Thursday, June 29, 2006

Another terror suspect held

Khan has been remanded to police custody till July 10

Samad Khan May Have Been Conduit For Bangladesh Funds

Mateen Hafeez I TNN
Mumbai: The state anti-terrorism squad has arrested one more accused in the Aurangabad arms haul case, who is believed to have been the conduit for distribution of funds to the other suspects.

Samad Shamsher Khan (24) was picked up from Manmad railway station on Tuesday night. According to Krish Pal Raghuvanshi, inspector general, ATS, Khan was on their ‘wanted list’ ever since this case was registered. “On June 20, he went to Kolkata by train and later crossed the border and entered Bangladesh.’’

The ATS believes he was being used by the mastermind, Zabihuddin Ansari alias Zaby, to distribute money to the other accused to help them engi
neer terrorist attacks.

Khan, however, has told police that he had made contact with Zaby “to raise money and help reform boys from his hometown (Asif Nagar in Beed) who were being indoctrinated by self proclaimed jihadis.’’ Zaby who is said to be a computer engineer also be
longs to Beed, from where the ATS have so far arrested six persons. Khan told police he had crossed over to Bangladesh with one Masood, who had landed in Beed after being trained in Pakistan.

The police believe he was in regular touch with Zaby over telephone and had gone
into hiding after the seizure of arms in Aurangabad and the arrest of his accomplices. So far, the police have arrested 15 persons allegedly connected to the conspiracy and seized 43 kg RDX, 3,200 bullets, 16 AK-47s and 50 grenades.

Khan is believed to have crossed over from Bangladesh on the night of June 25 and reached Manmad on June 27 on the Howrah-Kurla (8030 Dn). “We had information he would be coming from Kolkata,’’ inspector Sunil Deshmukh of the ATS said.

Khan, a class X dropout who has a fabrication business, is the son of a driver with the state irrigation department. A father of a sixmonth-old boy, he has now been sent to police custody till July 10.

The Times of India, June 29, 2006

Monday, June 26, 2006

Colleagues give jail steno a tough time

CONSPIRACY THEORY

Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Mumbai: Several anonymous letters sent to home minister R R Patil target a stenographer in the state’s prison department, accusing him of collecting ‘hafta’ from constables and jailed drug peddlers and of supplying drugs and cellphones to prisoners. Similar letters have also been sent to the inspector-general of prisons.
While the steno, A G Kamble, who works for deputy inspector-general (Prisons-South) S P Yadav at Byculla jail, says the allegations have been made by jail staffers to “malign’’ him, four inquiries against him have concluded that the accusations are “false and baseless’’. Five inquiries are still pending against Kamble.


Kamble, who has worked for the department for over 13 years and takes care of DIG Yadav’s administrative work, said, “This is just to malign me. I stopped certain jail staffers from using office machines and phones for their personal work and as a result I am facing these problems.’’

In fact, jail authorities are now studying the letters so as
to try and track down the letter writers. One letter, sent to Patil on March 28, states that Kamble demands Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 from lower-rung policemen as bribes.

Kamble retorted that he summons policemen to his office for official purposes only. “The higher authorities ask me if some work is not completed. A lot of work has been pending over the past two to
three years,’’ he said, adding that he has issued several memos to policemen for incomplete work.

“The policemen would earlier use the office phone for their personal work and the monthly bill would be around Rs 25,000. I told them not to misuse the phone and now the bill is not more than Rs 3,000 a month,’’ Kamble said. He said that one constable’s wife was a lawyer and the cop would prepare her notary and affidavit papers in the prison office. “One day I told him not to use office computers for personal work and since then he has not been on good terms with me.’’

The four completed inquiries against Kamble were conducted by Pratap Randhve, deputy superintendent of jail (vigilance branch); K B Khosre, administrative officer at the Thane Central jail; DIG Yadav and jail authori
ties at the Pune headquarters.

Randhve said, “We had recorded the statements of all those mentioned in the anonymous letters. We concluded that there was no truth to the allegations in the letters. It was the work of those jealous of a colleague.’’


