invite, thrown on the occasion of the release of the English version of mafia don Babloo Srivastava’s book ‘Unfulfilled Dreams’ at Hotel Clarks Awadh, was meant for all criminals including Dawood Ibrahim, India’s most wanted fugitive.

“What’s wrong with taking criminals if they vow to shun crime in future,” Patel said as the battery of press persons, apparently taken aback by the announcement, started pressing Patel to say something more. So, he did.

“Whether it’s Abu Salem or Dadua,” I am willing to welcome everyone with open arms, he announced. That wasn’t all. Patel then went about explaining the circumstances that led one to take to crime. “Nobody is a criminal by birth.

Everyone is a victim of circumstances. So, we would help them in the reformation process,” Patel added. Having said that he announced that he would give Babloo the freedom to choose any constituency to contest the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state.

When questioned why was he so generous on Babloo, his criminal past notwithstanding, in particular and others like Dawood, Patel acting as the self appointed political teacher of criminals, he said he was neither aware nor bothered about Babloo’s past. “I don’t know what Babloo was before he joined us. Now, he is a completely changed person,” was Patel’s response. But, why is this liking towards criminals? “Why not? They too are a part of our society and if they wish to repent shouldn’t we give them a chance.”

Apparently encouraged, the organisers of Tuesday’s book release function announced that Babloo’s second book on the dark underbelly of the underworld would be due for release by October 14.

Patel, who has a management degree from a prominent institute, wanted to become a degree college professor. “I had two dreams. To become a teacher and to take to politics.” Politician he became in 1980. His role as a ‘teacher’ seems to have begun on Tuesday.