Monday, November 28, 2005

Cops scan phone records of Salem and his shooters

Extradited gangster Abu Salem

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) investigating the Pradeep Jain murder case is busy scanning through records of telephone conversations between the killers and gangster Abu Salem to gather ‘material evidence’ in the contract killing case.

One of the accused, S R Singh Yadav, owner of Labh Constructions, had paid money to Salem to eliminate Jain, owner of Kamla Constructions, over a property dispute. Jain was killed outside his office in Juhu on March 7, 1995.

“The amount (supari) given to the underworld and, then to the unemployed shooters is also being probed and verified,’’ a police officer said. The supreme court has noted that the accused were associates of Dawood Ibrahim and Salem and were in constant touch via telephone, getting directions and receiving renumeration.

A source indicated that the ATS was planning to confront Salem with the two persons convicted in the case. The police may summon them for questioning or verification on a production warrant. A investigating team was
busy in a meeting with ATS joint commissioner, K P Raghuvanshi, for over two hours on Saturday afternoon.

The apex court, which convicted three persons in this case, had observed: “To this underworld the unemployed, thoughtless and dejected youths are attracted, and bosses of gangsters leave no stone unturned to utilise services of such misled youth for the commission of crime.’’

The TADA court had tried 13 persons in this case: seven were absconding and of them, three (Saleem Haddi, Rajesh Igve and a former police constable Uday Pawar) were shot dead in encounters. Six others—Subhash Bind, Shekhar Kadam, Subash Yadav, Bharat Chhaganlal Ragani, Subedar Singh and Shaukat Ali Jamal—were arrested but the special court had acquitted all of them in 1997 on “benefit of the doubt’’. Since under TADA, an appeal lies directly before the SC, the state challenged the acquittal. The SC then sentenced two of the shooters, Bind and Kadam, to life imprisonment, while another accused Subhash Yadav was awarded two years’ RI.

Salem who was extradited from Portugal on November 11 was earlier in CBI custody, then sent to Arthur Road jail and now will stay in the lock-up under the ATS’ custody till December 2.

“Our teams are collecting all types of evidence related to this case to prove the accused’s (Salem) involvement. The case is a decade old but we are not leaving a single point to assure that the culprit be punished,’’ police commissioner A N Roy said.

The Times of India, November 28, 2005

Friday, November 25, 2005

Pathology lab workers held for extortion

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: Sleuths from the anti-extortion cell arrested Sangeeta Sawant (22), a pathology lab receptionist, on Thursday in an extortion case. The police say the brain behind the conspiracy is one Salahuddin Khan (45), based in Dubai, who had lured Sawant saying he would marry her.

Sawant, along with Rasheed Qureishi alias Chacha (49), was arrested on charges of trying to extort eight lakh rupees from a textile merchant.

Police have been given custody of both of them till December 7.

Assistant police inspector Anil Naik said the duo were acting on the instructions of Khan, a security supervisor in a construction company in Dubai. Khan, wanted in 36 cheating cases, fled to Dubai in 2000.

Senior inspector Prakash Boparai said that in September Khan had called up Metro Pathology Lab in Mazgaon where Sawant was a receptionist. He asked Sawant if she could find out contact details of a person in south Mumbai. Sawant then carried out his request.

Khan later gave seven to nine other numbers to her to find out details about them. After getting these details, Khan would threaten the victims claiming to be an associate of gangster Chhota Shakeel.

Meanwhile, Chacha who works as a lab assistant in the same lab came to know about Sawant’s activities and joined her. He was given the job of collecting extortion money.

On November 10, Khan called up the textile merchant from Dubai and asked him to pay Rs 10 lakh. After negotiations, the merchant agreed to pay eight lakh rupees. Meanwhile, he lodged a complaint with the anti-extortion cell and on Wednesday night the police caught Chacha near Mazgaon court. The police then arrested Sawant. Police have recovered phone numbers of nine persons who may have been threatened by Khan.

