Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kasab turned 23 in jail but had no clue of birthday

Convict Ajmal Kasab was born on September 13, 1987


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: India's most high-profile prisoner, Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab, turned 23 on September 13. Despite being without a calendar, he knew that it was September and his birthday was approaching. So, every day, he would ask his guards what date it was but no one told him. A few days ago, he finally learnt that it was already the last week of the month and that he had missed his birthday.

Kasab, now again in the news after his lawyers approached the Bombay high court against his conviction, was born in Pakistan on September 13, 1987.

Kasab is lodged in a special bomb-proof cell in the Arthur Road Jail. His
movement is monitored round-theclock through CCTV cameras installed there.

Given a Qaidi Number C-7096, Kasab is becoming restless in the cell. Inmates convicted for the most heinous crimes such as murder are enrolled under the 'C' series. Unlike other convicts, though, he won't have to work as a shoemaker, carpenter, handloom operator, cook or tailor. That's because he has been awarded the death penalty.

mateen.hafeez@timesgroup.com


The Times of India, September 30, 2010

Cops to be out in force, schools to remain open



As part of security measures, the police (below) have decided to use plastic bullets to disperse violent crowds

Intel Fears Violence In Karnataka

Yogesh Naik & Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government deployed unprecedented security measures across the state and secured state borders to ensure there is no communal disturbance, but refused to shut down educational institutions.

Police officials said they have received intelligence reports that communal trouble could brew in BJP-controlled Karnataka and have told collectors and police superintendents in Kolhapur and Solapur to be on constant alert.

On Wednesday, home minister R R Patil held a meeting with additional chief secretary (home) Chandra Iyengar, home secretary (special) Praveen Dixit, director-general of police D Sivanandhan and police commissioner Sanjeev Dayal at Mantralaya for three hours to map out a security plan. Patil later told reporters: “We have heightened the bandobast. I do not think there will be any trouble in the state. Maharashtra suffered a lot in the ’92-93 riots and the subsequent bomb blasts. No one wants a riot. I am confident that the state will be peaceful.”

Mumbai joint police commissioner (law and order) Rajnish Seth said: “In view of the verdict, a general alert has been sounded.”

But the government ruled out shutting down schools, and said the final decision has to be taken by the educational institutions themselves. “In case we get an intimation from the government in the morning or we find the situation unsafe, we will declare a holiday for the afternoon school,’’ said Fr George Athaide, principal of St Michael’s High School in Mahim. Avabai Petit Girls High School in Bandra, though, has decided to close after 1 pm. “We don’t want to take any chances. Anyway our students have their examinations Monday onwards, so this will give them extra time to study,’’ said principal Sandhya Balakrishnan.

The city police have served notice to about 1,200 troublemakers under section 149 of CrPC, warning them to refrain from indulging in any activity that causes law and order problems. So far, over 4,000 preventive arrests have been made,
Seth added. Officials said the police will use plastic bullets to disperse troublemakers.

“Prohibitory orders were also issued under section 144 of CrPC, putting restrictions on the assembly of people and preventing people from carrying out any activity that hurts religious sentiments of a community” Seth said.


Patil said the government met various political and religious leaders last week and everyone promised to maintain peace, barring the MNS.

On Wednesday, chief minister Ashok Chavan cancelled this week’s cabinet meeting and asked all of them to go to their respective district. Home minister R R Patil will stay behind in Mantralaya and monitor the situation from there.

In a bid to ensure peace, the government has banned bursting of firecrackers and celebration of the verdict. The home department has also told not to float rumours or send incendiary text messages. Thursday and Friday have been declared dry days and all bars have been ordered to remain shut.


Judgment Day
The government ruled out shutting down schools, but said the final decision has to be taken by educational institutions

Home minister R R Patil withdrew the government advisory warning people against travel and urged citizens to attend work

The administration asked Mumbaikars to report suspicious incidents to the police

All ruling party legislators and ministers have been told to travel to their districts

A ban has been imposed on celebration of the jugdment and bursting firecrackers

Citizens have been warned not to float rumours or send incendiary text messages, which might be screened by the police

Thursday and Friday have been declared dry days and all bars have been ordered to stay shut



The Times of India, September 30, 2010

Unprecedented security laid out



SHOW OF STRENGTH: The city police have taken a rash of measures to ensure peace in the aftermath of the Ayodhya verdict

Mateen Hafeez & Yogesh Naik | TNN


Mumbai: Wary of a repeat of the 1992-93 riots, the Maharashtra government has put the state on high alert and, for the first time, carved Mumbai into three regions under joint commissioner-ranked officers to maintain law and order.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, home minister R R Patil appealed for peace and asked people to refrain from hurting the sentiments of other communities. “A repeat of 1992-93 riots has to be avoided. Maharashtra is a progressive state and we have to guard that image,” said Patil, adding that the state has been put on high alert.

A senior police official told TOI that on Thursday crime branch chief Himanshu Roy will monitor law and order in north and west region (Bandra-Dahisar), joint commissioner Rajnish Seth will be oversee south and central region (Colaba to Kurla),while joint commissioner Bhagwant More will be post
ed in East region (Chembur to Mulund).

“So far 3,500 people have been arrested as preventive measure. Also, we have issued notices to more than 900 people and 100 others have been externed from city limits,’’ said a police official.

In a bid to thwart troublemakers, the state also declared Thursday and Friday as dry days (Satur
day is already a dry day due to Gandhi Jayanti).

Chief minister Ashok Chavan on Tuesday reviewed the government’s security measures and held a meeting with religious leaders where he urged them to maintain peace. He has called a meeting of the cabinet on Thursday. “We’ll assess the situation. If the judgment comes on Thursday, we may cancel the cabinet and ask ministers to go to their respective districts,” Chavan said.

Education secretary Sanjay Kumar said a decision on whether to keep schools and colleges in Mumbai open on Thursday will be taken on Wednesday. The city police, meanwhile, have deployed cops from all 90 police stations and have decided to take help from the armed police force, Rapid Action Force, State Reserve Police Force, Riot Control Police and Quick Response Team. “We have spotted several sensitive areas and additional forces have already been put there,’’ an officer said.


Schools await order
While the government is making up its mind on whether to shut educational institutions on Thursday, many colleges in the city have unofficially given their students the option to skip lectures. Schools are waiting for a word from the government. “Parents, if worried, can choose not to send their children,” said Fr Francis Swamy, principal of Holy Family School in Andheri (East).
The Times of India, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Navy paper leak: Printer dies of fear

(From left) Ranbir Singh Rawat, D S Murthy, R C Naik and Hoshiar Singh Rawat (inset) a teacher from Haryana


Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: The fear of facing interrogation by CBI officials was so strong that it killed V S Thakur, owner of Atharva Printing Press in Pune, on Sunday. Fifty-three-year-old Thakur, a co-accused in the Indian Navy’s lower division clerk (LDC) paper leak case, suffered a massive heart attack 100 metres away from his office where the CBI sleuths were waiting for him.

The all-India exam to fill 175 clerks’ posts at the Western Naval Command HQ was conducted by the Navy on Sunday although the paper had been leaked a day earlier. “It was too late to cancel the exam since it was being conducted at various centres all over the country and 35,000 people were appearing for it,’’ said a source. However, by Saturday, the CBI had arrested four persons—R C Naik and D S Murthy, administrative officers of the Western and Eastern Naval Command, Ranbir Singh Rawat, former Navy sailor and current owner of a defence recruitment agency, Manasa International, and Haryana-based teacher Hoshiar Singh Rawat.


I’m very disturbed, Thakur told his wife

The CBI had also raided United Lodge near Crawford Market in Mumbai, where 138 candidates were being dictated the question paper and the correct answers.

Chief PRO (defence) Captain Manohar Nambiar clarified that the arrested persons were not
naval personnel but defence civilian officers posted at the Western and Eastern Naval Command.

While questioning the accused on Saturday, the CBI learnt that the exam paper had been leaked from Atharva Printing Press, and on Sunday a team went to Sinhgarh Road in Pune where the press was located. “Since it was shut, we called up Thakur and asked him to come there,’’ said a CB officer, adding that Thakur informed his wife and relatives, and requested them to be there during the inquiry.