‘I stopped some jail staffers from using office machines ‘and phones for personal work. So I am facing these problems A G Kamble | STENO

The Times of India, June 26, 2006

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Rs 24-lakh bank fraud baffles cops

The police are now probing how a cheque of the same number was deposited by the accused

Mateen Hafeez I TNN

Mumbai: A cheating case filed by HDFC Bank has left the banking unit of the economic offences wing (EOW) baffled. It involves a cheque of Rs 24 lakh which was deposited by one Akhilesh Singh (35) and which was allegedly issued by designer Tarun Tahiliani’s boutique. However, the boutique has denied issuing any such cheque.

According to inspector D S Jodgudri, Uttar Pradesh resident Singh, who is yet to be arrested, deposited a cheque with HDFC Bank, containing the account number of the boutique. Interestingly, Singh deposited the cheque on December 24, 2005. Four days later, the boutique authorities is
sued two cheques, one with the identical number of the cheque deposited by Singh, but later cancelled the same. The police are now probing how a cheque of the same number was deposited by the accused. “Singh planned this for two months.

He stayed in a guest house at Kalbadevi and with the help of other paying guests, he opened joint accounts in HDFC Bank. In all, he opened 20 joint accounts with the bank,’’ Jodgudri said.

Sources said Singh would have needed several documents to open the accounts. “He collected ration cards, driving licences and passports from various people by paying them money, scanned them and prepared bogus documents,’’ the police said.

“Incidentally, the boutique authorities had earlier informed HDFC Bank that it should not clear any
cheque of theirs of more than Rs 50,000 even if it contained the signature of authorised signatories. However, the bank ignored the instruction and cleared the cheque deposited by Singh,’’ police sources said.

The police have contacted the direct sales agent (DSA) who issued 15 to 18 forms for opening new bank accounts to the accused without any verification. The EOW is yet to zero in on how Singh came to know about the cheque numbers which were prepared and cancelled by the boutique. After
depositing the cheque of Rs 24 lakh on December 24, Singh checked his account online from Netizen Cyber Cafe at Santacruz (east) and at midnight saw the cheque had been cleared. Singh immediately transferred Rs 24 lakh into six other bogus accounts and then withdrew the amount within three days by using his debit and credit cards.

“The boutique authorities came to know about the fraud only in January this year when they were updating their accounts. They told the bank that the cheques were never issued,’’ Jodgudri said.

The bank said the cheque they received was an original leaf of a cheque book. A police team was likely to leave for Chennai where the cheque books of the bank are printed. “We can’t say who helped Singh to get this cheque and from where,’’ Jodgudri said.

The Times of India, June 24, 2006

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

‘Fake currency part of ISI plot to subvert economy’

READING THE FINE PRINT: Officials with a recent haul of counterfeit notes

Mateen Hafeez I TNN

Mumbai: Move over tape recorders, TV sets and water dispensers. Make way for computer monitors and telephones.

For, that’s what smugglers of fake currency are increasingly doing; they are switching over to today’s gadgets to hide the stuff that they bring in from across the borders. Intelligence officials say flooding the market with counterfeit is part of a larger Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence plan to subvert the Indian economy.

Most of the fake currency was made in Bangladesh or Pakistan, an official said, giving the instance of an Indian currency-minting machine seized in Bangladesh. “But, once in India, only Indians are entrusted with the task of circulating fake currency,’’ he added.

Intelligence and law-keeping agencies have their hands full. The biggest seizure in the recent past was the recovery of currency “worth’’ Rs 1.50 crore in 2001. A team led by inspector Pradeep Sharma of Crime Intelligence Unit raided places in south
Mumbai and Andheri and arrested 13 people assigned the task of flooding the market with fake currency. “They smuggled the notes from Dubai into Mumbai in water dispensers. They admitted they were from the Aftab Batki group,’’ Sharma said.

Batki, say officials, is the fake-currency mastermind in India. A resident of Pydhonie, who has a red-corner notice against him, he is believed to have taken shelter in Pakistan. “Notes sent by Batki were so similar to the genuine ones that the differences were revealed only after the minutest scrutiny,’’ an official said.