The Times of India, November 25, 2005

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Dawood ‘cashier’ on CBI wish list

Dawood Ibrahim gang member, Tahir Taklya

Extradition Will Throw Light On Fake Currency Racket Run By D-Gang

Mateen Hafeez
Mumbai: After gangster Abu Salem’s successful extradition, the CBI is now eying the extradition of littleknown Tahir Merchant alias Tahir Taklya, currently lodged in an Abu Dhabi jail. Taklya is one man who can throw light on the Dawood Ibrahim gang’s fake currency racket in India.

Taklya (49), police sources said, handled all the financial dealings of the Dawood gang before the 1993 serial bomb blasts. After the blasts, he fled to the UAE and was assigned a similar job of keeping accounts of hard cash. He was also in charge of printing and cir
culating fake Indian currency from Dubai, which reached India via Nepal.

Taklya, a south-Mumbai resident, was caught by the Abu Dhabi police on March 27, 2004, on charges of carrying weapons. The extradition request is still pending with the UAE authorities. The CBI also announced a reward of Rs five lakh for information about Taklya.

Meanwhile, crime branch sources said several members of the Dawood gang who were arrested earlier had disclosed that Taklya was also assigned the job of taking care of legal expenses of Dawood gangsters in India. He would allegedly arrange money through

The police had in such a similar case arrested Rubina Shaikh for her nexus with the D-gang. Shaikh was booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act. She would come to the court frequently and provide legal assistance
to Dawood aides. She was also said to be having an affair with gangster Chhota Shakeel. The police said that during her interrogation she has also mentioned Taklya’s name in connection with a ‘similar job’.

The CBI is thus preparing for the second round of welcoming back the wanted accused. After the January 19, 2003 shootout in a snooker club in UAE where Dawood gang member Sharad Shetty was gunned down, as many as six Dawood men were deported to India.

The deportees included Dawood’s brother Iqbal Kaskar, his associates Riyaz Siddiqui, Rajkumar Sharma alias Chikna, Anil Parab,
Tarique Parvin, Mustafa Dossa alias Mustafa Majnoun and Ejaz Pathan. Siddiqui was released on bail because of lack of evidence.

Shetty was the betting kingpin for the Dawood gang in the UAE. He would administer the entire betting syndicate in the underworld.

After Shetty’s killing, Taklya was assigned the job to take care of betting, fake currency circulation and keeping record of all monetary transactions.

Sources said since mid 90s Taklya along with Aaftab Batki was handling the fake currency racket. Batki is believed to be hiding in Thailand.

The Times of India, November 24, 2005

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Media glare keeps Salem kin away

Court Grants Abu Lais 15 Minutes To Meet His Brother

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: “Abu Salem’s family is eager to meet him but they are scared of the media, ‘’ said the gangster’s lawyer, Rashid Ansari, who had come to the CBI’s Nariman point office to hand over the TADA court’s order on Saturday. The court has sanctioned the plea of Salem’s brother to meet the don, who is in CBI custody.

Salem’s younger brother, Abu Lais, will be meeting the don for 15 minutes, said sources.

A source close to the lawyer said Abu Lais was in Mumbai on Saturday but did meet his brother because of the media. “The media persons are posted here roundthe-clock so we are thinking
what to do in this situation,’’ Ansari said.

According to Ansari, who claimed to be the gangster’s nephew, two brothers of Salem—Abu Hakim and Abu Jaish—also wanted to come to the city to meet him since they had not seen the don for the past 13 years.

Soon after Ansari came to the CBI office, the reporters, photographers and cameramen present there mistook him as Salem’s brother and tried to speak to him. The photographers clicked hundreds of pictures within a couple of minutes. Traffic outside the CBI office was jammed for sometime.

Ansari said Salem’s mother Jannatun Nisa was worried about her son and also wanted to join Abu Lais. But
the family decided that only Abu Lais should meet Salem.

