Saturday, October 30, 2010

Susairaj bags first prize in jail rangoli contest

TRUE COLOURS: Susairaj (in blue) was presented a cotton sari


Mateen Hafeez TNN Bold


Mumbai: Maria Susairaj, who gained infamy after she and her boyfriend Emile Jerome allegedly murdered Synergy Adlabs creative director Neeraj Grover in May 2008, has discovered a new talent—creating beautiful rangolis—for which she was awarded the first prize in a competition at Byculla Women’s Jail.

Susairaj was presented a cotton sari by principal secretary (Home) Medha Gadgil. The rangoli competition was just one of many events held at the jail on Friday as part of a series of “innovative” events initiated by the new inspector-general of prisons, Surendra Kumar. “The idea is to provide a tension-free and joyful environment to undertrials. We hope that it will help forge ties between the inmates and the jail authorities,” said Kumar.

There were events to showcase talents such as acting, craft, painting and singing. “There were 16 groups of women inmates,” said jail superintendent, Satish Karnik.

“Susairaj was full of enthusiasm on Friday and had made a wonderful rangoli. A panel of experts declared Susairaj the winner,” said a jail official. Susairaj, he said, was happy and said
that she would participate in other competitions as well and try to win prizes. The programme was monitored by three NGOs—Sevaniketan, Sevadham and Freedom Foundation.

Another highlight of the day was a tug-of-war for a group of male inmates. Children of women inmates also participated in singing and drawing competitions and were awarded prizes.


The Times of India, October 30, 2010

CBI unearths 480-crore jewellery export scam



Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday unearthed a major scam related to the export of gold jewellery through MSTC Ltd. Officials brazenly flouted rules, resulting in a loss of Rs 480 crore to the corporation. A similar scam, involving the State Trading Corporation (STC), is also being investigated by the CBI. The STC scam is to the tune of Rs 370 crore.

In 2008-2009, six firms —Ushama Jewellers and Packing Exports, Space Mercantile, KA Malle Pharmaceutical, Joshi Bullion and Gems Jewellery, Bond Gems and Indo Bonito Multinational—exported gold jewellery worth Rs 600 crore to various buyers in the UAE. The payment was due in US dollars and remitted in 170 days from the date of the acceptance of the documents. “No proceeds from the exports
were received beyond the deadline,” said joint director of CBI, Rishi Raj Singh. He said that the buyers and exporters were the same and the remittance was routed back to the country through hawala channels.

As per the agreement between MSTC and the firms, the former gave advances worth 80% of the value of the goods. The advance was to be returned after the 170-day deadline. MSTC stands to gain 1% as
commission. In the case of the STC, it pays the exporter upfront up to 90% of the proceeds that were to come from the buyer. The Exim Bank, in turn, loans the amount to the STC.

TOI had reported how the STC was yet to receive payments from the exporters. Superintendent of police Abhin Modak said they were investigating the role of officials from the both the corporations. “No letter of credit was opened with the importers that could have protected the MSTC’s interest,” he said.

A case has been registered against private persons, including Shishir Dharkar, who is the chairman of Pen Cooperative Urban Bank (erstwhile owner of Space Mercantile), his wife Gulraihna Oomer, its two directors, Jayesh Desai of Bond Gems and Vinod Motwani of Indo Bonito. The CBI also raided 15 places in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Kolkota, the head office of MSTC.


The Times of India, October 30, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rajasthan ATS to question Sadhvi at JJ Hospital


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Rajasthan ATS will question Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, who has been named as one of the chief conspirators in the Ajmer Sharif shrine blast case. The questioning will take place at JJ Hospital, where Pragya is currently undergoing treatment. On October 11, 2007, a bomb blast at the Ajmer Sharif shrine killed three persons. A senior RSS leader, Indresh Kumar, has also been named in the case.

The Times of India, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cops shore up security & undertake ship census



LEAVING NO SHIP UNTURNED: Census includes yachts and speed boats

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The city police is leaving nothing to chance, no stone-—in this instance, ship—will be left unturned to ensure that the US President Barack Obama’s short visit goes off without a hitch. The Force is in the process of taking a census of all ships docked along Mumbai’s coastline. Such a census has never been undertaken by the state authorities, not even after the 26/11 terror attack, when 10 gunmen entered the city using the sea route.