“Thakur’s wife and relatives came to the press much before he reached,’’ continued the officer. “After half an hour, Thakur called up his wife, asking her to come and meet him. He told her he was disturbed and wanted to talk to her first. Our team members also followed so that he could not escape. However, when they reached there, they saw that Thakur was suffering from chest pain. His relatives rushed him to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9.30 pm.’’

Sources said that Naik had leaked the question paper, for which candidates were charged between Rs 15,000 and Rs 50,000. Naik was one of the members on the Navy’s recruitment committee. “He went to the printing press, where he copied the question paper on a pen drive,’’ said an official. “He then handed it over to his colleague, Murthy, who took print-outs.’’

Ranbir Singh Rawat, the kingpin, has over 15 placement agencies all over the country. “During a raid at Rawat’s house in Vishakhapatnam, we recovered Rs 17 lakh. In another raid at his
Manasa International, the CBI recovered Rs 3 lakh. Besides this, more than 50 passports belonging to job-seeking candidates were recovered,’’ said deputy IG P Salunke.

The CBI also raided Murthy’s house and found a question paper in his laptop. “This question paper was of another examination that was
conducted on August 20 this year for clerical posts in the Navy. Another question paper found in the laptop was identical to the question paper that was issued for Sunday’s exam,’’ added Salunke.

The CBI has found that Atharva Consultancy, a computer company, is also owned by Rawat.



The Times of India, September, 28, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Navy officers in dock for exam paper leak

IN BLACK & WHITE: CBI’s joint director, Mumbai-I zone, Rishi Raj Singh, displays the leaked navy recruitment exam’s question papers in Mumbai on Sunday



Mateen Hafiz & Rahul Tripathi | TNN


Mumbai/New Delhi: The CBI on Sunday arrested four persons in Mumbai, including two administration officers of the Indian Navy, in connection with an exam paper leak. Question papers for the lower division clerk exam were leaked on Saturday by the accused who charged between Rs 15,000 and Rs 50,000 from around 138 candidates to share the questions with them.

The exam was conducted at various places across the country on Sunday and 35,000 candidates appeared for it. Several bank accounts have been seized and sleuths suspect it to be a bigger employment racket.

Those arrested were identified as R C Naik, D S Murthy, both administration officers in Western and Eastern Naval Commands respectively, Ranbir Singh Rawat, owner of Manasa Inter
national defence recruitment agency in Andhra Pradesh’s Vishakapatnam, and a Haryana-based teacher, Hoshiar Singh Rawat. Ranbir Rawat is a former sailor in the Indian Navy. All the four accused will be produced in court on Monday.

CBI says leak risk to nat’l security

Rishi Raj Singh, joint director (Mumbai-I zone), said the CBI got a tipoff about some candidates coming to United lodge near Crawford Market in south Mumbai where the accused were to provide them information about the question papers. Singh added that the accused had leaked the question paper to 138 candidates who appeared for the exam at Navy Nagar Centre in Mumbai on Sunday.

The accused had taken between Rs 15,000 and Rs 50,000 from various candidates who had come from different parts of the country. The exam was held to fill up 175 posts of clerks at Western Naval Command headquarters. “This is a serious offence. These people put Indian security at stake and tried to ensure that unqualified candidates get the jobs,’’ said Singh.


CBI is also probing if more defence officials were involved in the racket. “We had a tip-off that Naik, the prime accused, had leaked the question paper with the help of a pen drive and handed it over to his colleague Murthy who in return took out a number of printed copies of the question paper at Pune,’’ said Singh. The copies were then handed over to Ranbir Rawat who operates over 15 placement agencies all over the country, the CBI said.

During a raid, CBI officials recovered printed question papers from the possession of Hoshiar Singh along with many handwritten copies of the questions. CBI also seized Rs 1.85 lakh and several bank deposit receipts from the accused. The police also seized handwritten receipts acknowledging payments made by the candidates to the accused persons and touts. “We have seized a
register in which it was mentioned which candidate had given how much and who is yet to pay,’’ Singh said.

The CBI suspect Ranbir Rawat to be the kingpin of the scam. During another raid at a hotel in Colaba where Rambir Rawat was staying along with Murthy, printed copies of the question paper were recovered. On Sunday, CBI obtained a copy of the question paper from Navy Nagar exam centre from the chairman of the board conducting the exam and found that the questions matched those in the papers recovered from the accused.



The Times of India, September 27, 2010

‘Attack on Salem aide could be a display of loyalty to Dossa’

Mateen Hafeez I TNN


Mumbai: Following the assault on gangster Abu Salem’s aide inside Arthur Road prison on Saturday, according to police sources, D-gang member Mustafa Dossa is trying to reorganise his gang. The attack on Salem’s aide by the two young inmates could be an attempt to display loyalty to Dossa.

Salem’s associate, Hasan Mehendi, was allegedly assaulted by two members of the Pandav Putra gang—Pratap Patil and Mangesh Shelar. While the police kept saying that they were yet to get custody of the two accused and
question them thoroughly, a senior police officer, based on Mehendi’s initial statement, said that Dossa was reorganising his gang in jail. “Dossa
had a fight with Salem in July. Mehendi was present during the scuffle and is a key witness. Mehendi has said on Saturday that Dossa had been helping Pandav Putra gang members
and they were assigned the job of attacking him so that he either turns hostile or keeps mum,’’ the officer said.

Mehendi, had also deposed before the court, saying he had seen Dossa attack Salem. “Dossa roams around on the entire jail premises. He sits with inmates and solves their problems. He also helps them in fighting their cases so new inmates join his group,’’ said a police officer.

Mehendi and three other inmates were shifted to Taloja jail on Sunday due to “security reasons”, said the police. Mehendi’s mentor Salem is already lodged in Taloja jail.

The Times of India, September 27, 2010

Sim dealers see red over police drive

HANGING UP ON CUSTOMERS


Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: With cops cracking down on vendors selling sim cards without verification, several shops in south and central Mumbai have put up a notice saying “sim cards not available”. The police drive comes after a terror SMS from members of the banned outfit, Indian Mujahideen. The prepaid sim used on that mobile was purchased without the vendor verifying the antecedents of the buyers, the police said.

“We get only 2% from selling sim cards. How can the service provider or the police expect us to verify documents for prepaid sim cards?’’ said Amjad Khan, owner of Misbah Electronics at Agripada. According to Khan, service
providers should check the authenticity of documents. “As the companies send their executives to collect and verify documents for postpaid sims, they should do so for prepaid cards too,’’ he said.

The L T Marg police had last week arrested Enaar Ansari, the owner of Nadeem Communication from Crawford
Market for selling sim cards on fake documents. “Ansari sold the documents and photos of a taxi driver to at least 20 people for Rs 100 extra,’’ said an officer.

“Once we collect the documents from a buyer, we send them to the respective companies. The police should contact the service providers,’’ a dealer said. “We will soon move court regarding the issue,’’ said another dealer.

The Times of India, September 27, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

10K Mumbaikars will leave for Haj this year


Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: As many as 1.25 lakh pilgrims will leave for Saudi Arabia for Haj this year, including more than 10,000 from Mumbai. Haj flights from Mumbai are likey to take off from mid-October for Jeddah.

Shakir Hussain, chief executive officer of the Haj Committee of India, said, “We have received the passports of a maximum applicants and are busy with other formalities. Haj flights from Mumbai airport are likely to take off from October 21.” Hussain added that the cost of Haj per person will range between Rs 1.15 lakh and Rs 1.25 lakh.

The government of Saudi Arabia has made polio vaccination compulsory for all Haj pilgrims. Last year, due to swine flue, all were given the vaccination, but this year, there will be no such restriction.

While 1.25 lakh pilgrims will visit Saudi Arabia through the Haj committee, around 75,000 others will go through private tour operators. On a demand made by Haj piligrims, the government of Saudi Arabia has incrased the quota to around 10,000 pilgrims this year.
are - tion points for Haj pilgrims in Maharashtra — Mumbai, Aurangabad and Nagpur — there is a possiblity that now Pune could be introduced as the new point.

While there was no confirmation from the Haj committee about the new embarkation point, sources say the move is being taken to reduce the burden on the three airports in the state during Haj.