Salem is the second son in the family and his youngest sister is married to a smalltime businessman in Azamgarh. “His brothers are farmers. Salem left home in the late ‘80s. He last visited Mir Sarai in 1991. I practice in Lucknow but headed for Mumbai soon after Salem was extradited. I spoke to my senior advocates and came to Mumbai,’’ said Rashid.

Ansari said Salem’s family was clueless about his ‘marriages’. He never informed his family about them, the sources said.

Ansari is one of the lawyers to represent Salem in court. He is also representing Salem in a forgery case in a Lucknow court.

The Times of India, November 20, 2005

Friday, November 18, 2005

I have got three film offers: Tarannum

Tarannum is hugged by her sister outside Byculla jail

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: Having discarded her hijab for a salwar-kameez and with a steaming plateful of mutton biryani in front of her, Tarannum Shaikh, the most glamourous blot on Mumbai’s police force, talks about her two long months in Byculla jail.

“I was kept with murderers, thieves and drug peddlers,’’ says the ‘crorepati’ bar dancer who was arrested in September on a raft of charges ranging from betting to conspiracy. “But thankfully, I met Preetii Jaiin.’’

Jaiin, the aspiring actress who was sent to jail for allegedly trying to target filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, was a source of solace. “Whenever I was worried about the case and my family, Preetii helped me cope with my trauma,’’ says Tarannum, who practised the Ramzan rigour of rising before sunrise and fasting through the day. She added, “There were only five lights and fans for 50 women.’’

Her night shift at Deepa Bar may be a thing of the past with the ban on dance bars, but with three offers from the film world, Tarannum is not stuck for an alternative career. The first offer was received even before her life became a public spectacle.

“Nitin Manmohan (producer of Dus), whom I respect very much, had spoken to me over the phone. When I was in the lock-up, he spoke to my mother about my role in the movie. I have two more offers which I don’t want to talk about now,’’ she says.

Before Bollywood came calling, Tarannum had set her sights skywards.

Panscholi came to bar with someone: Tarannum


Mumbai: Revealing her dreams of becoming an air hostess, former bar dancer Tarannum Shaikh, who was released on bail in a betting case on Wendesday, said, “After I left my job at Deepa Bar a few months ago, I wanted to join a course to become an air hostess, or do an airport crew course. But then the police arrested me for betting.’’

The 24-year-old dancer has a diploma in computer management from an institute at Millat Nagar. But all that the diploma has got her so far is the charge of hacking, which the police have been unable to substantiate.

Her mother, a diabetic and heart patient, has been in a state of shock ever since her daughter’s arrest. This is the second major upheaval the Shaikh family has been through. It was the Babri riots of 1992-93 that first upturned their lives. “During the riots, our Sion house was set on fire. We asked everyone to help but nobody came. The government gave us a house at Oshiwara with other victims. I started working (as a bar dancer) to earn money for my family.’’

The job at the dance bar, where she was obviously a
hit, changed the fortunes of the family. Tanishq, the bungalow on S V P Road in Andheri, with its dish antenna, is a symbol of this success and was one of the things that drew police attention to the ‘crorepati dance girl’.

With the biryani polished off and Tarannum appearing more relaxed, it was time to pop an awkward question: did actor Aditya Panscholi visit her bar along with Sri Lankan cricketer Muthiah Muralitharan? “Panscholi did come along with someone to our bar long ago,’’ she replies. “We girls were excited when we saw him and did
n’t bother to notice who was with him. Now police are saying the other man was a cricketer. But we don’t know.’’

Yes, she did go to Dubai with 12 other girls for a show in 1997. But she is less candid when it comes to commenting on the police. “The police have the right to question a person if they suspect him,’’ she begins cautiously, “but if they had released me earlier, I would have been obliged to them. I admitted that I placed bets but I didn’t know it was a crime. They were friendly bets. I want to live a normal life and will be happy if left alone.’’