The census will include a background check of vessels, their owners, crew members, travelling areas, etc. Each ship’s paperwork will also be verified, said a senior police official. Even small ships, fishing trawlers (there are 5,000 registered vessels), passenger boats, speed boats and luxury yachts will be checked. The police have already begun checking the papers and identities of crew members and verifying the smart card issued to the 5,000-odd fishing trawlers. These smart cards had been issued by the department of fisheries to the trawlers in 2009. During the security drive, cargo vessels, too, are being intercepted and checked.

According to senior police officials, the ship census will begin on October 27. “This information will be collected by the staff of senior inspector of the Yellow Gate police station and will be analyzed,” said the official. No fishing trawler or passenger boat will be allowed within three nautical miles from the Gateway of India. “The Mumbai Maritime Board (MMB) has agreed to these conditions during a recent high-level meeting. It will also decide on and allocate another docking station
for these boats,” said another senior official.

The police estimate that there are around a hundred passenger boats and 150 speed boats operat
ing near the Gateway of India.

The MMB will be assisting the police in monitoring the coast during Obama’s visit. Besides the 23 existing patrol boats, four speed boats will be roped in for the patrol. Another three new speed boats that are currently being fitted, may also be given to the city police. Around 150 police personnel will be stationed at sea during the two-day period. “Each police team will be led by an officer and four constables. They will be equipped with AK-47s, wireless sets, all-weather search lights, life jackets, etc. Beyond five nautical miles, the sea will be monitored by the Coast Guard. Quisar Khalid, deputy commissioner of police (Port Zone) said that the Force will be on high alert, but refused to divulge any details.


Patrolling Coastline
The police are conducting background checks of vessels, their owners, crew members, travelling areas, etc
No fishing trawler or passenger boat will be allowed within three nautical miles from the Gateway of India
Around 150 personnel will be stationed on patrol and speed boats to monitor the coast during Obama’s visit.

The Times of India, October 27, 2010

Cops shore up security & undertake ship census


LEAVING NO SHIP UNTURNED: Census includes yachts and speed boats

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The city police is leaving nothing to chance, no stone-—in this instance, ship—will be left unturned to ensure that the US President Barack Obama’s short visit goes off without a hitch. The Force is in the process of taking a census of all ships docked along Mumbai’s coastline. Such a census has never been undertaken by the state authorities, not even after the 26/11 terror attack, when 10 gunmen entered the city using the sea route.
The census will include a background check of vessels, their owners, crew members, travelling areas, etc. Each ship’s paperwork will also be verified, said a senior police official. Even small ships, fishing trawlers (there are 5,000 registered vessels), passenger boats, speed boats and luxury yachts will be checked. The police have already begun checking the papers and identities of crew members and verifying the smart card issued to the 5,000-odd fishing trawlers. These smart cards had been issued by the department of fisheries to the trawlers in 2009. During the security drive, cargo vessels, too, are being intercepted and checked.
According to senior police officials, the ship census will begin on October 27. “This information will be collected by the staff of senior inspector of the Yellow Gate police station and will be analyzed,” said the official. No fishing trawler or passenger boat will be allowed within three nautical miles from the Gateway of India. “The Mumbai Maritime Board (MMB) has agreed to these conditions during a recent high-level meeting. It will also decide on and allocate another docking station
for these boats,” said another senior official.
The police estimate that there are around a hundred passenger boats and 150 speed boats operat
ing near the Gateway of India.
The MMB will be assisting the police in monitoring the coast during Obama’s visit. Besides the 23 existing patrol boats, four speed boats will be roped in for the patrol. Another three new speed boats that are currently being fitted, may also be given to the city police. Around 150 police personnel will be stationed at sea during the two-day period. “Each police team will be led by an officer and four constables. They will be equipped with AK-47s, wireless sets, all-weather search lights, life jackets, etc. Beyond five nautical miles, the sea will be monitored by the Coast Guard. Quisar Khalid, deputy commissioner of police (Port Zone) said that the Force will be on high alert, but refused to divulge any details.

Patrolling Coastline
The police are conducting background checks of vessels, their owners, crew members, travelling areas, etc
No fishing trawler or passenger boat will be allowed within three nautical miles from the Gateway of India
Around 150 personnel will be stationed on patrol and speed boats to monitor the coast during Obama’s visit.



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cops sweep Colaba clean for Obama visit



US President Barack Obama

Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: Clueless about the itinerary of US President Barack Obama, city police have begun searches in over a hundred lodges, guesthouses and paying-guest accommodations to sanitize the area of his stay during his November 6-7 visit. Obama will be staying at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace and Towers, Colaba, along with his entourage of security guards and US officials.

