Riyaz Bhati had worked with Ashish Shelar and assisted BJP during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls says Nawab Malik.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik and AAP leader Preeti Sharma Menon have alleged that Riyaz Bhati aide of gangster Dawood Ibrahim has close links with senior BJP members. Malik added that Bhati had worked with BJP Mumbai unit President Ashish Shelar and had assisted the party during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Last year Bhati was arrested for possessing two passports bearing different names – Riyaz Bhati and Phoolchand Bhati. He was arrested at Mumbai airport while he was planning to visit Johannesburg for attending Dawood’s party function. The Intelligence Bureau has already issued a red corner notice to him.
Nawab Malik said, “As per whose instructions police protection is being offered to Bhati? Bhati was provided police security when he went to Nagpur along with BJP Mumbai president Ashish Shelar during the winter session of the state legislature in 2014.”
“Mr. Bhati was absconding after the 1993 Mumbai blasts till 2007. He was arrested in 2015 but was mysteriously released within 15 days. He had threatened the principal of Wilson College to ensure a vote for BJP’s Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar in the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) election.”
Few days back there were reports about Bhati visiting a prominent Mumbai School with gymnast Dipa Karmakar. Bhati is known as a ‘history sheeter’ and his name is linked in match fixing, land grabbing, encroachment cases.
AAP leader Preeti Sharma Menon said, “The BJP Government always makes tall claims about destroying our enemies, and terrorists like Dawood Ibrahim. However the same party is closely associated with Dawood Ibrahim. His close aide Riyaz Bhati enjoys plum posts under BJP rule. He has been appointed as the Vice President of Gymnastics Federation of India and Maharashtra Government president of District Sports Association. Bhati is a member of Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) Marketing Committee in which his close friend and BJP MLA Ashish Shelar is Vice President. “
“What kind of role models does the Education Department wish to present before our children? The more scary part is that a known criminal like Riyaz Bhati has access to our children. Which parent would want their children to be in the company of Dawood Ibrahim’s criminals?,” she asked.
On the other hand, the BJP refuted all the allegations made by Malik. The party plans to file a defamation case against Malik. “Bhati has nothing to do with the BJP or any of his leaders,” said BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari. He said the executive committee of the Mumbai wing of the party is yet to be declared and he cannot become an office-bearer.
Defending himself Bhati said, “I don’t have any links with Dawood Ibrahim. If I was his aide then how will I be entitled to receive police protection? The reports about me holding two passports are also false. I am not associated with BJP.”