Punter held in betting case
Close on the heels of Tarannum Khan’s release on bail, Mumbai police arrested cricket punter Bhavesh Upadhyay in the same case on Thursday.

DCP (crime) Dhananjay Kamlakar said Upadhyay would be produced before a magistrate on Friday. The police said Upadhyay was a “big catch’’ as he had a diary and a laptop, with crucial information on the cricket betting syndicate, in which bookie Milind Dheeraj Nandu alias DJ and Tarannum were allegedly involved. It is not known whether the police have recovered the laptop, though sources said they have seized a diary from him.

Sources said the laptop contained data on the bets laid on various one-day international matches. “Upadhyay was an assistant to DJ and was a part of the cricket betting syndicate. We have also come across 157 codes and mobile numbers,” said Kamlakar. TNN

The Times of India, November 18, 2005

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Salem’s lawyer denies CBI has seized diary

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: Oves A Siddique, the lawyer defending Abu Salem in the Tada court, on Wednesday denied that the CBI had seized a diary containing ‘vital information’ from his client. According to Siddique, “CBI did not seize any diary from Salem. If the CBI had seized such an ‘incriminating’ document, the agency would have mentioned it in the remand paper’s seizure column. It’s only media speculation that the diary contains secrets of several celebrities.’’

Two days ago, television channels and newspapers carried reports of a diary being seized by investigators. The reports said it contained names of two top Bollywood actors, two cricketers, politicians and several bookies who were believed to have been in touch with Salem. “Everyone is talking about an incriminating diary. But where is it? If investigators have found one, then why are they not talking about it even after so many days?’’ Siddique said. Speaking about the evidence in the case, the lawyer said, “On the basis of evidence available, Salem may be convicted for five years only.”

The city crime branch, meanwhile, was collecting records of gangsters who may have worked for Salem. “Salem will not confess anything so we are putting together a record of gangsters who either worked for him or were killed in encounters. It will help us nail him in cases where he had ordered killings for extortion,’’ said a senior officer.

The Times of India, November 17, 2005

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Failed producer under cop shadow

Adil Farooq

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: While the city police is busy checking the current status of all cases related to gangster Abu Salem, one of them involving Adil Farooq, managing director of Faisal Kamal Films is also being examined by the police. Farooq had allegedly forced several filmstars to sign up for his movie Tum. However, shooting for the movie never took place.

“Farooq, a New Delhi resident, was released on bail in 2003 and since then there has been no information regarding his whereabouts,’’ a police officer who was part of the investigating
team said on Monday.

While the police may try Salem only for two cases mentioned in the extradition papers — the Ajit Diwani murder case and the Pradeep Jain killing — the police do not want to miss any opportunity to prose
cute Salem in other cases. Salem was the most dreaded extortionist in Bollywood and had threatened many producers for overseas rights.

“The offence is two years old. We will examine this case again since it would give us more information about Salem’s nexus with Bollywood,’’ deputy commissioner of police (detection) Dhananjay Kamalakar said.

Farooq, producer of Tum, was arrested by the criminal intelligence unit (CIU) on March 2, 2003, on charges of forcing actors to sign for his movie and allegedly forging actor Bipasha Basu’s signature on a
contract. Farooq confessed that he did it on the instructions of Salem.

Farooq was the only accused to be arrested in this case. Later he revealed that he was employed for Faisal Kamal Films as supervisor for Rs 5,000 a month.

Several actors who were signed for the movie were also questioned. The police said that film’s mahurat was organised in November 2002. The cast included Jackie Shroff, Saif Ali Khan, Prem Chopra and Aftab Shivdasani. The shooting, scheduled in the UAE, never took place since the producer was caught before he could start shooting.