The move is significant as the Taj, Nariman House and Cafe Leopold, all located in Colaba, were targeted by the 10 terrorists from Pakistan on November 26, 2008. Eighteen foreigners, including four
US nationals, were killed in the attacks.

Colaba police said they were checking all elements that could cause law-andorder problems. “We are doing an assessment of over 100 hotels, paying-guest centres and lodges and checking records of all staying there,’’ a senior police of
ficial said. All foreigners in the area will also be screened. Though police haven’t been given a security plan yet, all precautionary measures are in place, and hotel customers who pay in cash will be thoroughly scrutinized, he added.


The Times of India, October 26, 2010

Friday meet with US officials on security detail


BMC workers paint a road divider on a section of Marine Drive on Monday

Sanjeev Shivadekar & Mateen Hafiz TNN


Mumbai: White House officials will meet the state protocol and senior home department officials on Friday to review security arrangements for US President Barack Obama’s Mumbai visit early next month.

“Issues related to the security and protocol will be discussed in the meeting,” said a senior Mantralaya official. With less than two weeks to go for the US President’s visit, the state administration is yet to receive his official itinerary. “The tour plan is not being revealed by US officials for
security reasons. In the meeting with the White House officials, the state government is likely to get a rough sketch of Obama’s tour plans,” the official added. The meeting with the US delegation will be chaired by additional chief secretary Chandra Iyengar and will be attended by Sumit Mallick, chief protocol officer, Mumbai police commissioner Sanjeev Dayal and other senior police officials. Dayal on Monday said they were unaware about Obama’s programme. “We will have a meeting with security liaison officers of the US Secret Service, in which police may be informed of the US President’s itinerary,” he added.

Officials from the US Consulate met Chavan on Monday, but government officials refused to reveal any information about the meeting. “The US
officials have already expressed their displeasure with media reports stating Obama has turned down chief minister Ashok Chavan’s request to meet him,” an official said.

Significantly, the state government which had firmly said no to Obama’s visit to CST railway station and Chabad House, has stated it has no objection if he visits Shaheed Smarak at the Mumbai police gymkhana. “Visit to 26\11 terror target spots will create security issues and inconvenience to the public. If the US President wants to pay tribute to the victims of 26\11, the martyr’s memorial is the suitable place,” the official added.


The Times of India, October 26, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

40L cocaine seized

3 NIGERIANS HELD


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The anti-narcotics cell (ANC) of the city crime branch arrested three Nigerian nationals on Friday night when they had gone to deliver one kg cocaine to buyers near a bar in Bandra (W). The police seized cocaine worth Rs 40 lakh from them.

“We nabbed Agodi Ifinasis
(58), Johny Ocako (45) and Julius Offroom when they reached near the bar. They wanted to hand over the drugs to the buyers. We are investigating further,” said deputy commissioner of police Sunil Paraskar. He said that the police were trying to find out who the potential buyers of the drug wereIn 2007, Offroom was arrested in Mumbai for possession of 20 gm of cocaine. Only two of the total number of accused were Indians. As many as 36 Nigerians, seven Tanzanians, two Nepalese, an Iranian and a Ghanaian national were arrested. In 23 cases last year, the police had seized drugs worth Rs 7.87 crore.

The Times of India, October 24, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

No room at the Taj: City pulls out all stops to host Obama



RACING AGAINST TIME: The BMC is training its resources on the sretch between Bandra and Nariman Point


Mateen Hafeez & Reeba Zachariah | TNN


Mumbai: In the first week of November, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel could resemble a fortress when the most powerful man in the world checks in there. US President Barack Obama will make the hotel his home for two days—most likely November 5 and 6—during his brief visit to Mumbai. Authorities have booked almost the entire 604-room hotel, and tourists may be told that there are no rooms available for them.

According to state government sources, almost the entire heritage wing—which was the most damaged section of the property during the 26/11 siege—has been booked, as have the hotel’s restaurants and banquet rooms.

“No visitor will be allowed inside
the hotel during Obama’s stay,’’ said a state government official. US authorities are also ensuring that there is restricted public movement in and around the hotel during the duration of the President’s stay.

The US President’s staff and a topnotch US delegation will be staying at Oberoi Hotel, Grand Hyatt and ITC
Grand Maratha. A team of Obama’s personal chefs will be part of the delegation, and the President’s meals will be cooked only by them. From Mumbai, Obama is expected to head to Amritsar on November 7.


