A 40-year-old man wanted in India in connection with post-Godhra riots in Gujarat in 2002 will be extradited from the UK to stand trial in India, UK Home Office announced today.
Samir Vinubhai Patel had been arrested by Scotland Yard in west London in August on a Red Corner Notice issued by the Indian authorities.
His extradition order was signed by UK home secretary Amber Rudd on September 22 and now officials are in the process of finalising “surrender arrangements”.
“On 22 September, the Secretary of State (Rudd), having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel’s extradition to India. He is accused, whilst being part of a rioting mob, of three counts of murder, two counts of using unlawful violence with others for a common purpose and one count of arson,” a UK Home Office spokesperson said today.
According to Gujarat Police, Patel is wanted in connection with riots in Ode village of Anand district after he had escaped to the UK by jumping bail a few years ago.
A team of officials are believed to be on their way to London to take him into custody to fly back to India by the end of this week.
“We can confirm that Mr Patel has consented to his extradition to India. However, we are unable to comment on any surrender arrangements as this is an operational matter for the police,” a UK Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) statement said.
On March 1, 2002, 23 people from the Muslim community were burnt alive in a house in Pirwali Bhagol area of Ode village.
Patel along with two other accused, who are still at large, are accused of being part of the riot mob at the time.
Patel’s whereabouts were traced to a home in Hounslow, west London after which Scotland Yard arrested him on August 9.
“On August 9, officers from the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) extradition unit attended an address in Beavers Lane, Hounslow and arrested Samir Vinubhai Patel, aged 40, on a warrant issued under section 71 Extradition Act 2003. He appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on 10 August 2016,” a Scotland Yard statement said.
India and the UK have an extradition treaty in force since 1993.