The Times of India, November 15, 2005

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Old friends await Abu’s arrival in jail

Mateen Hafeez I TNN
Mumbai: Members of the Dawood Ibrahim gang, cooling their heels at the Arthur Road jail, are awaiting old buddy Abu Salem’s arrival at the prison.

Salem was kicked out of the D-gang after a dispute with former colleague Chhota Shakeel. But that did not ruin his friendship with the other gang members. When TOI visited the jail, a Tada accused, who was arrested on charges of keeping weapons at his residence, said: “Salem was a good buddy. He was very sharp, intelligent and grew in the gang very fast. He made enemies faster than friends.”

Asked whether there was any problem within the jail since members of Rajan, Arun Gawli, Ashwin Naik and other gangs were housed within the same premises, a Dawood gang member said: “People were saying that Iqbal Kaskar (Dawoods brother) would be harmed in the jail but they were just rumours. There is no danger.’’

Another Tada accused said they had no problem with Salem since they had never fought on any issue. “The fight was between Salem and pav takla (Shakeel’s nickname),’’ he said. Referring to Salem’s relationship with former members, he added: “If you have good relations with a person and someone does not share your sentiment, it doesn’t mean it will affect your relationship with him.’’

The Times of India, November 13, 2005

Cops try to track down witnesses in Salem cases

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: The extradition of Abu Salem over, the city police are trying to establish contact with over 250 witnesses named in the 30 cases registered against the former Dawood aide.

Many of the cases are a decade old and it will be tough for the police to contact the witnesses. In most of the cases, Salem’s co-accused have been tried and convicted or let off. Salem’s entry will require the prosecution to bring back the witnesses.

A senior officer, who headed several anti-Salem operations, said it would be highly difficult for the police to contact many of the witnesses. “Mumbai is a city of migrants and a lot of people live on rent. In the last 10 years, most of the witnesses might have changed their houses or contact numbers and a few of them could have migrated to other areas. So it
will be difficult for police to keep tabs on them,’’ he said.

The more high-profile of Salem’s cases are the 1993 serial bomb blasts, the Gulshan Kumar and Ajit Dewani murders and attempts on the lives of prominent film personalities, such as Rajiv Rai and Rakesh Roshan. But there are equal
ly a number of lesser-known instances in which Salem was booked for murder, attempt to murder and kidnapping. These included the killings of a watchman employed by a builder in the western suburbs, an NRI in Kandivli and a real estate agent in Santa Cruz.

“It’s a difficult job to get
the witnesses again since there is a possibility that they might have changed their residence. However, we have their old addresses and they will be contacted again,’’ said deputy commissioner of police (detection) Dhananjay Kamalakar.

Of the 30 cases in which Salem is named as the prime accused, trials have conclud
ed in 21 and many of the accused and co-accused have either been convicted or acquitted. Most of them date back to the period when Salem had fled the country. In nine of the cases, there was no trial since no concrete evidence was found and witnesses didn’t come forward.

A senior officer said in these cases, the witnesses had not turned up despite the absence of Salem. It is unlikely that they will testify against him. “However, we will do everything to protect the witnesses in these cases,’’ he said.

Even then it would be a tall order. Prominent criminal lawyer Majeed Memon,
who has represented several bomb blast accused, said in any criminal trial the judge acts upon the evidence and the eyewitnesses. “The evidence evaporates with the passage of time and witnesses either vanish or forget the event they are deposing on.’’

In the present situation, he said, if the trial has already concluded and it is reopened because of the advent of a new accused (Salem in this case), the prosecution is bound to have a tough time establishing its case. Firstly, because they may not be able to secure the presence of witnesses and secondly the witness, even if available, may have a short memory and may not be able to stand the test of a searching cross examination. “The result is that the cases, however serious they be, cannot be established beyond any doubt,’’ Memon said.

City police commissioner A N Roy said the police will do everything possible in securing conviction in as many cases as possible. “If needed we will post more officers for the investigation. Every action for conviction including, legal formalities, bringing witnesses, producing evidence will be done because we would like to make case as strong as possible,’’ Roy said.