US pledges addl $2 bn military aid to Pakistan

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Friday announced an additional $2 bn in military aid to Pakistan, to be disbursed over five years, but expressed reservations about Islamabad’s dalliance with terror outfits in its pursuit of security objectives. Close on the heels of $7.5 bn in civilian aid, this will need to be passed by Congress first. TNN P 22

Helicopter may save Obama FROM POTHOLED MUMBAI Civic Officials Take No Chances, Work Overtime To Spruce Up The City
Mumbai: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials may be working at a feverish pitch to ensurethattheUS Presidentwill be spared a bumpy ride but they are also hoping that the VVIP protocol will kick in, and Barack Obama and his contingent will be transferred directly to the Indian Navy’s helicopter base at SouthMumbai—INS Shikra. “We have been informed by senior officials in Mantralaya that there is a strong possibility the American president will fly directly to Shikra airbase the moment he lands at the international airport on November 5,” said a senior civic official.

The BMC top brass are, however, unsure of the logistics and do not know whether Obama and his team will transfer to a helicopter or not. “The base has multiple capabilities. The president may not even have to use the roads, and this will take care of most of our worries which are ensuring smooth traffic flow and security of the convoy. We are still preparing for all possibilities,” said a civic official.

Both the Indian president and the prime minister have used INS Shikra during visits to Mumbai. It was also used by NSG commandos who were flown in to tackle the siege at Nariman House during the 26/11 terror attack.

The BMC is not taking any chances. Heavy machinery and equipment were deployed at Haji Ali Junction to paint dividers and repair bad patches. Workers were even seen at Marine Drive trying to repair an underground drain that had started leaking early in the morning. At Pedder Road, north-bound traffic was diverted for a few hours to even out a patchy surface.

“We have cordoned off the north-bound lane to carry out our repair work. This side of the road is uneven and patchy due to frequent cave-ins. It requires an urgent patch up as it could slow down traffic flow,”
said a worker on the site.

Stress levels—and also the anticipation—are high, as thiswillbeoneofthefewtimes the city is playing host to a VVIP of Obama’s stature. CivicofficialstoldTOIthey are relieved the visit coincides with Diwali. “This is even bigger than the then US President BillClinton’s visittoMumbai. If it had not been a holiday, we would have been forced to announce one in order to manage the chaos on that day,” said an official.

The civic body is training its eyes, and resources, on the approximately 20-km stretch between Bandra andNariman Point. Stretches getting special attention include the Bandra-Worli Sea-Link, Worli Sea-Face, Pedder Road and Marine Drive. Other wellknown points on the route are Hajji Ali junction, Lotus junction and Kemp’s Corner.

It’s worth noting that Rs 25 lakh has been set aside for an “overall renovation plan” of Ward A (Marine Drive, Colaba and Fort).


Monday Recce

Ateam of US officials from the White House and External Affairs Ministry will be arriving on Monday in preparation for US President Barack Obama’s visit to Mumbai. The US consul-general Paul Folmsbee, additional chief secretary (home) Chandra Iyengar, principal secretary (protocol) Sumit Mullick, senior police and government officials met on Friday evening to discuss the agenda. “The White House officials are likely to take a tour of the city,” said a state home department officer.
Almost the entire Taj heritage wing has been booked for the Prez and his team


The Times of India, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Parade held to pay tribute to cops slain in Naxal attacks

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Mumbai police held a commemoration parade to pay tribute to policemen who were killed in the line of duty across the state during the previous year. Seventeen policemen were killed in a Naxal ambush and a subinspector, Dinanath Shinde, was killed in a road accident at Marine Drive this year.

October 21 is a sacred and solemn day for all officers and men of the police force. On this day, in 1959, a batch of 10 policemen who went as patrolling party to a place called Hot Spring in the icy wilderness of Ladakh, were ambushed and shot dead by the Chinese army. To commemorate the martyrdom of these brave policemen, a parade is held on this day every year.


Chief minster Ashok Chavan and home minister R R Patil laid the wreath. “We have asked for an MI17 helicopter which is used by the military. The request has been made to the centre for this 18-seater chopper. It willbe helpful in the rescue operation and to mobilise the force in the naxal affected areas,” said Patil.

The Times of India, October 22, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Now, sporting encounters for prisoners




Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Life inside a highsecurity prison is mundane and far from easy. Despite cops keeping a constant vigil, gangs often clash and tempers fly. Now, Arthur Road jail authorities, in a bid to promote harmony among inmates, have decided to organize sports competitions. The first such event, a tug-of-war, was held between two groups—one comprising Indian inmates and the other consisting of foreign prisoners, including Tanzanians and Nigerians,—inside the jail premises on Monday. The Indian group, however, lost the match. The prison, built in 1925, has been in the news due to gang-wars. It also houses the nation’s most secure prisoner—26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab. Explaining the rationale behind introduction of games in the jail, inspectorgeneral of prisons Surendra Kumar said, “This jail is only for undertrials. Why deprive them of sporting activities? It could bring them closer.”

