Samajwadi Party Member of Legislative Assembly Abu Asim Azmi on Saturday stirred up another controversy by meeting the family of a suspect in the ONGC terror plot on 'humanitarian grounds' and said he was ready to face any inquiry by the police.
"I met the family of Riyaz Ali on humanitarian grounds, after a request from my party corporator in suburban Bandra. I am a people's representative and there is nothing wrong in meeting families," he said.
Azmi declined to comment when queried on whether he thought Riyaz Ali is innocent, but declared that he is ready to face any inquiry by the police.
A suspected Pakistan-linked terror plot was foiled when the police on March 13 arrested Mumbai residents Abdul Latif alias Guddu, 29, and Riyaz Ali alias Rehan, 23, who were allegedly planning to attack three targets, including the ONGC headquarters in the city.
Defending his meeting with Riyaz's family, Azmi said, "After the arrest of Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Colonel S P Purohit, Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani met the prime minister on the issue."
The Shiv Sena had also organised protests to admit the Sadhvi to the hospital while she was under arrest, Azmi pointed out, adding, "Why is only my image being maligned in media."
On state home minister R R Patil's remarks that he will probe Azmi's intention behind meeting Shahzad, who was arrested in connection to the 2008 Delhi blast case and the Batla House encounter, Azmi said, "I have neither seen nor met Shahzad. However, I knew his father and met him 20 years ago in Saudi Arabia."
Indicating the involvement of Hindu organisations in the Pune German Bakery blast, Azmi said there is a possibility that the organisations behind Malegaon, Nanded, Thane and Navi Mumbai blasts also orchestrated the Pune blast.