• Killing of non-resident Indian Harish Bhatia at Kandivli on June 13, 1995

•Murder of watchman, Qamruddin Khan, attached with the Kulsumbai builders, on December 28, 1994

• Murder of real-estate agent Sayeed Mugal at Santa Cruz on July 23, 1994

•Attempt on the life of television actor Feroz Khan who played the part of Arjun in the TV serial Mahabharat, at Bandra on July 1, 1994

• Attempt on the lives of police constables Mahadev Nanavre and Sanjay Desai at Juhu police station on December 20, 1994

The Times of India, November 13, 2005

Saturday, November 12, 2005


When he was arrested in 1991 for extortion,Abu Salem shivered in front of a cop fearing for his life. But somewhere down the lane he became a manly don

By Manu Joseph/TNN

Not everybody likes to come home. Mumbai police know that. In recent years they have been unaffection ate receivers of gangsters deported from Dubai and elsewhere in the region which have an unusual method of extradition. Like in the case of Tariq Parveen, a top aide of Dawood Ibrahim, the goons are first put in a plane headed to Mumbai, and when the flight has taken off, the home ministry in Delhi is informed. Mumbai’s cops then frantically rush to the airport to nab the unescorted criminals. But in the case of one of their most wanted men, Abu Salem Abdul Qayoom Ansari, the package landed from Portugal smoothly. It was a tame end to the folk tale of the second-most newsworthy Indian criminal, the 5 foot 4 inch multimillionaire with unascertainable wealth in the Middle East.

According to CBI records, Abu Salem was born in 1969, in Mir Sarai, Uttar Pradesh. It is believed that his father was an advocate who died about twenty years ago in a motor cycle accident. He has three brothers, a sister and an old ailing mother. The fam ily today is said to have a modest assort ment of small shops that sells spare parts and clothes. Mohammed Shahid who describes himself as a family friend, says that the family feels the pain of Abu Salem because he is blood but beyond that there is no bond. For nearly two decades, the family claims, it has
had nothing to do with him.

The boy who grew up in UP selling trouser zippers and clothes, became something else after intermission. He was 16 when he left home and came to Mumbai, possibly after a brief stint in Nepal. He sold vada pav in Bandra and
did several other odd jobs before becoming a clothes merchant. Somehow, he got acquainted with the city’s mafia and was eventually introduced to Dawood Ibrahim, probably by gangster Anees Ibrahim. He is believed to have served as an underworld car driver before being promoted as arms supplier.

It was around this time, in 1991 when A A Khan, then additional commissioner of police, north west Mumbai,
heard of a thug trying to extort money from small time businessmen. “I sent two men to go pick him up. When he was presented before me, he appeared to be an ordinary scared miserable chap who thought we were going to bump him off. He was so small time. There was nothing impressive about him.’’ Salem was released soon but the routine fingerprint record that was taken would come to haunt him. When Salem was in Lisbon fighting India’s extradition attempt, the only proof that he was indeed Salem was provided by the fingerprint and photographs taken after his arrest by A A Khan.

This characterisation of Khan of a petrified lad is very different from the perception of Abu Salem by his victims. After being released from jail for his petty extortion attempt, his ascent in the underworld was spectacular. He rose very quickly to become an integral part of the don’s inner circle with a specialty in extorting from the Hindi film industry, channelling illicit money into film production, forcibly getting the dates of stars, and usurping overseas rights. He continued more aggressively on this path after his estrangement with Dawood Ibrahim who had by then evolved into being some sort of a paid protector of filmdom. His friction with Shakeel and Dawood’s favouring of Shakeel is said to be the reason behind Salem’s split from the

According police sources, Salem had a nexus with Ali Budeshi, a Bahrain-based gangster, with whom he joined forces to embarrass Dawood. Every time Salem would attack the film industry, it was considered a snub to the don.