Pointing out that the games will help break the ice between the inmates, he said, “Most of the undertrials look tense. Sports competitions will provide them with a good platform to show their abilities and win prizes.” Jail authorities are now debating whether or not to include kabaddi. Meanwhile, jail authorities said that they are planning to organize rangoli, mehndi, singing and elocution competitions for women inmates at Byculla prison.


The Times of India, October 21, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Colaba firing: 2 real estate agents held


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Investigations into Sunday’s firing outside the Colaba flat of property dealer, Ritu Bhatia (42), have revealed that it could be the fallout of a property dispute. An unidentified man fired one round at the door of Bhatia’s flat on Sunday evening and fled. No one was injured in the incident.

A case of attempt to murder has been registered against four people from Lonavla. The suspects include Anil Kalekar, A Nalawade, Bandu Phatak, all real estate agents, and an unidentified person. Nalawade and Kalekar have been arrested.

Bhatia, whose husband is in Dubai, was alone at home when the incident took place. According to the police, Bhatia had purchased a 14-acre plot in Lonavla for Rs 7 crore.


“There were a few shanties on the land and three of the accused managed to get the power of attorney for the huts. They then demanded a huge sum of money to vacate the plot after which the matter went to court. Bhatia said that as the court decision went in her favour, she was targeted,” said an officer, adding that Bhatia told them about another attempt on her life by Kalekar, Nalawade and Phatak.

The Times of India, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Taloja jail is now the new underworld hub


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Taloja jail, about 50 km away from Mumbai, is fast becoming the new ‘hub’ for the underworld. Most of the dreaded criminals from the Arthur Road jail were shifted to the newly constructed Taloja jail spread over 77 acres of land.

Former MLA and gangster, Arun Gawli, was arrested in April 2008 under the stringent MCOCA, for allegedly plotting the murder of Shiv Sena corporator Kamalakar Jhamsandekar. He was lodged in the Arthur Road jail but later shifted to Taloja jail along with his cronies. The most recent transfer to the Taloja jail is that of extradited gangster Abu Salem. The jail authorities shifted Salem from Arthur Road to Taloja for “security reasons”. Salem was alleg edly assaulted by D-gang member Mustafa Dossa in July this year. At present, Salem and Gawli both are lodged in the Anda cell at Taloja jail.


According to police sources, those caught in sensitive cases like bomb blasts are also lodged in the Taloja jail. The suspects caught for the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast, Indian army's lieutenent colonel Prasad Purohit, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, shankaracharya Swami Dayanand Pandey, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Sameer Kulkarni, have also been shifted from Arthur Road to Taloja jail. All of them have been lodged in nearby cells. Moreover, six suspects belonging to the hardline outfit, Sanatan Sanstha, have also been lodged in the Taloja jail. These accused had allegedly planted bombs at Thane’s Gadkari Rangayatan and two othe places in the state.

The arrival of gangsters in the jail has created a law and order problem, said the policemen posted in the Taloja jail. “There is a con
stant fear of a clash breaking out between the gangsters. We want more staff so that law and order could be properly maintained,” said a .

While over 700 inmates have been lodged at Taloja, less than a 100 personnel have been posted there. Most of the inmates transferred to the Taloja jail were involved in some kind of rivalry or were a security threat at other jails. For instance, Salem’s aide Hasan Mehndi, who was attacked by members of the Pandav-Putra gang in Arthur Road jail in September, was shifted to Taloja jail. Moreover,
Irfan Shaikh and Sachin Shetty, both arrested for killing a dreaded robber, John D’Souza, inside the Arthur Road jail, have also been shifted to the Taloja jail. It is learnt that the Shaikh and Shetty are frequently seen at Salem’s cell washing his clothes or bringing him food from the canteen or cigarettes.

Abdul Qayyum, a 1993 blast accused, who was also a suspect in the Gulshan Kumar murder case, was sent to Taloja jail. Jail officials also said these gangsters and robbers meet during day and discuss issues for hours. “Sometimes, they also identify potential recruits for their gangs in the jail itself,” said a source. Naval officer Emile Jerome, involved in the Neeraj Grover murder is also lodged there.

