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Wednesday, March 29, 2000

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Suhaib's arrest breaks up Anju's family

NEW DELHI, MARCH 28: Anju Ilyasi's sister, Rashmi Singh, whose statements changed the course of the case and led to the arrest of TV producer Suhaib Ilyasi, reportedly told the police that she was "badly beaten up at her East Delhi home" by her brother Prashant Singh.

Said a senior investigating officer of the Delhi Police, "she is badly bruised and has now gone underground under our advice." He added, "we advised her to stay away from Prashant and either check into a hotel or stay at some relative's place. Though she informed us about the fight this morning (Tuesday) and that brother Prashant beat her up on hearing about Suhaib Ilyasi's arrest, she did not want to file a formal complaint against her brother. That is the only reason we have not taken Prashant into custody yet."

Instead, the Delhi Police has posted three of their men at the Singh residence in Patparganj to keep an eye on them as a precautionary measure. "We have given Prashant strict instructions not to mess around with our prime witness, Rashmi Singh," the officer said.

In fact, Prashant himself sported a deep cut near his eyes today and father Prof K P Singh had a bandage around his left hand. When asked about the injury, Prashant said, "there was a minor scuffle at home." Singh Srexplained that he received the injury when his hand was caught in the door knob, during an argument.

In fact, the day began very early for Anju Ilyasi's family at their East Delhi home. The night before, the family members were aware that the police had filed a case against Suhaib Ilyasi and were interrogating him at his Kasturba Gandhi Marg home. But it was only when the doorbell rang around 5:15 a.m. today at their Unesco apartment home, that they received the news that Suhaib had been arrested by the Delhi Police.

It was Umer Ilyasi at the door, looking tired but agitated, informing the family that his brother Suhaib "had been taken away by the police." Rashmi Singh then called up a senior police officer to confirm the news. When the news was confirmed, all hell broke loose at the Singh residence.

It was a family divided, daggers drawn, hurling abuses and trading charges, against each member. The father and the son supported Suhaib while the mother Rukma and daughter Rashmi believed he had led Anju Ilyasi to suicide.

Even the neighbours at Unesco apartments claim they heard heated arguments, abuses and the noise of doors being slammed shut. Within a few hours, it was all there for the others to see when Prashant came out of his house and shouted at his sister and the Delhi Police for framing false charges against Suhaib Ilyasi.

Prashant did not spare his sister even in Karkardooma court where Suhaib was produced before the magistrate this (Tuesday) afternoon. He called Rashmi a liar and accused her of giving false statements to the SDM with the motive of getting custody of the two-and-a-half-year-old Aliya.

Prashant told The Indian Express, "whatever my mother and sister are stating against Suhaib is a lot of rubbish. There is no truth in their statement or in the charges filed by the police against Suhaib Ilyasi. 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."

Anju's father, Prof 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 the father and son allege that Rukma and Rashmi have given statements against Suhaib Ilyasi as "they wanted custody of Alia. When Ilyasi delayed that, they put him in trouble."

Prashant was with Suhaib Ilyasi and Anju when they were in London. Said Prashant, "don't believe that thing about Suhaib demanding dowry. How can he demand dowry when they had a love marriage?"

Copyright © 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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