Suhaib Ilyasi, producer of `India's Most Wanted' arrested
NEW DELHI, MARCH 28: More than two months after his wife died of stab wounds, the producer of India's Most Wanted, Suhaib Ilyasi, was arrested by the Delhi Police this morning. He has been remanded to 14 days in judicial custody at Tihar Jail.
Ilyasi was held under charges of leading his wife Anju to suicide by ``harassing her, both mentally and physically, demanding dowry, and, for destroying evidence important to investigation of the case.''
Anju's sister Rashmi Singh has also alleged that ``one of the reasons Suhaib mistreated his wife was because he was having an affair with his business partner's daughter''.
Anju Ilyasi died under mysterious circumstances on January 10 in the couple's home at IFS apartments, Mayur Vihar, after a bitter fight between them. She was declared dead on arrival at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences with two stab wounds in her abdomen.
The forensic and fingerprint reports had indicated that it was a suicide. Sub-divisional magistrate Ravi Dadaich was investigating the case, recording the statements of both Anju and Suhaib Ilyasi's family members and the staff at Ilyasi's firm, Aliya Productions.
Ilyasi was picked up at 5am today from his father's residence on Kasturba Gandhi Marg. SDM Dadaich sent a report to the investigating officer at Trilokpuri police station on Monday morning, saying that the statements of Anju's sister Rashmi Singh and their mother Rukma Singh, and, other documentary evidence including Anju's three personal diaries, indicated that Ilyasi had harassed his wife. DCP East Nityanandan said that Ilyasi's arrest was not just on the basis of the statement but also on the basis of some documentary proof.
The SDM's report suggested that a case be filed and the police conduct further probe.
On Monday afternoon, the Trilokpuri police filed a first information report against Suhaib Ilyasi, based on the SDM's report, under sections 304B (dowry-related death), 498A (harassment and cruelty against wife by husband or in-laws) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code and section 34. Both sections 304B and 498A are non-bailable. The charge of destroying evidence states that Ilyasi had apparently burnt letters written and received by Anju, the letters that talked about the torture that she was facing at the hands of her husband.
Both Rukma and Rashmi Singh in their statements to the SDM have alleged that Anju took the extreme step of committing suicide due to continuous ``mental'' harassment and demand of money by Suhaib.
It was a month ago that Rashmi came from Canada to give her statement to the SDM. Rashmi's statements mention three main charges: Suhaib demanded dowry from Anju and taunted her for not getting dowry money. Rashmi has even produced a cheque of Rs 3 lakh signed by her for Aliya Productions. Second, Suhaib harassed Anju as he was having an affair with his business partner's daughter. Third, that Suhaib never gave Anju enough money to meet her personal expenses, that his family was conservative and objected to Anju's desire to pursue a career.
In fact, Anju's mother Rukma Singh has changed her earlier statement given in January in which she had clearly stated that she ``did not suspect any foul play by Suhaib Ilyasi.'' However, Rukma has now told the SDM that she was forced to give such a statement as ``she had granddaughter Aliya's well-being and she was still in Suhaib's custody''.
The case took another bizarre turn when Anju's brother Prashant Singh and father Prof K P Singh took a diametrically opposite stand and decribed the allegations against Ilyasi as ``rubbish.'' Prashant told Express Newsline: ``Whatever my mother and sister Rashmi are stating against Suhaib Ilyasi is a lot of rubbish. There is no truth in their statement or in the charges filed by the police against Suhaib. If you are holding Suhaib responsible for Anju's suicide, then my mother and sister are also to blame, as they unduly interfered in their family matters. The Rs 3-lakh cheque that Rashmi is talking about is a family loan, not dowry.''
K P Singh, a retired IIT professor, agreed with Prashant. ``My wife and daughter are breaking up my family. Don't pay heed to what they say.'' Both Anju's father and brother allege that Rukma and Rashnmi have given statements against Suhaib as ``they wanted custody of Aliya. When Ilyasi delayed that, they put him in trouble.''
The investigating officers have a tough job on their hands: ``The case has taken a bizarre turn,'' said a senior police officer. ``Now, we have to interrogate every person, directly or remotely connected with the case all over again.''
Copyright © 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.