The Times of India, October 17, 2010

‘Dead man’ is wanted in Rs 18-cr fraud


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: A probe into the arrest of 41-year-old Musaddique Qadri has revealed that he was also involved in a fraud of Rs 18 crore where stolen antiques were being sold in Vishakhapatnam a few years ago.

Qadri, a resident of Mira Road, had killed an unidentified man and staged his own murder on August 15, 2003. He was finally arrested by the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) on October 6 near Chembur.

“Qadri is also involved in a case of smuggling of antiques. The amount involved was around Rs 18 crore. During Qadri’s stay in Malegaon, he was in touch with one doctor Ahmed Ansari who

was also arrested in the Vishakhapatnam case,” said an ATS officer. Police officials, on October 16, said in court that they had recovered maps of Indian Railways from Qadri’s residence and required his custody to find out about the use of these maps. “He has still not disclosed the identity of the man he had killed at his house in 2003,” said an official. He was earlier charge sheeted for seven bomb blasts in Mumbai but acquitted in all cases. “Qadri was involved in the bomb blasts at Azad Maidan canteen, Goal Deval near JJ Marg area, Regal Cinema, Girgaum Chowpatty and Shiv Sena office in Mulund, Naigaon in Bhoiwada and Mahim. He was charge sheeted and tried in all the cases but the court acquitted him,” said an officer.

An ATS team comprising senior inspector Rajan Ghule, Anil Honrao, Jitendra Agarkar, Prakash Patil, Shailesh Gaikwad, Anil Bhawari had arrested Qadri.

The Times of India, October 17, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

‘Dead’ man tried plastic surgery to evade cops

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The probe into the case of 41-year-old Sayyed Musaddique Qadri, who had faked his death, has revealed that he had stayed in Malegaon between 2004 and 2006. He allegedly tried to alter his face with the help of plastic surgery. However, the surgery could not be performed due to health problems, said investigators.

Qadri was arrested on October 6 by the antiterrorism squad for killing a man in an attempt to fake his death in 2003. He was produced before additional chief metropolitan magistrate
R K Malabade at Mazgaon court on Saturday and remanded in police custody till October 19.

“In Malegaon, he stayed with a doctor identified as Ansari, who was arrested in an antiques smuggling case,” said an ATS officer. Investigators are yet to identify the man allegedly killed by Qadri. On August 15, 2003, his Mira Road flat caught fire. The police found the burnt body of a man who had been beheaded. At that time, Qadri’s wife identified the body as her husband’s. He was charge-sheeted for seven bomb blasts in Mumbai, but acquitted in all the cases.

The Times of India, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Five arrested in Dongri for lynching teen


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Dongri police on Friday arrested a group of five for allegedly lynching an 18-yearold boy after the suspects thought he was a cellphone robber. They told the police that it was a case of mistaken identity and their intention was not to kill him.

According to police, one of the accused realized that his phone, costing Rs 2,500, was missing. They suspected it to be the handiwork of Rehman as he had just passed the shop. All the accused then took bamboo sticks and started beating up Rehman. His elder brother was informed about the incident. He rushed to the spot and took Rehman to JJ Hospital. But he was declared dead on arrival. The accused have been sent to cop custody till October 19.

The Times of India, October 16, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

‘LeT has joined hands with Babbar Khalsa’

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Sikh terror outfit Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) has tied up with Pakistan-based banned outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and is preparing to launch terror strikes in India. This was revealed in an intelligence alert issued to the Mumbai police, crime branch and the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). BKI is again emerging as a big threat to the nation, said officials in the security establishment.

According to a source, an alert was sent to all the security agencies. “The alert has stated that LeT is preparing to launch another attack in India and will be provided logistic support by BKI,” said an official.

The alert further stated that the LeT may send its cadres via the sea route and will be provided manpower and equipment by the BKI.
However, the alert does not have any specific information about the date, month or place from where the LeT cadres may enter India.

“Security agencies are keeping watch and doing round-the-clock patrol duty in the sea after 10 Pakistani gunmen entered Mumbai and killed 164 people,” said an official.

Following the alert, security was reviewed by the sea police, coastal police and the other agencies were discussing the issue.

The police is taking the alert seriously with the Navratri and Durga puja festivities underway. “Till last month, we were on high alert due to an input regarding two Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI) militants,” said another official.

In June, the ATS had arrested a 27-year-old BKI militant, Nishant Singh in Mumbai. Singh, who was a sepoy in the army, had served in Kargil, Siachen and Jammu & Kashmir.

