Billingham Health Centre GP to face extradition hearing over alleged links to India terror group

Dr Mukul Hazarika works at the Queenstree Medical Practice at Billingham Health Centre. Credit: Gazette Media Company

A Teesside GP is due to face possible extradition to India over alleged terror-related charges.

Dr Mukul Hazarika, a family doctor who works at the Queenstree Medical Practice, at Billingham Health Centre, is accused of running a terror group after a campaign of bombings and executions in his native country.

He strenuously denies all allegations.

A court hearing was scheduled to start in London on Monday 16 May to determine whether he will be extradited to India to face the charges.

The case was set to be heard at Westminster Magistrates Court, on Marylebone Road, and was listed on court documents for three days at least.

Patients at the practice have been reassured that services are running as normal, with Teesside health authorities confirming support is being given where needed.

Dr Hazarika, 75, has worked there since the 1980s.

He is a family GP and the registered manager for services including the treatment of disease, disorder or injury, surgical procedures and diagnostic and screening procedures according to the Care Quality Commission.

There are two other GPs at the practice which also has a three-member nursing team.

Patients at Billingham Health Centre Patients have been reassured that services are running as normal. Credit: Gazelle Media Syndication

Dr Hazarika denies any criminality but is facing extradition over claims relating to alleged earlier involvement with a group called the ULFA, which was linked to kidnappings, murders and bombings over 30 years in India.

Authorities in India say his real name is Abhijeet Asom and accuse him of helping to orchestrate a campaign of violence as chair of United Liberation Front of Assam Independent (ULFA(I)), reports the Mirror.

The outlawed group reportedly wants independence for north-eastern state Assam.

He allegedly became leader of the ULFA(I) splinter group in 2012.

He faces trial in India for conspiracy to murder and the preparation of an act of terrorism between 2004 and 2007.

The maximum sentence is life in jail.

Dr Hazarika is on £50,000 bail and must wear a tag under a nightly curfew.

The Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for commissioning health care across Teesside.

A spokesperson said: "We are aware of this case and are supporting the practice where needed.

"We are unable to provide further comment while ongoing proceedings take place."

Patients at Queenstree, where GPs earn more than £70,000, have been told the doctor is on annual leave until 30 May.

"He’s one of the most respected people in Billingham and runs the health centre very well," said one patient. "If he turned out to be involved with anything untoward it would be a massive shock."

The GP lives in Elton where a neighbour said: "He’s very well respected and loved by staff and patients. It’s impossible to think he’s involved with a terrorist organisation.

"His wife does all the gardening and always has the place looking lovely. They’re highly thought of, hard-working, decent people.”

The doctor has refused to comment on the matter.

His lawyer Anand Doobay said: "Dr Hazarika strenuously denies all allegations of criminal wrongdoing and he intends to contest them vigorously.

"As there are ongoing proceedings we are unable to provide further comment."