The Times of India, September 25, 2010

10K Mumbaikars will leave for Haj this year


Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: As many as 1.25 lakh pilgrims will leave for Saudi Arabia for Haj this year, including more than 10,000 from Mumbai. Haj flights from Mumbai are likey to take off from mid-October for Jeddah.

Shakir Hussain, chief executive officer of the Haj Committee of India, said, “We have received the passports of a maximum applicants and are busy with other formalities. Haj flights from Mumbai airport are likely to take off from October 21.” Hussain added that the cost of Haj per person will range between Rs 1.15 lakh and Rs 1.25 lakh.

The government of Saudi Arabia has made polio vaccination compulsory for all Haj pilgrims. Last year, due to swine flue, all were given the vaccination, but this year, there will be no such restriction.

While 1.25 lakh pilgrims will visit Saudi Arabia through the Haj committee, around 75,000 others will go through private tour operators. On a demand made by Haj piligrims, the government of Saudi Arabia has incrased the quota to around 10,000 pilgrims this year.
are - tion points for Haj pilgrims in Maharashtra — Mumbai, Aurangabad and Nagpur — there is a possiblity that now Pune could be introduced as the new point.

While there was no confirmation from the Haj committee about the new embarkation point, sources say the move is being taken to reduce the burden on the three airports in the state during Haj.

The Times of India, September 25, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Call records helped solve GPO firing case

Mateen Hafeez I TNN


Mumbai: The first breakthrough in the investigation involving the murder of shipping firm owner, Sayyed Madar Chand, came when police analysed the call records of a mobile number belonging to one of the suspects Samad Deshmukh alias Saleem. According to the police, Saleem had been calling up on a Jharkhand mobile number on the day of the incident, which made them suspicious.

Saleem, said the police, had plotted Chand’s killing with the help of diesel king, Mohammed Ali Shaikh, who had contested the last Lok Sabha elections in south south Mumbai and lost. Shaikh is also behind bars now.

“Soon after the Chand was shot at on September 15, we received information that Saleem could be involved in the murder case. When we analysed Saleem’s mobile call records, we found that Saleem had been making and receiving calls from a specific mobile number belonging to Jharkhand,’’ said assistant inspector Nandkumar Gopale. When the Jharkhand number was scrutinised, it came to light that calls were made to other people in Mumbai and all were connected to each other at the Mumbai docks, investigators said. “On the day of the murder, the two shooters, Sagir Ahmed (25) and Sagir Shah alias Babloo (28) had made the last call to Saleem at 2.53 pm. Saleem called them back at 3.07 pm. During this period, the shootout took place,’’ said an officer.

According to police, the two shooters had arrived in Mumbai a month before the shootout. “They were accommodated at a deserted place in south Mumbai and were provided with a motorbike, used in the crime, by Mohammed Ali Shaikh,’’ said another officer. While analysing Saleem’s calls, they found out that Shaikh could be involved in the murder case. “Saleem had made phone calls to Shaikh too. The shooters met Saleem at Dongri soon after the shootout,’’ said the officer.

“We are trying to find out who had provided Mumbai SIM cards to the shooters,’’ the officer said.They police may invoke the MCOCA in the case.Chand was killed after he ‘ditched’ Saleem and tried to take over his business. Saleemtook Shaikh’s help to eliminate Chand who owned Unique Management Shipping Service.

The Times of India, September 24, 2010

Call records helped solve GPO firing case

Mateen Hafeez I TNN


Mumbai: The first breakthrough in the investigation involving the murder of shipping firm owner, Sayyed Madar Chand, came when police analysed the call records of a mobile number belonging to one of the suspects Samad Deshmukh alias Saleem. According to the police, Saleem had been calling up on a Jharkhand mobile number on the day of the incident, which made them suspicious.

Saleem, said the police, had plotted Chand’s killing with the help of diesel king, Mohammed Ali Shaikh, who had contested the last Lok Sabha elections in south south Mumbai and lost. Shaikh is also behind bars now.

“Soon after the Chand was shot at on September 15, we received information that Saleem could be involved in the murder case. When we analysed Saleem’s mobile call records, we found that Saleem had been making and receiving calls from a specific mobile number belonging to Jharkhand,’’ said assistant inspector Nandkumar Gopale. When the Jharkhand number was scrutinised, it came to light that calls were made to other people in Mumbai and all were connected to each other at the Mumbai docks, investigators said. “On the day of the murder, the two shooters, Sagir Ahmed (25) and Sagir Shah alias Babloo (28) had made the last call to Saleem at 2.53 pm. Saleem called them back at 3.07 pm. During this period, the shootout took place,’’ said an officer.

According to police, the two shooters had arrived in Mumbai a month before the shootout. “They were accommodated at a deserted place in south Mumbai and were provided with a motorbike, used in the crime, by Mohammed Ali Shaikh,’’ said another officer. While analysing Saleem’s calls, they found out that Shaikh could be involved in the murder case. “Saleem had made phone calls to Shaikh too. The shooters met Saleem at Dongri soon after the shootout,’’ said the officer.

“We are trying to find out who had provided Mumbai SIM cards to the shooters,’’ the officer said.They police may invoke the MCOCA in the case.Chand was killed after he ‘ditched’ Saleem and tried to take over his business. Saleemtook Shaikh’s help to eliminate Chand who owned Unique Management Shipping Service.

The Times of India, September 24, 2010

Call records helped solve GPO firing case

Mateen Hafeez I TNN


Mumbai: The first breakthrough in the investigation involving the murder of shipping firm owner, Sayyed Madar Chand, came when police analysed the call records of a mobile number belonging to one of the suspects Samad Deshmukh alias Saleem. According to the police, Saleem had been calling up on a Jharkhand mobile number on the day of the incident, which made them suspicious.

Saleem, said the police, had plotted Chand’s killing with the help of diesel king, Mohammed Ali Shaikh, who had contested the last Lok Sabha elections in south south Mumbai and lost. Shaikh is also behind bars now.

“Soon after the Chand was shot at on September 15, we received information that Saleem could be involved in the murder case. When we analysed Saleem’s mobile call records, we found that Saleem had been making and receiving calls from a specific mobile number belonging to Jharkhand,’’ said assistant inspector Nandkumar Gopale. When the Jharkhand number was scrutinised, it came to light that calls were made to other people in Mumbai and all were connected to each other at the Mumbai docks, investigators said. “On the day of the murder, the two shooters, Sagir Ahmed (25) and Sagir Shah alias Babloo (28) had made the last call to Saleem at 2.53 pm. Saleem called them back at 3.07 pm. During this period, the shootout took place,’’ said an officer.

According to police, the two shooters had arrived in Mumbai a month before the shootout. “They were accommodated at a deserted place in south Mumbai and were provided with a motorbike, used in the crime, by Mohammed Ali Shaikh,’’ said another officer. While analysing Saleem’s calls, they found out that Shaikh could be involved in the murder case. “Saleem had made phone calls to Shaikh too. The shooters met Saleem at Dongri soon after the shootout,’’ said the officer.

“We are trying to find out who had provided Mumbai SIM cards to the shooters,’’ the officer said.They police may invoke the MCOCA in the case.Chand was killed after he ‘ditched’ Saleem and tried to take over his business. Saleemtook Shaikh’s help to eliminate Chand who owned Unique Management Shipping Service.

The Times of India, September 24, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

‘Diesel don’ held for S Mumbai shooting

Sayyed Chand Madar (left) and Mohammed Ali Shaikh

S Ahmed Ali & Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: Mohammed Ali Shaikh (48), who defected to the Congress from BSP a few months ago, was arrested along with six others on Tuesday in connection with the murder of businessman Sayyed Chand Madar on September 15.

“Chand had become a threat to Ali’s multi-crore diesel smuggling syndicate. According to our investigations, he hired hitmen who fired at Chand on P D’Mello Road last Wednesday. The private shipping owner died a day later,’’ officials said.

The modus operandi of the mafia was to buy diesel from foreign ships at a throwaway price and sell it to petrol pumps in the city. “This prompted Ali to hatch a conspiracy along with one Samad Ismail Deshmukh alias Salim to eliminate Madar. Incidentally, Salim too was affected by Chand’s entry in the illegal opera
tions,’’ investigators claimed.

