Haji Yaqoob Qureshi, former Uttar Pradesh Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader, and his elder son Imran Qureshi were arrested on Friday night by the Special Task Force (STF) of the U.P. police in a case related to running an illegal meat plant.
The duo had been absconding since last year after a case was registered against them and 12 others under various IPC sections, including 420 (cheating) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy), for running the meat plant without license. The police had also registered a case against them under the Gangsters Act.
The U.P. police last week announced a reward of ₹50,000 for those who inform them the whereabouts of the two. On Friday, they were arrested from the Chandni Mahal police station area of Delhi.
On March 31, 2022, the U.P. police had allegedly found a meat packaging and processing plant running without permission during a raid at Mr. Qureshi’s Al Faheem Meatex private limited factory on Hapur Road in Meerut.
The police registered a case against 14 people, including Mr. Qureshi, his wife Sanjeeda Begum and sons Imran and Firoz. The BSP leader’s wife is out on anticipatory bail while his son Firoz surrendered in a local court and is under judicial custody since last month. Mr. Qureshi’s property worth crores has been attached by the State administration under the Gangsters Act.
Mr. Qureshi, who was elected as an MLA in 2007 Assembly polls, was a member of the Cabinet of then chief Minister Mayawati. In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he fought as a BSP nominee from the Meerut Parliamentary seat and lost in a close contest against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Rajendra Agarwal. The BSP leader polled more than five lakh votes in the election.
Mr. Qureshi had made headlines few years back when he offered a $11 million reward for the death of cartoonists who drew cartoons that showed disrespect for Islam.