The CIU arrested one D-gang member, Manoj Dubey alias Black Belt alias Mustafa, and seized fake currency “worth” Rs 50,000. Officials say fake note-detection machines should be given to crime branch officers. “We arrested Qasmi Qadar Kunni three months ago and seized fakes ‘worth’ Rs 3.60 lakh. He was working for a Dubai-based boss and only the extra thickness of the paper gave them away,’’ Kandivli crime branch assistant inspector Avinash Dharmadhikar said.

THE LAW AND COUNTERFEITERS
Creation, possession, distribution and use of fake currency are serious offences and can be treated as offences of organised crime. Punishment can be a life in jail and all offences, save simple possession, are cognisable and non-bailable.

The Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) also treats counterfieting as an offence. It provides for minimum five years’ and maximum life imrpisonment.

THE RISK YOU STAND
There are five offences (Sections 489A to 489E) set out under the Indian Penal Code that deal with fake currency and bank-notes (promissory notes used as substitute for money).

Counterfeiting currency, including coins: Whoever counterfiets or helps in counterfieting currency can attract upto a life in prison and fine.

Using forged notes as genuine: Whoever sells or buys or receives or otherwise traffics in or uses forged notes will be punished with upto a life term.

Possession of forged currency: It is a bailable offence but the law says it can attract upto seven years’ imprisonment and fine.

Making or possesing instruments or machines for forging notes: Can attract life imprisonment.

Making or using documents resembling fake currency notes: Punishment is a fine of Rs 100.

The Times of India, June 20, 2006

He is only 16, but a handful for cops



Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Mumbai: Three constables were posted to guard 16-year-old Samad while he was in custody at Nair Hospital, Mumbai Central, on Saturday evening. He still managed to escape.

The police saved themselves the blushes by tracking him down on Sunday night. Samad, who faces six criminal cases, was then sent to the Dongri juvenile remand home, a place he is no stranger to. It is his seventh stay there.

A resident of Kanjarwada, Byculla, Samad stepped into the world of crime when just 12 years old. The Class IV dropout from Urdu municipal school, Byculla, was first arrested in 2003, for pickpocketing, and sent to the Dongri home. After being there two months, he was granted bail when his labourer parents provided a personal bond.

Samad’s latest arrest was on May 8 of this year. “The complainant was checking his car outside the Byculla railway station, when Samad escaped with his briefcase containing Rs 30,000. He was arrested but the money was not recovered. We sent him to the juvenile home,’’ said senior police inspector Ravindra Khandgale of the Agripada police.

On Saturday, Samad complained of stomach pain and was being taken to J J Hospital by three
Local Arms constables when he told them that he wanted to be taken to Nair as he was already being treated there. The constables spoke to the Dongri authorities and took Samad to Nair, where he was admitted in Ward 11 on the third floor.

At 4 pm, he told the constables that he wanted to go to the toilet, and a constable escorted him. He made two more toilet trips, at 5 and 5.30 pm, and never returned from the last one. The waiting cops then realised they had been duped. On Sunday night, the Agripada police found Samad loitering near Maratha Mandir at cinema Mumbai Central. He was re-arrested and sent to Dongri.

Khandagale said that after his escape from the hospital Samad did not
go home, but slept at the Haji Ali shrine where he was given food by devotees.

“There are six cases against him registered with the Agripada, Tardeo, Nagpada and Byculla police stations. All the police men in these stations know him personally,’’ Khandagale said.

Sources said Samad has been probably involved in at least 20 criminal cases. “Many times the complainants say he is a minor and give him a chance to change his ways,’’ a senior police officer said. In March this year, Samad snatched a mobile phone but was caught while trying to flee. He told investigators that he wanted to carry a mobile phone so he could be like others.

(The name of the minor has been changed to protect his identity.)

The Times of India, June 20, 2006

Monday, June 19, 2006

Jail raids bare chinks in vigilance armour

TOUGH TIMES AHEAD

Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Mumbai: The vigilance branch of the state prisons department, entrusted with the task of cracking down on illegal activities within jail premises, seems to have failed in its mission. Reason: Two inspections this month by senior superintendent Swati Sathe of Arthur Road jail have resulted in the seizure of three cell phones, eight batteries, mobile battery chargers, coupons and utensils used for cooking.