By the standards of gangsters at least, Abu Salem was said to be good looking. In fact, in the leaked Bharat Shah tapes, the reference to a character called chikna was first mistaken for Hrithik Roshan before cops privately
confirmed to journalists that it was Abu Salem’s street name.

Though he terrorised the film world, he was also an incorrigible fan who was taken in by the skin and glamour of the industry. Subash Ghai, in an interview with this reporter a few years ago said while admitting that Salem had called him up asking for overseas rights of the film Pardes, “He actually started the conversation this way, ‘Sir, I want the rights for Pardes. Don’t mistake me. I have been your fan ever since I saw Karz.’’’ When Ghai told Salem that the matter of overseas rights was already settled, Salem very respectfully asked for a print of the film so that he could pirate it.

He is known to have made such polite requests to several film-makers. Struggling actors in his vigil have found jobs after he made pleasant calls.

Abu Salem, in many ways, typifies Mumbai’s mafia of the nineties that was eventually swatted by the policy of encounters. He dreamt big, talked big, loved the fair beauty of film stars and cherished his power over them. He is also known to make a philosophy out of loyalty. It’s hard to miss the fact that his association with still-born starlet Monica Bedi has lasted longer than most marriages.

Pahlaj Nihalani claim The police to have foiled a plan by Salem to target the film-maker and shot dead two men in an encounter

Rajiv Rai attempt There was on an his life at his Tardeo office. He survived because of the presence of mind of a police guard

Mukesh Duggal was The producer murdered in a housing colony in Juhu. He was suspected to be a frontman for Salem who had double-crossed him

Ajit Diwani actors The secretary Manisha to Koirala and Aftab Shivdasani was shot dead by two Salem aides at his Oshiwara office in June 2001

Dinesh Anand The small-time actor was shot dead by Salem at National Park in
Borivli because he was a close associate of Mukesh Duggal

(With inputs from Meenakshi Sinha, Somit Sen and Mateen Hafeez)

WHO: Music baron Gulshan Kumar
WHAT: Killed in D N Nagar
WHEN: August 1997

The music mogul was repeatedly threatened by Salem himself for extortion. When he refused to pay up, he was gunned down outside a Shiv temple by Salem’s men

WHO: Film director Rakesh Roshan
WHAT: Shot at in his office
WHEN: January 2000

Roshan was asked to part with the overseas rights of his film ‘Kaho Na Pyaar Hai’. When he refused, two men fired six bullets at him. One hit him on the arm

WHO: Film-maker J P Dutta
WHAT: Extortion calls
WHEN: May 2000

Was targeted for his film ‘Refugee’. The person believed to have been assigned the task of firing at Dutta was gunned down in an encounter

WHO: Film-maker Subhash Ghai
WHAT: Extortion calls
WHEN: August 1997

Threatening calls were made to Dutta before the release of ‘Pardes’ starring Shah Rukh Khan and Mahima Choudhary. He complained to the police chief

WHO: Actor and producer Aamir Khan
WHAT: Extortion calls
WHEN: June 2001

He was threatened and asked to part with the overseas rights of his film ‘Lagaan’. The police tracked down four men in the case and gunned them down

The Times of India, November 12, 2005

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Gangster-author pokes fun at city cops

Babloo Shrivastav Claims Committing A Crime In Mumbai Is Easy In First Novel

By Mateen Hafeez/TNN

Mumbai: He was a dreaded contract killer who ran a kidnapping ring across several states. An erstwhile Dawood associate who has been behind bars for the last decade, Babloo Shrivastav is a man haunted. Adhura Khwab (The Incomplete Dream), a veiled memoir sold as the gangster-turned-writer’s first attempt at fiction, now reveals hidden chapters from a life which moved from the volatile campuses of UP to the murky underworld of Mumbai.

