A day after IMA Jewels case accused Mansoor Khan claimed in a video that he was willing to face an investigation in India despite an alleged risk to his life, Bengaluru police today said they will guarantee the businessman's safety if he returns to the city.
In his video message to Bengaluru Police Commissioner Alok Kumar, Mansoor Khan said he wanted to return and ensure that the thousands of people who lost their investments in his business venture are adequately compensated. "We are willing to liquidate whatever assets we have, worth around Rs 1,350 crore, in an effort to pay back to those we owe money," he said.
However, Mansoor Khan remains a wanted man for now. After he disappeared earlier this month, thousands of investors had filed police complaints demanding that the money they put into his Bengaluru company be returned. The businessman says he has no problems with submitting to a police investigation in India and repaying everybody involved, but he fears for his life.
"If I am allowed to return, I shall place the truth in front of your investigation team... I want to present all the evidence I have before the police and courts. But the people involved in this scam are big people ... if I reveal their names now, my family in India will be in danger. They are probably planning to kill me as soon as I reach India," he is heard saying in the video.
Deputy Inspector General Ravikante Gowda, who heads the special team set up to investigate the case, has guaranteed Mansoor Khan's safety if he turns himself in. "He has mentioned so many things in the video. Everything will be verified. Secondly, he has asked for protection. He says that he will surrender before the police if he gets protection. Whether he is an accused or somebody who wants to surrender himself to the law, we will definitely give protection. He should not have any doubt about it. If he submits himself before the law, we will give protection," he said.
The present location of the IMA Jewels owner is still not known to the thousands of investors in his company, who fear that they will never get to see their money again. The names of several Congress leaders have surfaced in connection with the alleged scam, and the BJP says only a CBI inquiry can expose the truth.
State Minority Welfare Minister Zameer Ahmed Khan explained away photographs showing Mansoor Khan with leaders of the ruling coalition, including Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and Congress veteran Siddaramaiah. "Roshan Baig (a senior Congress legislator from Shivajinagar) said that this man who owns a big gold shop in my constituency has called for an Iftar party. So many people went for that party, Siddaramaiah, Kumaraswamy... At an earlier press meet, I appealed to Mansoor Khan: 'This is the public's money. Come back, we are with you. The government is with you.' Maybe because of that, people made allegations, saying that Zameer Ahmed Khan is a minister, and how can he say that? But Mansoor Khan has now said, 'I will dissolve my assets and repay.' I hope that the public gets their money back," he said.