After the initial euphoria over the arrest of India’s most wanted criminal, Mohammad Iqbal Momin, 61, alias Iqbal Mirchi in London last week, the crime branch is now confronted with the task of collection of evidence to send an extradition plea to the Interpol.
With several failures in the British courts in the past, the police will have to be extra-cautious with the dossier this time. Mirchi is wanted in connection with 12 serious offences — including two murders and three cases of narcotics smuggling under the NDPS Act — in various police stations in the city and the Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC) of the crime branch. The last offence against Mirchi was registered in 1994.
“We are going through the roznamas (day-to-day observations of a court at the trial) of the cases in which Mirchi was an accused. It is possible that the court, after the examination of the co-accused, might have recorded or discovered some evidence against Mirchi,” said a senior crime branch officer.
The police have also sought help from the Customs department and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), which had booked Mirchi in the past. “Evidence in those cases was not presented in the earlier extradition dossier. It can be clubbed now. Our aim is to gather more credible and focused evidence to save us from any further embarrassment.”
According to highly placed sources, collating evidence is difficult as most cases against Mirchi are more than two decades old. Over the last two decades, most of the old files have been disposed of following the computerisation of records at police stations. “The data from undertrial cases was fed into the computers while the dormant files were kept aside. Mirchi’s cases fall under the second category as he did not face a trial in any of the cases,” said a source.
Moreover, a centralised data bank at the police commissionerate comprising records of the field units was formed after the 1993 serial blasts, while most cases, barring one, against Mirchi were filed prior to 1993.