Acting on a tip off, the officers of the property cell of the crime branch picked up Salim. “He was arrested by the customs for smuggling diesel. Salim was detained under Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act for nearly 10 months. He came out of detention in July. Madar had assured Salim in prison that he would get his seized diesel released from the Customs and help him secure freedom,’’ said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime).

“However, Madar double
crossed Salim and took over his business. This irked Salim who decided to take revenge. Soon after his release in July, he contacted Mohammed Ali—who was waiting to take on Madar as he had taken over the dock union consisting of about 10,000 workers—and both decided to kill the South mumbai businessman after Ramzan,’’ said Deven Bharti, additional commissioner of police.

“Ali gave a supari of Rs 3 lakh and a revolver to hitmen, some of them from UP, and instructed them to kill Madar,’’ an official said.

“The shooters were about to board a train on Monday when we nabbed them. We believe that the supari amount could be much bigger. We have just arrested the accused and now we will be producing them in the court on Wednesday.’’ said inspector Nandkumar Gopale.


The Victim
Madar, owner of Unique Shipping Management Service, was popularly known as the diesel king of the docks

According to investigators, his growing clout was making the oil mafia uncomfortable
He owned several barges and was into scrap, iron, and electronic goods trading. Between 1997 and 2007, Madar was arrested twice under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974


Sept 15 | 3 pm

56-year-old Sayyed Chand Madar goes to a restaurant on P D’Mello Road near GPO for lunch while his driver waits for him in a Scorpio

While he is returning, two youths on a black Pulsar appear out of nowhere and one of them fires two rounds at him. The duo speeds off towards Sewree taking the same stretch

Madar shifted to Bombay Hospital where he dies a day later


The Times of India, September 22, 2010

2 brothers killed over Ganesh mandal booklet


CRIME SITE: The police inspect the mandal at Pydhonie where the murder took place on Tuesday

Mateen Hafeez I TNN


Mumbai: The president of a Ganpati mandal and his younger brother died after they were attacked by three persons on Tuesday night at Pydhonie.

The incident took place around 11.30 pm outside Mandvicha Raja Ganesh Mandal on Samuel street in Pydhonie. The victims, Sharad Matekar (36) and his brother, Bharat (34) had been associated with the mandal for over 15 years.

The three accused, Navin Chandra Bhole (19) and his uncles Santosh Punekar (34) and Parmeshwar Punekar (25), who attacked the brothers with swords, choppers and bamboo sticks, have been arrested by the Pydhonie police.

According to the cops, the Punekars were furious that their father, Bandu Punekar, who they claim was one of the founding members of the mandal, was not mentioned in the list of committee mem
bers in the booklet published on the 50th anniversary of the mandal.

Vikas Khichde, the cashier of the mandal, said that a drunk Parmeshwar came to the mandal around 11.30 pm and created a ruckus. “Sharad attempted to calm Parmeshwar down. He even agreed to print Bandu’s name in the next issue of the booklet,’’ said Khichde.

By then, Bhole and San
tosh too appeared and started attacking Sharad. When Bharat came to his brother’s rescue, the three assaulted him with swords and choppers too, he added.

The brothers were rushed to G T Hospital. However, Sharad was pronounced dead on arrival and Bharat succumbed to his injuries later.

Following the murders, the mandal has cancelled its Satyanarayan puja.


The Times of India, September 22, 2010

IP address, email lead terror probe to Borivli



STATE OF ALERT: A police officer stands guard outside the Bombay Stock Exchange in


S Ahmed Ali & Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: The cyber cells of the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the Mumbai Crime Branch have found two Tata Docomo mobile numbers which they believe could lead them to the sleeper cell of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) that was behind Sunday’s firing at Jama Masjid in Delhi. Two Taiwanese tourists were injured in the shooting.

The SIM cards for the numbers, one of which was used to send Sunday’s terror email, were purchased in Borivli and the Internet Protocol (IP) address used to send the email has been also traced to Borivli. Following the firing, an email was received by media outlets, in which the IM claimed responsibility for the attack.

Police are questioning the dealer who sold the SIM cards, who says he has no recollection of the buyer. Sources said a single person bought both SIM cards, one in the name of Pradnya Shetty of Malad and the other in the name of Parva Shinde of Borivli. The dealer was furnished a bogus driver’s licence and a PAN card obtained through fake documents to get the cards.

A special cell of the Delhi police is trying to get the details of the two mobile numbers, which have been switched off. The Delhi police team is camping at the ATS office in Mumbai.

After searching for two days for the false addresses given to the SIM card dealer, the police have now cornered the dealer. “He does not remember the face of the buyer. He says that he has several customers, but we are trying to revive his memory so he can recall the person,’’ said an officer.


Police suspect that a laptop was also used, because a PDF attachment was part of the email sent to media houses. Sources said the cellphone may have been connected to a laptop and the email then sent. Police are trying to prepare a sketch of the buyer so they can match it with photos of around two dozen absconding IM members in the state.

The terror e-mail account was created just five minutes after the firing in Delhi. The firing took place at around 11.22 am on Sunday while the e-mail account was created at 11.27 am. The email was re
ceived by several news channels at 1.30 pm. “The five-page attachment, which spoke about the Batla House encounter and the killing of Kashmiris, did not mention a single word about the Jama Masjid firing case. It means the attachment was compiled in advance. The responsibility for the firing was claimed in a few lines in the main email,’’ said an investigator in Mumbai.

The letter was sent through the email account al.arbi999123@gmail.com and the PDF attachment was signed by one Al-Arbi. “Inves
tigators are trying to find out if more emails were sent through this address,’’ an officer said.

The signature, say police sources, is the same one used in the IM’s earlier terror emails. “It seems the sender is just copying the signature and pasting it on fresh emails,’’ said a police source.

The police have released the person they detained early on Monday morning in Mumbai, but they said investigations are still on.

Meanwhile J K Sharma, the owner of the Maruti 800 car, which caught fire in Delhi after the Jama Masjid shooting, has told police that he had parked the vehicle somewhere else two days earlietr and did not know how the car was moved to the spot. Delhi police have found that the motorcycle used by the two shooters was stolen five days earlier from the Vasant Vihar area in Delhi.

THE AL-ARBI CONNECTION

* In July 2008, an email from al-arbi-gujarat@yahoo.com was sent to TV channels prior to the Ahmedabad blasts. The WiFi connection of Ken Heywood, an American living in Navi Mumbai, was hacked to send the mail

* Email was sent by hacking into a computer at Mumbai’s Khalsa College on July 23,
2008. The mail was sent from alarbi.alhindi@gmail.com and threatened Maharashtra and Gujarat cops

* Email was sent from al-arbidelhi@yahoo.com in December 2008 threatening terror strikes. It was signed by one Arbi Hindi

* IM sent similar emails after Faizabad and Jaipur blasts

The Times of India, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Maulanas say email misrepresents Quran




Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: In the email that claimed responsibility for Sunday’s terror attack in Delhi, the Indian Mujahideen (IM) has quoted six verses from the Quran. The verses, said Islamic scholars, have been taken out of context and misinterpreted.

The verses were revealed at different points in Islam’s 1,400-year evolution, say the maulanas, and the circumstances in which they were revealed are key to understanding them.

In the five-page attachment of the email, which the IM had sent to the media, the IM threatened to terrorise the country again. The Quran was cited on pages 1, 2, 4 and 5.

The first quotation reads: “And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah, and for
those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among men, women and children, whose cry is: ‘Our Lord! rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from you one who will protect, and raise for us from you one who will help.’ Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve, fight in the cause of Taghut (satan). So fight you against the friends of Shaitan; ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shaitan.’’ (Quran 4:75).

An eminent Islamic scholar in Mumbai explained that this verse (from Surah Nisa in the Quran) was revealed after the Muslims of Mecca were being harassed and beaten while they were preaching Islam. “Muslims were targetted during that period irrespective of whether they were women, children or old men. The verse, revealed 1,400 years ago,
explained that you should fight this oppression and rescue those who were caught,’’ said an imam who has been leading namaz in Mumbai for more than 15 years. While writing this verse, the IM has referred to Kashmir, saying children were also being killed by security forcees.

A verse on page four of the email reads: “And fight them until more fit
nah (disbelief and worshipping of the others along with Allah) and all and every kind of worship (including rules and regulations in day-to-day affairs) is for Allah alone. But if they cease let there be no transgression except against Az-zalimun (polytheist wrongdoers and those who don’t submit to Allah and His messenger etc).’’ According to a maulana, the verse was revealed while Muslims were being told to worship one God.