Jail officials said Sathe, who took charge early this month, had brought police constables from Pune training school to search the jail premises. “The mobile phones seized were being used in Arthur Road jail since last year. The vigilance branch officers could not trace even a single mobile phone in their last three inspections,’’ they added.


The vigilance branch, headed by a deputy superintendent, directly reports to the inspector-general of prisons. Sources said on many occasions, the branch failed to gather vital information about the nefarious activities in jail.

A source said the vigilance branch had no clue about the festering animosity between Chhota Rajan’s henchmen Vicky Malhotra and rival D-gang members lodged in Arthur Road jail. If they had, the gang war between Malhotra and Shaikh, in which assistant sub-inspector Shahabuddin Mulani was injured,
could have been prevented, the source added. “The vigilance branch did not have any prior information about the hostile atmosphere in the jail. Moreover, it also does not have any hold on its informants in the jail. Most of the time, the inmates are alerted about the raids. As a result, the prisoners remove all illegal items from their barracks and hide them in the toilets or other safe places,’’ the source informed.

When asked why the vigilance branch failed to seize the illegal items from the jail, Shrikant Savarkar, IG, prison, said,
“I will have to talk to the DIG about it. We will conduct an inquiry.’’ According to prison norms, the vigilance branch can conduct raids on any jail in the state with the permission of the inspectorgeneral of prisons.

The source further added that though cooking was forbidden inside the jail, it was a common practice in Arthur Road jail. “A prisoner stocks some amount of chapatis daily and when he has saved upto 70 to 80 chapatis in a fortnight, he uses the dry chapatis as fuel. An oil container is kept between two bricks and heated to cook rice, chicken and other dishes,’’ an undertrial said. “Prisoners bribe jail officials to get this service,’’ a policeman added.

The Times of India, June 19, 2006

Friday, June 16, 2006

Pharmacist may lead cops to ringleader - AURANGABAD ARMS HAUL

Mateen Hafeez I TNN
Mumbai: A pharmacist from Beed is now the focus of a probe into the recent Aurangabad arms seizure following his surrender before a special court dealing with organised crime and terrorism.

Afroz Shahid Khan, 26, appeared in the city civil and sessions court building at Fort on Tuesday with his lawyer. On Wednesday, he was remanded to police custody till June 21. As one of the last few accused to be apprehended, the police expect Khan to throw light on all the missing links.

The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) had seized 16 AK-47 assault rifles, 43 kg RDX, 3,200 bullets and arrested 13 persons in raids across Aurangabad, Beed and Malegaon last month. Officers suspect Khan was among members of the group sent to Bangladesh for training in making bombs and using firearms. Said investigating officer Sunil Deshmukh, “Khan was the friend of prime suspect Zabihuddin who sent him to Bangladesh
via Kolkata in April this year. But we are yet to determine whether Khan really went to Bangladesh.’’

Investigators have been trying to track Khan down since the first arrests took place on May 9. A special team visited his house in Beed a number of times. The ATS believes that he could provide links to Zabihuddin, the alleged mastermind. The police are working on the theory that Zabihuddin visited Pakistan for training and then began indoctrinating other youth.

Khan, who hails from Mazalgaon in Beed, ran a medical store. Sources alleged that Zabihuddin used to visit Khan’s store and spend hours with him. “Khan was not into smuggling of arms and the RDX. But we strongly suspect that he was involved in monetary transactions. We are still interrogating him on all the possible angles,’’ Deshmukh said. Khan is also accused of training others to use firearms.

Before surrendering in the special court, Khan met advocate Shahid Azmi, who is also the lawyer for two other accused in the same case. On Tuesday, he filed an application saying he had come to surrender because the police had been visiting his house and questioning his family, seeking to know his whereabouts. He sought protection during interrogation and wanted the court to instruct the police “not to harass his family’’. The MCOCA court has directed the ATS to ensure Khan’s safety while he is in its custody.