From his prison cell at Naini near Allahabad, Shrivastav looks back on his stint in Mumbai, where he was a key Dawood man, as one devoid of challenges. Although several of his cronies were gunned down in encounters, Shrivastav has his principal character holding forth on the loopholes in the law. Arun Bhai, who’s virtually Shrivastav’s alter ego, looks down on the policing skills of Mumbai’s law enforcers.

In a section of the book, Bhai instructs gang member Chunky to inform all his accomplices about the plan of action and call for reinforcements if required.

“If there is a problem, call the other team which is in Gujarat,’’ he says. Chunky gently responds that the back-up guys may be wary of operating in Mumbai. Bhai shoots back, “Why? It’s the easiest place (for committing a crime).’’

Shrivastav, 43, goes on to present the picture of a city teetering on the edge of chaos, thanks to law enforcers who look the other way. “For the serial bomb blasts, at least 100 people must have worked under one boss for months together. But the police remained unaware.

The Mumbai police is the fastest
in the country but only in implementing bus and traffic rules, not in tackling criminals,’’ Bhai lectures his men.

Talking about smuggling contraband, Bhai says, “Initially we have to ‘take care’ of the assistant collector, assistant commissioner and the clearing agents. We can say that our containers are carrying oil or chemicals and these officials (who have been paid off) make sure that our stuff gets cleared.

Nobody is bothered about what’s in the container, electronic items, oil or RDX or AK-47.’’ Incidentally, crime branch and customs officials had unearthed a cache of firearms and ammunition this year at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, which was hidden in containers carrying grease.

The title of Shrivastav’s 232-page novel is a reference to his famous falling out with the D-gang and his desire to see the don brought to book. The “incomplete dream’’ that Shrivastav writes of is Dawood’s arrest. “He is an accused in the serial blasts and should be arrested. But it’s difficult because he has friends in every department of the government,’’ the writer says.

Referring to his rivalry with the Dawood gang, one of his men even describes them as double agents who worked as informers for Interpol. In a conversation with Mirza, one of his trusted men, the latter suggests that he leave Dubai. “Bhai aap kuch din ke liye yeh jagah chhod dijiye. Bhai chahe jahan bhi jau bahut savdhani se nikalna, woh log (D-gang) Interpol ke bahut bade
mukhbir (infomer) hain,” says Mirza. “Mirza Bhai, yeh kya kareinge mukhbiri. Interpol ko ham se zyada in ki talash hai. Mein khud unki mukhbiri kar doonga,’’ Bhai replies.

Over 20,000 copies of the book have already been sold. Published by Nai Sadi Book House, it was released on October 14, the gangster’s birthday, nearly 11 years after he was taken into custody.

Shrivastav, an arts graduate with a degree in law, had moved from student politics to a life of crime, running an organised ring of kidnappers who targeted businessmen in the north.

After he moved to Mumbai, Babloo Shrivastav’s gang made headlines with some high-profile abductions in the city.


Two kidnappers from the gang, Shahid Khan and Parag Jain, were shot down by the police at
Andheri (east) in 1998.

Customs commissioner L D Arora was killed by Shrivastav’s men in Allahabad. The Dawood gang had faced a tough time during Arora’s tenure in Mumbai.

Shrivastav also plotted the kidnapping of Mumbai-based businessman Mittal in 1995. Mittal was rescued and his two kidnappers were shot dead.

Vyas alias Lala, owner of Mehndi bar at Malad, was kidnapped by Shrivastav’s trusted associate, Archana Sharma.

Deputy commissioner of police (detection), Dhananjay Kamalakar, said he has not read the book so far. “If Shrivastav has said Mumbai is the easiest place to commit a crime, he should not forget two of his men were killed while trying to kidnap a city-based businessman.
The crime record of the last 10 years shows that the underworld has been wiped out, there has not been a single underworld kidnapping this year and no killing for extortion. Whatever he has written in the book is his own perception,’’ said Kamalakar.

The Times of India, November 5, 2005