Fugitive breaks Ramzan fast with top police officials

Missing opportunity

Barely a few days back, the police had conducted raids at the residence of Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mohammed Aslam in Uttar Pradesh's riot-torn Bareilly town, about 250 km from here, and seized illegal arms and had registered a case against him.

Aslam, a former corporator, had been absconding after the raids and the police had said that a massive manhunt had been launched to nab him.

On Saturday, Aslam attended a “Roza Iftar” (when Muslims break their day-long fast during the month of Ramzan) party at the SP office at Bareilly in which top cops, including the Inspector general of police (zone) and the district police chief, were present. A few ministers and other senior district officials were also present at the party.

Aslam, according to sources, had reached the “Iftar” party well before it had begun and was seen having food with senior police officers and others. It, however,  turned out everyone except the police officials had seen Aslam.

On being confronted later, the police officials said that they did not recognise him (Aslam).
“We are trying to nab him...he will be arrested soon,” they said.

The police, acting on a tip-off, raided Aslam’s residence on Friday and seized two revolvers and a large quantity of live cartridges, procured illegally. A case was registered against him and the cops said that they had launched a manhunt to nab him.

Significantly, Bareilly town had been rocked by communal violence about a fortnight back in which one person was killed, prompting the authorities to impose indefinite curfew. A dusk-to-dawn curfew is still in force in the communally sensitive town. Police have been conducting raids in different parts of the town to confiscate illicit arms.

Earlier also, a jailed SP legislator Vijay Mishra had managed to attend a party hosted by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for President Pranab Mukherjee at the former’s residence here.

Mishra’s presence had been sharply criticised by the opposition parties and had caused huge embarrassment to the chief minister.

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