The Times of India, June 16, 2006

Accused in Nanded blast case nabbed

Mateen Hafeez I TNN
Mumbai: Less than three weeks has been enough for the Anti-Terrorism Squad to do what the Criminal Investigation Department failed in the last three years.

The ATS has arrested Nanded’s Gandhi Nagar resident Sanjay Chaudhri alias Bhauram Chaudhri, a Bajrang Dal member, who is the main suspect in the bombing of a Parbhani mosque three years back. The bombing resulted in one person dying and several others getting hurt.

Chaudhri was remanded to police custody till 23 June by a court after his arrest, ATS inspector-general Krish Pal Raghuvanshi said. Officials suspect his involvement in a few other blasts at Nanded and Jalna, are questioning him about his role in those incidents and believe he is part of a bigger syndicate involved in training youths for terror activities in the state.

Two persons rode a motorcycle to the Mohammedi Masjid in Parbhani, threw a bomb and fled from the scene. The probe was handed over to the CID but it failed to make any headway three years after the incident.

This prompted deputy chief minister R R Patil to hand over the investi
gation to the ATS on 30 May.

“We are interrogating Chaudhri and trying to find out who assisted him financially to prepare bomb. We are yet to find out from where he got training in bomb-making. A bigger conspiracy is likely to be unearthed once we get some information about the training angle,’’ an officer said.

The investigation into the bombing of another mosque at Jalna last year has also been assigned to the ATS.

The ATS last month arrested 15 members of Bajrang Dal in connection with a bomb that went off while it was being prepared. Two, Naresh Rajkondwar and Himanshu Panse, both office-bearers of Bajrang Dal’s Nanded unit, died on the spot and four sustained severe injuries. The probe revealed that some of the accused were receiving training in bombmaking and using firearms in Nanded.

The house, where the bomb was being prepared in Nanded, belonged to retired state irrigation department executive engineer Laxman Rajkondwar. The police seized 1.5 kg of high-intensity gunpowder, an IED, remote controls, electronic devices, timers, switches, bomb-making materials, false beards and moustaches, five live cartridges and a notebook containing bomb-making instructions.

The Times of India, June 16, 2006

Saturday, June 10, 2006

‘Nanded blast accused were being trained’

Mateen Hafeez I TNN
Mumbai: The state’s anti-terrorism squad (ATS), which is probing the April 6 Nanded bomb blast, has revealed that some of the accused as well as the two deceased in the case were being trained in bombmaking in or around Nanded. However, the police are yet to find the training centre.

ATS inspector-general Krish Pal Raghuvanshi said: “The explosives and other weapons seized indicate they were trained in making bombs and operating firearms. We are also investigating their possi
ble involvement in the bomb thrown outside a mosque in Parbhani two years ago.’’

On April 6, a bomb being prepared exploded in Nanded, killing two of the bomb makers and injuring four. Raghuvanshi said the bomb contained high-intensity gunpowder. “The police arrested 15 Bajrang Dal activists, who were later granted bail. The house where the bomb was being prepared belongs to Laxman Rajkondwar, a retired executive engineer of the state’s irrigation department. He was arrested. His son Naresh and another man Himanshu Panse
died when the bomb went off.’’ Raghuvanshi added that Naresh (25) and Panse were office bearers in the Bajrang Dal’s Nanded unit.

ATS sources said a Bajrang Dal flag was hoisted on Rajkondwar’s house and 1.5 kg of gunpowder, an IED, remote controls, timers, switches, bomb materials, false beards, five live cartridges and a notebook containing bomb-making instructions were seized.

Of the four injured in the explosion, Rahul Pandey was among the 15 arrested. His narco-analysis report is expected on Saturday. Gururaj Tupewar is listed as critical but stable, while Yogesh Deshpande’s
health is said to be deteriorating. “Maruti Wagh’s vocal cords were damaged. He won’t speak again,’’ a source said.

Ironically, the 15 were initially booked under different sections of the Indian Penal Code, despite the case being related to terrorism. This allowed them to get bail.

In four other ATS cases, the accused have been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and are in jail. Later, the ATS invoked UAPA in the Nanded case. “But we will not arrest them again since our investigation is progressing,’’ Raghuvanshi said.

