Bangladeshi murder suspect in UK court after extradition from India

A Bangladeshi man wanted in the UK on charges of murdering his wife and two daughters has appeared before a court in London after being extradited from India over the weekend.

Mohammed Abdul Shakur’s case marks the first of its kind successful extradition from India to the UK.

According to Scotland Yard, the 45-year-old landed at Heathrow Airport in London on Saturday and was taken into custody before being charged with the triple murders dating back to 2007 on Sunday.

After his first appearance before Barkingside Magistrates’ Court in north-east London on Monday, Shakur is set to appear at the Old Bailey criminal court in London on Wednesday.

“Shakur was extradited back to the UK from India, where he has been imprisoned for immigration offences since 2012. Proceedings for his extradition began in 2013 but have only recently been completed,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

Shakur is accused of beating and strangling to death his estranged wife, 26-year-old Juli Begum, and their two daughters at their home in Whitechapel, east London, in January 2007.

After a concerned relative had alerted police, all three victims were discovered by police inside the bedroom of the house and it later emerged that six-year-old Thanha Khanum died from a head injury and five-year-old Anika Khanum was strangled.

“Juli Begum, 26, was found deceased with her children Anika and Thanha Khanum, aged five and six respectively, at her home in Nelson Street, E1 in January 2007 after concerns were raised for their welfare,” the Met Police statement added.

The police declared at the time that there were no signs of forced entry at the address as they launched a hunt for Shakur, who it later emerged had fled to India.

Shakur’s extradition was recommended by a court in New Delhi in 2013 but the case remained locked in legal wrangles as he served his sentence in India. At the end of an India-UK Home Affairs Dialogue in London back in July 2017, the Indian government had announced plans to drop the case against Shakur in order to facilitate his extradition to Britain to face the triple murder charges.

Shakur’s case marks the second successful extradition as part of the India-UK Extradition Treaty, signed in 1992 and in force since November 1993. The other extradition was from the UK to India back in 2016 – that of Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, wanted in connection with the Godhra riots in Gujarat.

There are currently a number of high-profile Indian extradition cases at various legal stages in the UK courts, including that of former Kingfisher Airlines chief Vijay Mallya, wanted in India on fraud and money laundering charges amounting to Rs 9,000 crores, and fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi in connection with a $1 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.

On Monday, Mallya lost the first stage in his High Court application seeking leave to appeal against his extradition order, signed off by UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid in February, taking his case a step closer to extradition.

Meanwhile, Nirav Modi remains behind bars at Wandsworth prison in south-west London awaiting his next remand hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on April 26.