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