Insufficient bail amount delays Hasan Suroor's release
New Delhi: The lack of cash for bail has delayed the release of prominent Indian-origin British journalist and columnist Hasan Suroor, 65, who was arrested and charged by British Transport Police (BTP) at Deptford Bridge DLR station on charges concerning paedophilia after a sting operation by an anti-paedophilia vigilante group in London on Monday.
Also read: Columnist caught in paedophilia sting in UK
The bail amount - currently being organised by his family in India — is likely to be wired for Suroor’s release. He is currently in the custody of the Metropolitan Police. Suroor was caught on video when members of Unknown TV, who organised the sting operation, confronted him at a time when he was allegedly waiting for a 14-year-old girl.
It is believed that a member of the group solicited Suroor on social media, posing as a teen. The video that was released by the group on Facebook showed Suroor being surrounded by them on the street, questioning him about texting a 14-year-old about plans to have sex with her. He was seen admitting to travelling to meet her but offering the defence: “But I told her I am old.”
Suroor’s arrest and charges being framed at the Westminster Magistrates Court, has meanwhile prompted Indian-origin journalists in London to meet the Deputy High Commissioner of India in London. “We will apprise the Deputy High Commissioner of the situation.
Suroor is a British national and will be tried under the local laws,” a senior journalist representing an Indian daily said in a brief telephonic interview. A spokesperson of BTP said their mobile unit arrested Suroor and handed him over to the Metropolitan Police, which issued a statement on Friday, saying Suroor was in their custody.
An official who responded to SUNDAY mid-day’s call at the central office of the Metropolitan Police confirmed Suroor was in their custody. “We will produce him in court either on November 25 or 26. We have no more information to share,” the official said.
Suroor, a resident of Sloane Avenue, Kensington and Chelsea, is one of many adults who the group, which operates in the UK and US, traps before taping their conversations, confronting them and handing them over to the police. Though such stings do not necessarily end in a conviction, there was a report of one person taking his life following such a sting.
Suroor, who wrote for a number of Indian and British newspapers, was seen begging for forgiveness in the video before being handed over to the police. An Indian national daily dropped his latest column after details of his arrest surfaced in the media.