A 40-year-old man wanted in India in connection with the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat will be extradited from UK on Tuesday to stand trial in India, the Indian High Commission here said Monday. Samir Vinubhai Patel was 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 the “surrender arrangements” have been finalised. It marks the first extradition from the UK since the signing of the India-UK Extradition Treaty in 1992.
“Following Government of India’s request for extradition, Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, an Indian national, is being extradited on 18th October 2016 to face trial in India,” the High Commission said in its statement.
“Patel is facing trial in connection with post-Godhra riots in India in 2002. He is charged with the offence under Section 302 of the IPC, along with 43 other accused. The offences include being member of an unlawful assembly; rioting and murder. The accused was arrested in India and was on bail and after jumping bail had escaped to the UK,” the statement added.
According to Gujarat Police, Patel is wanted in connection with riots in Ode village of Anand district. A team of officials from India will take him into their custody to fly back to India tomorrow.
“On September 22, the Secretary of State (Amber 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 had confirmed last week.
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 others, who are still at large, is accused of being part of the riot mob at that 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 August 10, 2016,” a Scotland Yard statement said.
“We can confirm that 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 added.