The email also referred to two slain IM members. “In the name of Allah we dedicate this attack of retribution to martyrs, Shaheed Atif Amin and Shaheed Muhammed Sajid, who proudly laid down their lives valiantly fighting the idol worshippers Delhi police on this day,’’ says the email. The two IM members were killed in the Batla House encounter on September 19, 2009.

The Times of India, September 21, 2010

Email shows Mumbai still a terror hub




Anti-Terrorism Squad & Mumbai Crime Branch Working Jointly To Trace IP Address In City. Detainee Denies Terror Links



S Ahmed Ali & Mateen Hafeez | TNN


A senior Mumbai police officer said on Monday that the authorities were still verifying if an unsecured WiFi system was hacked into to send the email that claimed responsibility for the Delhi Jama Masjid attack.

The mail was sent from the ID al.arbi999123@gmail.com and has been traced to Mumbai. “We are taking this very seriously since the Indian Mujahideen (IM) has proved to be more tech-savvy than other terror groups in the past,’’ said a senior Mumbai police official. The officer, who refused to disclose the IP address from which the mail was sent, said the development shows that IM members are still active in Maharashtra, and that the Mumbai region is a terror hub. He also said it could be a proxy IP address.

TOI had earlier reported that around a dozen IM members were still at large. “The attachment in the email has been signed by someone calling himself Al-Arbi. The same signature was on an IM email sent two years ago,’’ said a police officer. The police are using handwriting experts to verify if the two signatures are of the same person. If that is true, it means that a key IM member is still at large.

Investigators said the email ID was created at 11.30 am on Sunday, just eight minutes after the Jama Masjid firing was reported.

A special team of the Delhi police, along with officers from the Intelligence Bureau, are reportedly camping in Mumbai. A suspected IM member was detained early on Monday morning in the eastern suburbs. The Mumbai suspect has denied any involvement with the Delhi attack or email. Sources said he was grilled at a crime branch office in central Mumbai. A sketch of him has been sent to Delhi. Police are now questioning the detainee to find out his whereabouts on Sunday. They have seized his mobile phone and are scrutinizing the list of people he was in touch with.

“His sketch was sent to Delhi late on Monday evening for comparison with the sketches made there with
the help of the prime witness, the rickshawpuller who threw a stone at the attackers,’’ said an official in Mumbai, on condition of anonymity. The officer said the police have vital leads that can’t be disclosed due to the sensitivity of the case.

Investigators believe that, like in 2008, IM members sent the email by hacking into a WiFi connection. The sender could be from a sleeper IM cell that went underground after the German Bakery blast. Almost all 21
suspected IM members arrested in 2008 were well educated, except for Afzal Usmani, who was a car thief. Asghar Mansoor Peerbhoy was working with a top InfoTech company in Pune, Ansar Shaikh worked as an engineer with a bank, Mohammed Arif was an electrical engineer and Mohammed Atiq was an engineer in Pune with another IT giant.

Sunday’s attacks in Delhi, which included a crude car bomb blast, came on the second anniversary of
the Batla House encounter in which police killed two IM members. A state ATS team has gone to Delhi in connection with the investigations.

Cops are also looking into whether the car in which the bomb was found was stolen from the Mumbai region. However, a man held in Delhi has already admitted to owning the car. In 2008, a car stolen from Navi Mumbai was used in a bomb blast in Ahmedabad. It led to vital leads that helped bust the Pune IM module.



SIGHTS SET ON SECURITY
The state home department spent around Rs 38 crore towards modernising the police force after the November 26, 2008 massacre in Mumbai. Here are some of the purchases
1,000 9mm Smith & Wesson pistols 175 Colt M4 5.66mm carbines 175 MP9 tactical machine pistols with red-dot laser sight M82 law-enforcement rifle system with range of up to 2,500m (pic below) MP-5K submachine gun (pic at right) 12 all-terrain amphibious vehicles 2 rapid intervention vehicles 30 bullet-proof Scorpios 5 high-speed patrolling boats 314 bullet-proof helmets 90 bullet-proof jackets 4 ballistic bullet-proof shields 12 long-distance binoculars 80 CCTV cameras 97 walkie-talkies 2 bomb disposal suits 1 mobile X-Ray scanner Rs 5.5 crore was spent on computers and other electronic equipment used to upgrade records
Rs 4.5 crore was spent on communication systems



KEM wants more security
Due to the mention of Parel’s KEM Hospital in the terror email, the hospital’s authorities have asked for more security. “We have written to civic officials to increase the strength of security personnel,” said Dr Sanjay Oak, dean of KEM and director of health services. He had a meeting with the securitymen in the hospital. Dean of Nair, Dr Ravi Rananavare, met with his clinical staff. TNN
FORCE FIELD The state government also formed the special commando squad, Force One, and a special Quick Response Team (QRT). While Force One has a strength of 200 personnel, the QRT has around 360 personnel and is attached to the five regional police offices in the city. Force One has statewide jurisdiction and reports to additional director-general and Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Rakesh Maria. The QRT is for Mumbai and comes under the jurisdiction of the Mumbai police.
SHOPPING LIST
The city police are expected to get more equipment in the furure, including machine guns, bullet-proof
jackets, revolvers, pistols, guns with laser sights, long-distance binoculars, speedboats and helicopters

The Times of India, September 21, 2010

Terror email traced to city, one detained

Foreign tourists at Jama Masjid a day after the attack

Mateen Hafeez & S Ahmed Ali | TNN


Mumbai: Investigations into Sunday’s terror attacks in Delhi show that Mumbai continues to be not just in the cross-hairs of terror, but is still a terrorist hub. The email claiming responsibility for the Delhi firing has been traced to a Mumbai IP address, and authorities have detained a person in Mumbai’s eastern suburbs on suspicion of being an Indian Mujahideen (IM) member.

Authorities say the detained man could have been the biker or pillion rider who fired at a tourist bus outside Jama Masjid, injuring two Taiwanese nationals. Other sources said the detained man, who was reportedly held early on Monday morning in Mumbai by a Delhi police team, could be the person who sent the email.

Sources said that in a first, the cyber cells of the Maharashtra ATS and the Mumbai crime branch are working jointly to trace the computer with the IP address.

On Sunday, at 1.30 pm, a couple of hours after the shooting, a group claiming to be the IM sent the email to several media outlets, claiming responsibility for the attack and warning of fresh attacks in Mumbai.


“We are still in the process of verifying whether an unsecured WiFi was hacked into to send the email,’’ said a senior police officer in Mumbai. The mail was sent from the ID al.arbi999123@gmail.com.

Msg sent from cell taken on fake ID
In a late development, the IM email was traced to a cellphone connection taken in the name of a woman in the city’s western suburbs. When an ATS and NIA team reached the address, they found that the connection had been obtained on forged papers and nobody by that name existed. They refused to give out the name and address. TNN


The Times of India, September 21, 2010

Police direct leaders not to stoke communal anger


Mateen Hafeez & Yogesh Naik | TNN


Mumbai: Wary of a recurrence of the riots that hit Mumbai in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992, the state government and the police are taking a slew of preventive measures, including directing various political leaders not to incite violence.

Deputy police commissioner Rajkumar Vatkar, who heads the operations department of the
police force, said that “notices will be issued to all political parties under Section 149 of the CrPC,” which gags them from inciting people.

Besides this, around 48,000 police personnel (43,000 from the local police and the rest from the state reserve forces) and four companies of the Rapid Action Force will be deployed across the city and particularly in communally sensitive areas that witnessed
massive rioting in 1992-93.

Police officials said that sensitive areas—like Behrampada, Byculla, Dongri, Antop Hill, Jogeshwari, Kurla, Nehrunagar, Govandi, Mankhrud and Dharavi —will have two layers of security
cover. The first layer will be manned by the local police and the second by the state reserve forces. Also, the Mumbai police plan to order preventive detention of political party workers and history-sheeters, while keeping its Quick Response Team on standby.

In a bid to maintain peace,
chief minister Ashok Chavan is holding meetings on Tuesday with police officers, political leaders, religious leaders and leading editors. He has already sent letters to MNS supremo Raj Thackeray along with other political chiefs asking them not to stoke passions.

