A Muslim community leader who claimed he was kidnapped from his home at knifepoint and dumped in woodland after a BNP hate campaign has been arrested for perverting the course of justice.
Noor Ramjanally, 36, alleged that he was abducted by two men, bundled into a car boot, driven to Epping Forest in Essex and ordered to stop his religious work.
The BNP had been accused of whipping up racial tensions in the area after it issued an inflammatory leaflet about Mr Ramjanally’s Islamic community group–the first in Loughton.
His alleged ordeal became a cause celebre among the Muslim community both locally and nationally after it was reported in the national press.
But today, Mr Ramjanally was, himself, arrested amid suggestions that he made the whole incident up.
An Essex Police spokesman said: “A man has been arrested in connection with an ongoing police investigation into an alleged abduction in west Essex.
“Police were contacted on Monday August 24 by a man who stated that he had been abducted from his home in the Valley Hill area of Loughton.
“On Thursday September 3, police arrested a 36 year-old man from the town on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.”
Mr Ramjanally had also alleged that his Loughton home was firebombed in July and that he had received hate mail threatening his family.
Recalling the supposed abduction, he said: “I have got the whole UK Muslim community behind me now. I am not just on my own.” And after the alleged arson attack, high-profile community figures, including Loughton Mayor Ken Angold-Stephens, religious leaders, teachers and members of the police attended the hall where he holds prayer sessions in a show of support.
Telling of the ‘kidnapping’, Mr Ramjanally claimed he feared he was about to be murdered when the car stopped and one of the kidnappers said ‘Let’s do it here.” Instead, the pair were said to have marched him deep into the forest in silence before warning him: “We don’t want the Islamic group in Loughton’.
Married father-of-one Mr Ramjanally, said he thought the attack had been inspired by the BNP.
In the latest edition of the BNP’s ‘Epping Forest Patriot’, delivered to many households in Loughton, it attacked his hiring of a local hall on Friday afternoons for two hour Jumu’ah prayer sessions.
Under a picture of a union flag being eaten away by the Islamic moon and crescent, the leaflet says: ‘In parts of neighbouring Redbridge and east London the Islamification process is almost complete.
‘Cockney culture destroyed and East End community spirit just a fading memory.’
‘The BNP love Loughton and we’ll do all in our power to prevent Islam creeping into our town.’ The BNP, which has four councillors in the area, believes the Islamic group is a prelude to building a mosque. Its leaflet is headed in capital letters: “No mosques in Loughton!”
Mr Ramjanally said: “The men did not say anything about the BNP or who they were, but it is only the BNP who want my Islamic group out of Loughton.
He added: “I believe the BNP campaign has inspired the violence.”