BEHIND BARS
3 Kashmiris arrested for carrying detonators, timers, switches and two pistols
Haj House imam Gulam Yahya Baksh
Mushiruddin Siddiqui and Manzoor Ansrai caught with 950 gm gunpowder
13 arrested from Malegaon, Aurangabad and Beed for stocking and transporting RDX and other arms

The Times of India, June 10, 2006

Friday, June 9, 2006

Two more held in Aurangabad arms haul case

Times News Network
Mumbai: A graduate and a postgraduate have been held in connection with the Aurangabad arms seizure case, taking the total number of arrests to 13.

The duo, identified as Khatib Imran Akil Ahmad (23) and Sheikh Waqar (23), are residents of Majalgaon in Beed district of Marathwada. They are suspected of being part of the alleged conspiracy to use Lashkar-e-Taiba
(LeT) sleeper cells to store and transport arms and explosives, according to anti-terrorism squad (ATS) sources. While Ahmad holds an MSc in computer science, Waqar is a BEd. Two swords were recovered from Waqar by the ATS at the time of his arrest. Officials said that the police were still looking for six other suspects in the case, including Jasbir Ansari, said to be the mastermind of the conspiracy.

Ahmad and Waqar were produced in a special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Thursday and sent to police custody till June 21.

ATS sources alleged that Ansari was the link to flow of arms and ammunition into the state from south India. They also did not rule out more seizures of weapons in the near future.

The total weapons seizure to date includes 16 AK-47 assault rifles, nearly 4,000 ammunition rounds, 43 kg RDX explosives and several magazines for guns.

ATS officials said although it was certain the arms and explosives were to be distributed for use in subversive acts, investigations were yet to shed light on the exact plans of the accused men.


LEARNED FOES

Of the arrested duo, one is an MSc in computer science and the other is a BEd. Two swords were recovered from the latter by the police

The Times of India, June 9, 2006

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Kasliwal chargesheet ready




TRIAL TIME

Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Mumbai: The city police have compiled a chargesheet against Abhishek Kasliwal in the case involving the alleged rape of a woman on March 12 at his family-owned Shriram Mills compound at Worli.

According to deputy commissioner of police Santosh Rastogi, the police “had gathered all the possible evidence and taken precautions while compiling the chargesheet’’. It will be filed in three to four days. Abhishek, 26, was arrested on charges of raping and assaulting a 52-year-old widow in his car.

Interestingly, only five of the 15 witnesses whose statements were recorded by investigating officer Ramakant Dhole have been included in the chargesheet. Four of these five are the victim, her friend Lawrence, and two Shriram Mills watchmen, Nagraj Gutt
and Atmaram Tawde. On instructions from the chief metropolitan magistrate, their statements were also recorded before four different magistrates, making them admissible in court.

The DCP said the chargesheet will state that Abhishek offered the victim a lift to Mumbai Central station, but drove his Mercedes to the Shriram Mills compound instead, where he raped her. Abhishek’s lawyers, however, argued in court that it was not rape but “consensual sex’’.

The chargesheet contains copies of the case diary, with details of day-to-day developments in the case. It will also have the DNA report, which stated that Abhishek’s body fluids match the fluids taken from the victim’s clothes.

“The DNA report is conclusive. We received the report two weeks ago and it will be attached to the chargesheet
along with other reports,’’ Rastogi said.

A copy of the medical report which stated that the victim was assaulted and sustained bruises on her body will also be attached to the chargesheet. Medical reports have confirmed that teeth marks on the victim’s body corresponded to Abhishek’s.

The chargesheet will also mention that in the identification parade, the victim identified Abhishek among nine to 10 other persons at Arthur Road jail on March 23.

“The parade is a must in such cases since the accused had initially introduced himself as Vicky Malhotra, but actually he was Abhishek Kasliwal,’’ Rastogi said.

The Bombay high court granted bail to Abhishek in May and ordered him not to enter the city till charges were framed. He was said to be in New Delhi.

The Times of India, June 8, 2006

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

No cash to perk up informants



Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Mumbai: The war against drugs has run into a fund crunch: the anti-narcotics cell (ANC) set up by Mumbai police is finding it difficult to cough up money to pay informants on the street.