Singh had not reported for duty for the past four years. ATS had recovered an AK-47, four other fire arms and 128 live cartridges from him. Singh has told the ATS that he procured the weapons from across the border. “We suspect that the weapon was provided to Singh by a Pakistan-based terror outfit,” and official said.

mateen.hafeez@timesgroup.com

The Times of India, October 14, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

DAWOOD CLAN - Underworld's first family

Mateen Hafeez | October 9, 2010


MARRIED TO THE MOB: Dawood Ibrahim (left) and his family keep a tight hold over their empire of crime

MARRIED TO THE MOB: Dawood Ibrahim (left) and his family keep a tight hold over their empire of crime

It's a notorious first, but nonetheless a first. The second generation of Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar's family has now entered crime, making theirs the First Family of Mumbai's Underworld. Dawood (56), started off alone in the 1970s, but six brothers and one sister of the family's dozen children are in the same 'line', with cases pending against them all. Joining the criminal brotherhood are Dawood's nephews, who have been arrested for kidnapping, extortion, and criminal conspiracy.

Going by police records and underworld whispers, Dawood, a dropout of Ahmed Sailor's High School at Nagpada, never expected his siblings to follow in his footsteps. Dawood started out by selling smuggled foreign goods through his electronics store. He entered police records for the first time in 1978, when he killed a vendor at Tardeo in south Mumbai.

Dawood and his siblings grew up in a 10x10-ft house on the first floor of an old chawl in Pakmodia Street. The son of a crime branch police head constable, Dawood spent his growing years roaming the streets with his friends. "His father beat him often and this dulled his fear of the law, " says an observer who has closely watched Dawood, who is now third on the Forbes' Most Wanted Fugitives list after Osama bin Laden and Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman.

"As teenagers, Dawood and brother Anees Ibrahim formed a gang - the beginnings of the 'D-company' - in the Nagpada area and worked with small-time smugglers. Anees kept records and Dawood maintained relations with policemen, " says a former journalist.

Soon their network spread and Noor-ul-Haque alias Noora joined his brothers. "Noora was an aspiring poet and was often seen in newspaper offices asking editors to print his ghazals. But he could not survive as a poet and chose to get into 'business' with his brothers, " say sources. The murder of Dawood's brother, Sabir, by a rival gang, enraged the family and the rest of the brothers joined Dawood to take revenge. They had the suspect, Ameerzada, shot inside court. A terror in the underworld, Ameerzada succumbed on his way to hospital. This forced the police to issue warrants against the brothers. In the early '80s, Dawood forced the then don, Karim Lala, to cede territory after killing Lala's nephew, Samad Khan, and became the undisputed don of the Mumbai underworld.

In 1983, police commissioner Julio Ribeiro's team raided Dawood's house but he escaped. He fled to Dubai and his brothers followed. They haven't returned since. The family is involved in narcotics, smuggling, contract killing, land grabbing and money laundering. Dawood is suspected of having masterminded the 1993 Bombay blasts, as well as funding the 2008 Mumbai attacks. He is said to have links with bin Laden.

In 2003, Dawood's younger brother Iqbal Kaskar was deported from the UAE and tried in India for land-grabbing and murder. He was acquitted and now lives in Mumbai.

Dawood's younger sister, Haseena Parkar alias Haseena Aapa, was arrested by the Mumbai crime branch a few years ago in an extortion case, but was acquitted. She entered the criminal world after her husband, Ismail Ibrahim Parkar, was killed by Arun Gawli's gang in 1991.

Ismail used to 'settle' business disputes for a commission. After his death, Haseena took on her husband's clients, getting land 'vacated' for developers. Dawood is reportedly unhappy with Haseeena's involvement, and has told her to stay out. Whatever the disagreements, it hasn't stopped GenNext from joining the business. It's all in the family.

The Times of India (Crest edition, October 9-October 15)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Man held for staging robbery


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Agripada police on Thursday arrested a 25-year-old and his two aides for staging a robbery. The accused, Ganesh Jadhav, had lodged a complaint saying that he was robbed of Rs 10 lakh at gunpoint by three men on October 4. Jadhav’s owner had given him Rs 10 lakh to give it to a marble owner But instead of handing over the money he and his accomplice kept the money for themselves.

The Times of India, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Man comes back from dead, held for murder


Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Wednesday arrested a 41-yearold man who, according to police records, had been killed and burnt at his house in Mira Road in 2003. The accused has been identified as Sayyed Musaddique Waheeduddin Qadri. The accused was earlier charge-sheeted for seven bomb blasts in Mumbai but acquitted in all the cases.

