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Suhaib Ilyasi

The producer-director of ‘India’s Most Wanted’ on why he needs a security cover

Suhaib Ilyasi
Has your security cover been withdrawn?
The Delhi Police Commissioner did order a withdrawal. But it was restored after we telecast a programme explaining the grave danger following such a withdrawal.

But did you demand Z-category security?
No. Though there was a hue and cry that I had demanded it. We need security only to peacefully carry on the good work of tracking down criminals. Even the intelligence Bureau has recommended maximum security as it perceives a threat to us.

At whose behest was the security withdrawn?
Politicians of all political parties. I will not take any names now. I am writing a diary.

Which criminal gangs have threatened you so far?
We've done programmes on Dawood Ibrahim, Chotta Rajan, Babloo Srivastava. We also telecast programmes on the alleged criminal connections of Shahabuddin, an RJD MP, and 70 fugitives. So the threat could be from any of them.

Did Shahabuddin threaten you?
Yes, I did receive threats on his behalf.

Will you discontinue the telecast of India's Most Wanted in view of these?
No. The programme will continue, even if I lose my life.

Police blame the media for sensationalising the crime reports...
A story's selected on the seriousness of the crime. Then our journalists get the views of police, victims, the family, prosecution and witnesses. We present facts, don't sell crime.

What has been the response from the public?
Tremendous. We receive more than 10,000 letters from fans every week.

How do you gauge the success of your programme?
In less than 48 weeks of telecast, about 11 fugitives were captured, five of them were shot dead in two encounters.

Does your programme prove that the police force is incompetent?
I get a lot of cooperation from the police. But tardy investigation is the main drawback. When I can crack crime with meagre resources, why can't the police? We also need to amend the penal code and give police more functional independence.

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