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Delhi Police seeks Rasheed’s custody


New Delhi : Delhi Police's crime branch has sought the custody of travel agent Rasheed, accused of smuggling Indians abroad in a scam that allegedly involves several MPs and Andhra Pradesh politicians.

A police team has also been rushed to Hyderabad to speed up the investigation process. Rasheed, whose real name is Mohammed Mazharuddin Ali, had surrendered to the Hyderabad police Thursday after evading arrest for several days.

"We have rushed a team to Hyderabad to get his (Rasheed) custody after he was named the kingpin of the racket," a senior investigating official told IANS.

According to the official, Rasheed's name came up following the arrest of Sunder Lal Yadav, another travel agent, and Rajender Kumar Gampa, an assistant with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Babubhai Katara, and their female accomplice Kiran in the trafficking scandal.

Katara was arrested at Delhi airport April 18 while trying to smuggle out a woman and a boy to Toronto on the diplomatic passports of his wife and son.

Sunder and Gampa had earlier disclosed here in a city court that they introduced Rasheed and another travel agent to four MPs, including Katara.

Police, however, have so far failed to establish that Rasheed was in contact with Katara.

Rasheed has implicated several Andhra Pradesh MPs from both the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). He also named Hyderabad-based cricket bookie Rajupitti as the kingpin of the flourishing scam, according to police sources in Hyderabad.