Police officials said that several teams are at present trawling websites and blogs in search of communally-charged articles or pictures. The police are also holding meetings with mobile companies in an effort to block offensive SMSes, pictures and videos.

Meanwhile, a home department official said the government is in the process of seeking a ban from the Centre on the telecast of the Babri Masjid demolition footage. The department has called for a series of meetings with the police on Tuesday to review the law and order situation in the state.

The Times of India, September 21, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mumbai deserves a fresh bloodbath: IM


WARNING BEFORE THE GAMES: A car carrying an inflammable substance catches fire (above) two hours after the blast at Jama Masjid on Sunday morning.


After Delhi Attack, Indian Mujahideen Says It Wants To Avenge Kashmir, Target Commercial Capital


Pune Blast Arrests, KEM ‘Humiliation’ Spark Terror Email


Vishwa Mohan & S Ahmed Ali | TNN


New Delhi/Mumbai: The Centre on Sunday put Mumbai on a red alert after the terrorist outfit Indian Mujahideen warned the city of a fresh bloodbath, in a chilling reminder of 26/11 and other terror atrocities inflicted upon the country’s commercial capital.

The group, which has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s terror incidents in New Delhi, referred to the arrests in the German Bakery case and the
alleged incident of humiliation of a Muslim woman at Mumbai’s KEM Hospital, to declare: “Remember! We will once again come upon Bombay if you do not desist.And you know it very well that we@Indian Mujahideen act as we speak.’’

The email, laced with Quranic verses justifying holy war against oppressors, nonbelievers and the collaborators of ‘Shaitan’, and invoking the plight of Muslims facing alleged atrocities in J&K, Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh chillingly warned, “The incident of our sister wearing hijab who was insulted and humiliated at the KEM hospital in Bombay on the orders of Bombay police will not be forgiven. It seems Bombayites
have very poor memory and they deserve a fresh bloodbath. We hereby warn that the Bombay Police Commissioner’s office will be squarely responsible for the outcome.’’

The email, titled ‘As we bleed, so will you seep (sic)’, also justified the killing of innocents, saying many innocents were being killed in Kashmir too.

The Centre is taking the claim seriously for a number of reasons. Firstly, the timing of the attacks in New Delhi on Sunday coincided with the second anniversary of the Batla House encounter in which IM commander, Atif Amin, was killed along with his comrade, Muhammad Sajid. The email sent by Indian Mujahideen, around the same time when a crude car bomb went off inDelhi, declares the intention of IM to avenge the killings of its key operatives.


Al Arbi, the name used in the email sent by IM to own up to the two terror incidents, also matches with the one used in the emails IM sent after the previous terror attacks it was linked to.

As in the past, the jihadi group, in the fresh email, has trained its ire on the Mumbai police, expressing outrage at the arrests of “innocents’’ in Pune’s German Bakery case.


‘Why is Maria destroying his career for Patil?’

We feel sorry to say that Rakesh Maria has shattered the myth of being an intelligent officer by arresting innocent youth who are totally unconcerned (sic) in the German Bakery case. The ceaseless urge to show has bitten the top-cop mad and driven him out of his mind as every other day he pops up with fake accused, thanks to his accumen (sic),’’ wrote Al Arbi.

Continuing his tirade against Maria, he asks, “Why are you bent upon to (sic) destroy your career for the sake of this anti-Muslim and ignorant R R Patil?’’ Security agencies in Mumbai, however, feel that the mail was sent in desperation after their module was wiped off in a series of arrest particularly after the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) recently cracked the German Bakery blast case and arrested their key member Himayat Baig along with Bilal Fareed Shaikh.

Sources said that Baig and Bilal in custodial interrogations have revealed so much on the IM operations and its sleepers cells and their links with the LET, that almost all the sleepers cells have been forced to go un
derground and wind up their operations in at least Maharashtra. And the police believe this could have trigger them to send such desperate mails sitting somewhere in a foreign country.

The IM mail also hinted that ATS chief Rakesh Maria had wrongly arrested the two “innocent’’ youths. But a top official said that this is nothing new. Even in 2008, when Maria’s team arrested 21 members of IM involved in a series of blasts in Ahmedabad, Gujarat and Delhi, the IM sent similar threatening mails and abused the policemen.

The IM has claimed that the police are catching innocent Muslims and framing them in the pending blast cases. Maria refusing to comment just said, “I have done nothing wrong. The mails have been sent in retaliation for the arrest of the accused in the German Bakery blasts.

‘‘We had even arrested Prashant Juikar, a Hindu, who was involved in the Goa blast earlier this year,’’ he added.

Sources said that the Dawood Ibrahim gang had similarly maligned him when he solved the 1993 serial bomb blast. They alleged that he was arresting innocent Muslims youths.
A CHILLING TERRORIST MESSAGE AT JAMA MASJID



Policemen barricade the Jama Masjid and a bullet lodged in a vehicle at the site testifies to the attackers’ deadly intent


The Times of India, September 20, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pune blast accused may be booked for Nashik terror plot

Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: The anti-terrorism squad (ATS), which is probing the German Bakery blast case, is likely to book the alleged mastermind, Mirza Himayat Baig, for plotting terror attacks in Nashik.

Baig (29) was arrested on September 7 for his alleged role in the Pune blast. He was involved in assembling and transporting the bomb which

was planted at the bakery in Koregaon Park on February 13.

In the Nashik case, the ATS had arrested Bilal Shaikh alias Bada Bilal (27), a college dropout, who had allegedly planned terror attacks at the police commissionerate, police training school and cantonment there. Baig’s name cropped up during interrogation. “Baig
and Shaikh are known to each other. Baig has visited Nashik several times. We will seek his custody in the Nashik case soon,’’ said ATS chief Rakesh Maria.

“Shaikh had conducted a recce of the sites in Nashik and told Baig about them. Baig was aware of this conspiracy,’’ said Maria. The police also claimed to have seized 700 gm of RDX from Shaikh. Shaikh, said police, was hiding in Satpure area of Nashik, where he was living as Amin Manik Parekh.

According to the police, Shaikh studied in Pune for some time before he went to Pakistan for a terror training in 2008. “In Pune, Shaikh met Chhota Bilal, a Surat resident, who was Baig’s friend. Chhota Bilal introduced Shaikh to Baig saying the former had potential for their work,’’ an ATS officer said. Since then, the two were in constant touch with each other. “The Indian Mu
jahideen group was about to carry out attacks in Nashik,’’ said the officer. Shaikh had moved from Solapur to Nashik in May this year.

Asked if the police will book Shaikh in the Pune blast case, the officer said, “We are questioning both the accused in separate cases. We will take action after we have gathered evidence against Shaikh.’

The Times of India, September 19, 2010

Pune blast accused may be booked for Nashik terror plot

Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: The anti-terrorism squad (ATS), which is probing the German Bakery blast case, is likely to book the alleged mastermind, Mirza Himayat Baig, for plotting terror attacks in Nashik.

Baig (29) was arrested on September 7 for his alleged role in the Pune blast. He was involved in assembling and transporting the bomb which

was planted at the bakery in Koregaon Park on February 13.

In the Nashik case, the ATS had arrested Bilal Shaikh alias Bada Bilal (27), a college dropout, who had allegedly planned terror attacks at the police commissionerate, police training school and cantonment there. Baig’s name cropped up during interrogation. “Baig
and Shaikh are known to each other. Baig has visited Nashik several times. We will seek his custody in the Nashik case soon,’’ said ATS chief Rakesh Maria.

“Shaikh had conducted a recce of the sites in Nashik and told Baig about them. Baig was aware of this conspiracy,’’ said Maria. The police also claimed to have seized 700 gm of RDX from Shaikh. Shaikh, said police, was hiding in Satpure area of Nashik, where he was living as Amin Manik Parekh.

According to the police, Shaikh studied in Pune for some time before he went to Pakistan for a terror training in 2008. “In Pune, Shaikh met Chhota Bilal, a Surat resident, who was Baig’s friend. Chhota Bilal introduced Shaikh to Baig saying the former had potential for their work,’’ an ATS officer said. Since then, the two were in constant touch with each other. “The Indian Mu
jahideen group was about to carry out attacks in Nashik,’’ said the officer. Shaikh had moved from Solapur to Nashik in May this year.