Enforcement authorities usually set up a secret fund to suss out information on drug cartels and the movement of contraband. Infor
mants, mostly petty criminals or one-time peddlers, are rewarded for providing specific tip-offs or clues pointing to the arrival of, say, a large quantity of drugs in a particular city.

Sources in the ANCtold TOI that the frequency of raids has been dipping for a while, a clear indicator to the fact that scanty intelligence is emanating from Mumbai’s streets. For the last one month, not a single
raid has been carried out by the team.

“We raid or arrest when we get a tip. Nowadays there is shortage of informants in drug cases,’’ an officer said, alluding to the difficulty of finding information without making pay-offs.

What’s worse, unless the top brass of the police sanctions discretionary funds for use, there is little the ANC can do about it.

Inspector general of police K P Raghuvanshi, who now heads the ANC, however, maintained that his cell was not facing a fund shortage. “Whenever a special unit needs money to procure information, it is alloted by the police chief. I have paid over Rs 70,000 to officers of the ANC since I took charge a few months ago,’’ he said.


But Raghuvanshi did admit the need to “re-organise the department’’ and beef up facilities. “We want quality officers to get posted here and have better telecom links like GPS/GIS to gather intelligence,’’ he said.

His subordinates even crib about lack of “incentives’’ to step up the crackdown on drug cartels. Under the law, they are entitled to 10% of the total value of every seizure, but often they are deprived of this reward.

The Times of India, June 7, 2006

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Woman convict slips away

Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Mumbai: A dreaded convict, Geeta Parmar (33), escaped from police custody at Bhusawal railway junction recently while she was being escorted by the state police from Nagpur jail to Thane jail. Sources said Nagpur jail authorities had decided to shift Parmar since she was too much trouble for them. She had allegedly assaulted three women at the jail and also formed her own gang.

Confirming the escape, which occurred last week, S P Yadav, deputy inspector-general (prisons-south region), said: “She escaped from Bhusawal, but not from the custody of jail officials.’’

“Parmar, who is said to be a black belt in karate, was being escorted by two female and one male constables. When the train halted at Bhusawal junction, Parmar said she wanted to step off and buy something to eat,’’ a source said. “She was firm about leaving the train, so the constables escorted her. On the platform, however, she pushed one of the female constables, punched the male and escaped,” he added.

The two constables then lodged a complaint with the
Bhusawal railway police. A woman constable at Yerawada prison, where Parmar had been earlier lodged, said, “She was kept here for 7-8 months. However, she created a lot of problems and used to fight with other inmates. The authorities decided to transfer her to the Nagpur jail.’’ Parmar could beat up two to three women at a time.

Parmar, a resident of Currey Road, had been arrested after she robbed a jewellery shop in Ghatkopar in 1999 along with a male co-accused. She had posed as a Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officer during the crime. Ini
tially, she had been incarcerated at Arthur Road jail. In 2003, 150 women inmates, including Parmar, were transferred to Byculla jail, which became a jail for women only.

A sessions court convicted her last year and she was sent to the Yerawada jail. Parmar got into crime when her husband, Prakash, was arrested for robbery and she would visit the court to meet him. In the court premises, she met another robber, Kinit Amin, and decided to work for him, sources said.

She was handed the task of smuggling in cellphone batteries to inmates in Thane
jail who used them in their mobiles as it was impossible to recharge phones in jail. Parmar handed over some batteries to Amin.

In Byculla jail, Parmar formed her own gang and was said to be ‘Queen of Byculla jail’. Byculla jail inmates alleged that, once, a woman who left for a medical test without informing Parmar had to massage her feet for two hours as punishment.

In September 2003, Parmar fought with gangster Chhota Shakeel’s girlfriend Shamim Mirza Baig alias Mrs Paul in the Byculla jail after the latter tried to threaten her.


Geeta Parmar is shifted from Nagpur jail to Thane, after she assaulted three women there


Parmar tells her escorts that she must get down at Bhusawal station to buy something to eat


Parmar escapes from the platform after forcing aside her two escorts

The Times of India, June 4, 2006