A day after Home Minister RR Patil got embroiled in a controversy over his visit to party colleague Naseem Siddiqui’s home on Id, Patil said he would probe whether this was a frame-up.
TV news channel CNN-IBN had flashed pictures of Patil attending the gathering, where people allegedly having underworld links and police records were present. The channel flashed photos of Patil with Salim Patel alias Salim Goa Gutkha, Mobin Quereshi and Irfan Quereshi.
Patil said he was not aware of the identity of the people he met at Siddiqui’s home. He said he would also find out if the local police know the background of people he met. “I attend several functions. It is impossible to scan all the people coming there,” Patil said on Wednesday. While Mobin is district chief of the minority cell of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Irfan is a builder. Salim Patel has cases of extortion and forgery against him and is Dawood’s sister Haseena Parker’s driver, the channel alleged.
Siddiqui, the chairman of the state minorities commission, said it was a conspiracy. “This is an attempt to defame the Muslim community by showcasing that a minority leader has connections with Dawood,’’ said Siddiqui. He could not explain how Patel, whom he claimed he doesn’t know, was present at the gathering. “It was Id and many people visited my home for lunch,’’ said Siddiqui.
As for Irfan, Siddiqui said hundreds of builders have been given notices by the civic body, but that doesn’t make them ‘criminals’. The situation has put the NCP in a spot since Mobin has been with them for a decade. “I don’t want comment on this now,’’ said state NCP president Madhukar Pichad.