Asked if the police will book Shaikh in the Pune blast case, the officer said, “We are questioning both the accused in separate cases. We will take action after we have gathered evidence against Shaikh.’

The Times of India, September 19, 2010

VIP Sai darshan racket busted

UNHOLY NEXUS: Prashant Pawar (in purple) was employed as an agent and was paid Rs 5,000 a month


Mastermind In Delhi Uses Agents To Con Unsuspecting Devotees

Mateen Hafeez I TNN


Mumbai: After targeting unsuspecting citizens through email scams and get-rich-quick schemes, fraudsters have now trained their sights on devotees of Shirdi Sai Baba. Taking advantage of the fact that people willingly part with money to get a glimpse of the Baba, a group of racketeers has been milking gullible believers of money by promising them a lifetime of VIP darshan for just Rs 25,000. The group has appointed agents all over the country who approach prospective clients and collect cheques from them.

The D B Marg police on Saturday picked up one of the agents, a 19-yearold boy, who claimed to be an employee of the Shri Sai Baba Foundation. The foundation offers various schemes promising darshan in 15 minutes. The kingpin of the racket is based in Delhi.

The scam came to light after Sanjay Bediya (41), owner of a transport company, received a call on Saturday. The caller told Bediya that he could avail of lifetime darshan at the Shirdi shrine upon payment of Rs 25,000. When Bediya showed interest, the caller took down his office address
and promised to send an executive, Prashant Pawar, to his office. Meanwhile, Bediya called up the Sai Baba Trust in Shirdi and spoke to an office bearer, Mohan Yadav, who informed him that the caller was a cheat. Yadav told Bediya that the temple authorities have received many complaints in the last couple of days. Yadav requested Bediya to lodge a police complaint and get the cheats arrested.

At 4 pm, Pawar walked into Bediya’s office where this TOI correspondent was present along with the lensman. Pawar, a first year BCom student at a Thane college, was carrying a bagful of brochures detailing various darshan schemes ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 25,000. He promptly fished out a pamphlet and began talking about the schemes. “A VIP pass, which is valid for 24 hours, will cost you Rs 500,” Pawar told Bediya. “By paying Rs 5,000, you can take two persons to the temple for darshan,” he said.


Meanwhile, a cop from the D B Marg police station entered Bediya’s office pretending to be an employee. When the cop quizzed Pawar about the foundation, he said, “I don’t know much. I am paid Rs 5,000 a month and my job is to meet clients and collect cheques.’’ Pawar’s bag contained four cheques totalling Rs 1 lakh. He said his boss, Dilip Bagwani, has an office on Ghodbunder Road in Thane. Pawar named one Khetraj as his Delhi-based chief.


The Times of India, September 19, 2010

VIP Sai darshan racket busted

UNHOLY NEXUS: Prashant Pawar (in purple) was employed as an agent and was paid Rs 5,000 a month


Mastermind In Delhi Uses Agents To Con Unsuspecting Devotees

Mateen Hafeez I TNN


Mumbai: After targeting unsuspecting citizens through email scams and get-rich-quick schemes, fraudsters have now trained their sights on devotees of Shirdi Sai Baba. Taking advantage of the fact that people willingly part with money to get a glimpse of the Baba, a group of racketeers has been milking gullible believers of money by promising them a lifetime of VIP darshan for just Rs 25,000. The group has appointed agents all over the country who approach prospective clients and collect cheques from them.

The D B Marg police on Saturday picked up one of the agents, a 19-yearold boy, who claimed to be an employee of the Shri Sai Baba Foundation. The foundation offers various schemes promising darshan in 15 minutes. The kingpin of the racket is based in Delhi.

The scam came to light after Sanjay Bediya (41), owner of a transport company, received a call on Saturday. The caller told Bediya that he could avail of lifetime darshan at the Shirdi shrine upon payment of Rs 25,000. When Bediya showed interest, the caller took down his office address
and promised to send an executive, Prashant Pawar, to his office. Meanwhile, Bediya called up the Sai Baba Trust in Shirdi and spoke to an office bearer, Mohan Yadav, who informed him that the caller was a cheat. Yadav told Bediya that the temple authorities have received many complaints in the last couple of days. Yadav requested Bediya to lodge a police complaint and get the cheats arrested.

At 4 pm, Pawar walked into Bediya’s office where this TOI correspondent was present along with the lensman. Pawar, a first year BCom student at a Thane college, was carrying a bagful of brochures detailing various darshan schemes ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 25,000. He promptly fished out a pamphlet and began talking about the schemes. “A VIP pass, which is valid for 24 hours, will cost you Rs 500,” Pawar told Bediya. “By paying Rs 5,000, you can take two persons to the temple for darshan,” he said.


Meanwhile, a cop from the D B Marg police station entered Bediya’s office pretending to be an employee. When the cop quizzed Pawar about the foundation, he said, “I don’t know much. I am paid Rs 5,000 a month and my job is to meet clients and collect cheques.’’ Pawar’s bag contained four cheques totalling Rs 1 lakh. He said his boss, Dilip Bagwani, has an office on Ghodbunder Road in Thane. Pawar named one Khetraj as his Delhi-based chief.


The Times of India, September 19, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cops now probe Shakeel link

FRIENDS, NOT FOES: Sayyed Chand Madar (L) and Mohammed Ali Shaikh

South Mum Shooting Case


S Ahmed Ali & Mateen Hafeez I TNN


Mumbai: The Mumbai crime branch, which is investigating the killing of shipping firm owner Sayyed Chand Madar, has reportedly stumbled on vital leads indicating the involvement of the underworld.

Police sources said that Chhota Rajan aide D K Rao appeared to have joined hands with Madar, allegedly to become part of an oil-smuggling racket the latter was part of. The Madar-Rao link could have upset the Chhota Shakeel gang, which could have undertaken the shooting, a police source said.

Police said they have got a few key leads from Chand’s mobile phone records. The records indicate that Rao and Chand were in touch with each other. Police said the two had even flown together to Ajmer. The phone records also show that an unidentified person called Chand on the fateful day, possibly to ask about his location.

On Wednesday, Madar, 56, owner of Unique Shipping Management Services, was shot at right outside his office near Hotel Manama at P D’Mello Road. Police said that Chand’s white SUV had been parked outside the office, which possibly gave the shooter the indication that Chand was in the office. The shooter then waited for him to come down for lunch.

“At around 2.30 pm, he came down,
but he was accompanied by two persons who were later identified as Samad Shaikh and Feroz Thakur. The trio went to Firangi hotel, which is situated just next to the office. After lunch, Shaikh and Thakur went separate ways and Madar was alone. The unidentified shooter fired under his ear from pointblank range,’’ a police source said.

Shaikh and Thakur told police that their vessel had been seized by the Customs a few days ago and as Madar had good contacts they had approached him to get it released. Thakur, in his statement to police, said that he even handed over Rs 1.5 lakh to Madar to be paid as a bribe to Customs officials. The same mon
ey was found in Madar’s pocket when he was rushed to St George hospital.

“It’s too early to comment. We are working on some leads,’’ said an officer. Another source said, “In fact, Madar and Rao had together flown to Jaipur and visited the Ajmer dargah.’’

Police are likely to question Rao to know about his links with Madar. In the past two years, Madar allegedly gained supremacy in the smuggling racket with the blessings of Rajan gang members, a police officer said.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Ali Shaikh, owner of three large transport companies on the docks, said his name is being unnecessarily dragged into the controversy. “More than 6,000 people work in my companies. Madar was my friend and he had even called me up on Eid day to wish me. Prior to that, I went to his niyaz (religious) party. My daugther works as an area manager in a reputed bank, another is studying medicine. I have nothing to do with these things. Some politicians with vested interest are after me,’’ said Shaikh. A senior police officer had earlier said there was a financial dispute between Madar and Ali.

Earlier, sources said Madar had been involved in some smuggling cases and had been detained under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act.


