NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police have arrested a close aide of gangster Chhota Shakeel, Junaid Chowdhry, who was in Delhi allegedly to target Pakistan-born Canadian writer Tarek Fatah. According to the police, the accused person was planning to meet another member of his gang in Haryana when he was arrested from Wazirabad road in north-east Delhi.
During his interrogation, Chowdhry told the police that he was in Delhi to meet two people to hatch a murder conspiracy.
“During initial interrogation, he said that he was in Delhi for the last few days and was going to meet another member of the gang. They wanted to eliminate a high profile person,” a senior police officer said.
Chowdhry was nabbed on the intervening night of June 7 and 8.
However, another senior police officer, on condition of anonymity, said Chowdhry was planning to target the writer, known for his controversial remarks. Even though Fatah was not in Delhi, Shakeel’s aide was here to carry out a recce, he said.
Chowdhry was arrested in June last year along with three others with arms and hawala money sent by Shakeel, but was released on bail within four months. They had been planning to kill Hindu Sabha chief Swami Chakrapani at that time. He contacted Shakeel again, but after his bail was cancelled, he was sent to Tihar Jail.
Later, he was again released on bail and was yet again got in touch with Shakeel. Chowdhry then started carrying out the gangster’s Delhi-based activities.
Tarek Fatah said he does not need any security following the arrest of Chowdhry. The writer is currently in Canada for his health check-up but said he is not scared. “These goons do not scare me. I will turn 68 in November and even if they succeed in killing me, the Muslim fight against (radical) Islamism will continue by others,” he said.