'India's Most Wanted' returns to India TV

MUMBAI: India's Most Wanted man is back. And with a vengeance. For starters, Suhaib Ilyasi, the host, producer of the crime busting show that rocked many a criminal's boat has started appearing on the small screen from 20 May.

Ilyasi is back at doing what he did best in the nineties, anchoring the same show, calling it India TV's Most Wanted. The channel: Rajat Sharma's India TV.

Not only that. Ilyasi is set to join Sharma, Tarun Tejpal, Maneka Gandhi in the campaign promoting the news channel. He says that the show, in its new avatar, is even more aggressive. Short 10 minute clips called Faraar Kaun highlighting a criminal, air on the channel three times a day (9:50 am, 2:50 pm and 9:50 pm) six times a week. A half hour programme going more into the details about a criminal comes on air at 9 pm on Sunday. This is the programme which has been called India TV's Most Wanted. (The brand India's Most Wanted [IMW] belongs to Zee TV, Ilyasi says).

"Earlier when we were on Zee TV we had no time to repeat the shows. But we will show the clips again and again until a result is produced," Ilyasi says, in a conversation to

He says he knows that he is going to face a backlash from those who will be harmed by the show. "But that is not going to deter me," he reiterates. "I am a man with a mission. It's 'deewangi'... it's a passion... it is not the work of a wise person. What I am doing is the work of a madman," says Ilyasi. "But I tell myself that we have one life... so let's do whatever we want to do.. whatever we can do... let's serve our motherland. I can use television to clean up the country. Even if I have to lose my life it's OK."

According to him, IMW on Zee TV helped bring around 60 dubious characters to book. "I know some of them are behind bars, some out on bail, some have been killed in encounters," he says. "In that way I achieved what I had set out to do."

He points out that he had been framed the last time around. "My wife and I were hit by the pressures of the job. I was too busy doing the show. She couldn't take it and she committed suicide," he explains. "My sister-in-law in Canada wanted custody of our child, which I was against. She innocently mentioned to someone that I had asked for Rs 17,000 as dowry and before she and I knew it, the whole thing had become a bit of a circus and I landed up behind bars for a month." Ilyasi reveals that the custody battle is still on and the experience in jail has taught him a lot.

Coming back to India TV's Most Wanted, Ilyasi elaborates, "We don't believe what the police says is right. We research the programme. I know how the police work. When their bosses told them I should be behind bars; I was. We have to be very careful about the information provided by statutory organisations like the CBI or the police. We are very clear that we nail whoever is wrong whether it is the police or whoever."

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