The Times of India, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pune blast mastermind had put up near city police HQ



ATS: Baig Was In Mumbai To Buy Bomb Ingredients


Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: Anti-Terrorism Squad officials on Thursday said that Pune blast’s prime suspect, Mirza Himayat Baig, had come to Mumbai to buy a cellphone and a rexine bag days before German Bakery was rocked by an explosion. “The mobile was used in the blast as a timer and the bag was used to carry explosives,’’ said the officials.

Interestingly, Baig, while in Mumbai, stayed in a guest house which is located close to the Mumbai police’s HQ. While only Baig (29) has been arrested in this case, two others are still at large, officials said.


“Baig had come to Mumbai in a private bus just before the blast. He identified himself as Yusuf and stayed in a guest house for Rs 180 a day near Crawford Market area. We have seized the (guest house’s) register,’’ said ATS chief Rakesh Maria. “While Baig visited several places in south Mumbai, we are still trying to find out if it was for carrying out a recce,’’ an official said.

Baig, said police sources, had procured nine blank caste certifi
cates from the authorities which could have been used to get admission for his boys (new recruits) in various institutions to avoid suspicion. “He also managed to procure a fake driving licence in the name of one Prakash Bung,’’ an officer said.

Besides this, the police claimed to have seized three original election identity cards. “The cards contained Baig’s photos under various names like Imamuddin Shaikh, Khayyum Shaikh and Ahmed Baig. The age in these IDs have been shown 29, 30 and 31 years. We are checking who had issued these IDs (in Udgir, Latur) and will summon the authorities for questioning,’’ said a senior officer. Moreover, Baig allegedly possessed a handicapped person’s ID. “In this card, his disability was mentioned as ‘speech and hearing impairment’. This card was issued in the name of Ahmed Baig by the Samaj Kalyan office in Latur,’’ the officer added.

“We have identified the agents who helped Baig to procure the election IDs and our teams in Pune, Udgir, Beed, Akola, Aurangabad and Mumbai are working on the leads,’’ the official said.


FOOT IN MOUTH
Reacting to ATS deputy IG R G Kadam’s statement that it was not Mirza Himayat Baig, but one Mohsin Chaudhary, a wanted accused, who carried out the Pune blast, ATS chief Rakesh Maria said, “It was Baig who went to Pune with the explosives and was present there when the bomb was being planted. Kadam said something by mistake since he was not aware of the facts.’’ Kadam on Wednesday had told a private TV channel that Baig never went to Pune.


The Times of India, September 17, 2010

Shipping firm owner dies in hosp



Mateen Hafeez I TNN


Mumbai: The owner of a private shipping firm, Sayyed Chand Madar (56), who was shot at by two unidentified youths on P D’Mello Road on Wednesday, succumbed to his injuries on Thursday.

The police suspect that the attack was a case of supari killing, commissioned by the oil mafia. The crime branch is also keeping tabs on the Mohammed Ali gang in connection with this case.

Madar, the owner of Unique Shipping Management Service, was shot at while returning from a restaurant around 3 pm. He was rushed to St George Hospital and was later transferred to Bombay Hospital. Surgeons at the hospital removed a 7.65 mm bullet from Madar’s skull.


A crime branch official said that Madar’s increasing influence was making the oil mafia uncomfortable. “Madar, known as diesel king at the docks, was continuously increasing manpower. We are monitoring another oil smug
gler who is known as ‘dock king’ as well,’’ the officer said. “Madar owned several barges and was into scrap, iron, and electronic goods trading,’’ said another officer.

“Between 1997 and 2007, Madar was arrested twice under the Con
servation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974. “Madar was being questioned in another case of smuggling by the crime branch (control),’’ said joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy. Madar was earlier detained under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA).

The crime branch said that they were checking up on the Mohammed Ali gang, active in the Mumbai docks and JNPT. According to an officer, three months ago, a major financial dispute broke out between Madar and Ali. “Apparently, Madar was trying to capture Ali’s business.’’ Ali has about 2,000 members specializing in smuggling diesel from the high seas into Mumbai and thefts of high value cargo in the docks.


The Times of India, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oil mafia rivalry spills onto streets




Shipping firm Owner Shot At By Two Youths Near GPO


Mateen Hafeez & S Balakrishnan | TNN

Mumbai: The owner of a private shipping firm was shot at by two unidentified youths in south Mumbai on Wednesday afternoon. Sayyed Chand Madar (56), also a clearing and forwarding agent, had come to his P D’Mello Road office near GPO after a month-long Ramzan break when he was targeted by the bike-borne assailants at 3 pm.

According to the police, Madar (56), sustained a bullet injury in his head. “Another bullet grazed his shoulder. This incident may have been orchestrated by the oil mafia,’’ an investigating officer said. Madar was being operated at Bombay Hospital at the time of going to press.

“Madar had gone for lunch to a nearby restaurant and I was waiting for him in the Scorpio. While he was returning, two youths on a black Pulsar appeared out of nowhere and one of them fired two rounds at him,’’ Madar’s driver Rizwan said. “The pillion rider who shot at Madar was wearing a green shirt and white trousers,’’ he said, adding that the duo sped off towards Sewree taking the same stretch.

Rizwan and Madar’s younger brother, Ismail, later rushed the victim to the nearby St George’s Hospital. “I was a few metres away from the spot when the incident occured. We were to go home together,’’ Ismail said. Madar, a resident of Noor Manzil at Dongri, stays with his four children and wife. He also owns Hotel Qamar in Dongri. The family reached the hospital minutes after the incident and within an hour, Madar was shifted to Bombay Hospital.

“It’s too early to establish
the motive. Our teams are working on it,’’ said R K Padmanabhan, additional commissioner of police (south region).

A crime branch officer said, “Madar was allegedly involved in some smuggling cases. He was earlier detained under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA). We are trying to ascertain if he was targeted by his rivals.’’

Meanwhile, a senior police official said that the Mohammed Ali gang, which is active in the Mumbai docks and JNPT, may be behind the incident. According to him, three months ago a major fi
nancial dispute broke out between Madar and Ali over oil and scrap business. “Madar has scrap yards in Kurla and is a big name in the business. Apparently, the Ali gang—which has about 2,000 members specialising in smuggling diesel from the high seas into Mumbai and thefts of highvalue cargo in the docks—wanted to eliminate Madar earlier. Since, normally no crimes are committed during the holy month of Ramzan, the Ali gang decided to wait and struck with a few days of Eid-ul-Fitr,’’ he said.

Following reports in this paper, the state home depart
ment had ordered a crackdown on diesel smuggling in the docks.

Sources in the security establishment said the mafia’s modus operandi is to unload diesel on the high seas from Somalian tankers which bring in the fuel from Iraq and other countries. The fuel is unloaded into barrels fixed to small barges and then smuggled into the shore.

Earlier, the landing points were at Sewri and the Mumbai docks. But with cops tightening the srews, the gang has shifted the landing point to Raigad.

Security agencies have
videographed the landing of diesel at Raigad and also given to the state police the registration numbers of tankers which are used to transport fuel to Mumbai. But no action has been taken to bust the racket by the state police despite strong evidence being presented to it by security agencies.

“We do not understand this extreme reluctance to book the Ali gang,’’ an official observed. Wednesday’s incident underscores the growing clout of the Ali gang, which is believed to be enjoying the patronage of two powerful politicians of the city.


DAYLIGHT DRAMA IN SOUTH MUMBAI

The Target
Sayyed Chand Madar (56)
Owner of a private shipping firm
Also a clearing and forwarding agent

What happened

2 pm: Madar goes to a restaurant while his driver is waiting for him in a Scorpio

3 pm:
While he is returning, two youths on a black Pulsar appear out of nowhere and one of them fires two rounds at him. The duo speeds off towards Sewree taking the same stretch


A senior police official said that the Mohammed Ali gang, which is active in the Mumbai docks and JNPT, may be behind the incident. According to him, three months ago a major financial dispute broke out between Madar and Ali over oil and scrap business. “Madar has scrap yards in Kurla and is a big name in the business. The Ali gang .wanted to eliminate Madar earlier. Since, normally no crimes are committed during the holy month of Ramzan, the Ali gang decided to wait and struck with a few days of Eid-ul-Fitr,’’ he said

I was waiting for Madar in the Scorpio. Suddenly two youths on a black Pulsar appeared out of nowhere and started shooting at Madar. One bullet hit his head Rizwan | DRIVER

The Times of India, September 16, 2010