A team from Thane ATS, led by senior
inspector Rajan Ghule, arrested Qadri at around 9.30 am near Maitry Park in Chembur on Wednesday when he was going to meet his family. “We got an information that Qadri was alive and would come to Mumbai. So our officers Jitendra Agarkar, Prakash Patil, Shailesh Gaikwad, Anil Honrao, Anil Bhawari etc laid a trap and caught him with a 0.35 pistol, five live cartridges and a magazine,” said Ghule.

“The suspect belonged to Dr Jalees Ansari’s module which was responsible for around 35 bomb blasts across the country,” said an ATS officer. At the time of arrest, police recovered a driving license from Qadri which declared him as ‘Imran Abu Mansoor Hatmi’. The license had an addrss of Mohalla Ganj, Golkunda in Hyderabad. An election identity card issued in the same name has also been seized from Qadri. He was staying in a rented room in Hyderabad and was into selling itar and perfumes there. He was in touch with his wife since 2007.

According to ATS chief Rakesh Maria, fire and smoke was noticed at Qadri’s third floor flat in Shahi Ashiyana apartment, Mira Road on August 15, 2003. No
body was present in the flat when the incident occurred.

“Qadri’s wife was at her mother’s place at that time and his brother was not at home too. When the police reached the spot, they found the burnt body of a man who was beheaded. Later, Qadri’s wife and his brother claimed it was Qadri,” said Maria. The Mira Road police had then registered a murder case and later the body was buried in a cemetery. “Qadri had killed that person and after beheading him, he covered the skull into a
polythene bag and threw it in Bhayander creek,” said an investigator.

“Qadri had, in fact, killed a man and burnt his body to destroy evidence. Later, he fled from there and it was said that the deceased was Qadri. He took a train from Dadar and went to Hyderabad where he assumed a new identity. He had been visiting Maharashtra to meet his family for the past three
years. We received information around three months ago and have been working on it,” said an ATS officer involved in the probe.

Qadri, said police sources, was part of Dr Ansari’s group which had engineered 21 bomb blasts in Mumbai city and 12 bomb blasts at various railway stations. “Qadri was involved in the bomb blasts at Azad Maidan canteen, Goal Deval near JJ Marg area, Regal cinema, Girgaum Chowpatty, Shiv Sena office in Mulund, Naigaon in Bhoiwada and Mahim. He was charge sheeted and tried in all the seven cases but the court acquitted him,” said Maria.

He was produced before a court and sent to police custody till October 16.

mateen.hafeez@timesgroup.com

The Times of India, October 7, 2010

Paper leak case: Naval commander arrested


IN DOCK: Arrested naval commander R C Saini (52) was the chairman of a four-member naval committee constituted to oversee the exam


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday arrested a 52-yearold naval commander, attached to INS Angre, for his alleged role in an examination paper leak case. The Navy had, on September 25, conducted examinations for 175 posts of lower division clerks, but the paper was allegedly leaked to over a hundred candidates a day in advance.

The arrested commander, identified as R C Saini, resides at Navy Nagar in Colaba. TOI was the first to report that a naval commander was under CBI scanner for his alleged involvement in the case.

Saini was produced before
the special CBI court on Wednesday and remanded in CBI custody till October 13.

The CBI had last week arrested four persons: R C Naik and D S Murthy, both administrative officers of the Western and Eastern Naval Command, Ranbir Singh Rawat, ex-Navy sailor and owner of defence recruitment agency Manasa International, and Haryana-based teacher Hoshiar Singh Rawat. The papers were printed at Atharva Printing Press in Pune. On Wednesday, the court also extended the cusody of the arrested four till October 8.

“Naik had asked for a copy of the question paper for his relative who was appearing for the exam. Saini allegedly provided a copy of the question paper to Naik. This copy was later used to dictate correct answers to nearly 138 candidates,” said Pravin Salunke, deputy inspector-general of police, CBI.


The Times of India, October 7, 2010

Admission scam: 1 held


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Cuffe Parade police have arrested a tout who promised a Delhi-based woman that he would get her son admitted into an Ahmednagar dental college.

The cops arrested Ismail Khan (28) and are now on the lookout for his aide, Ati-ur-Rehman alias Mohsin Patel (32). The duo placed advertisements in newspapers, promising students admission to various courses.

Neelam Sahani (49) paid them Rs 12.5 lakh to get her son into Pravara Medical College. When he did not get in, she demanded her money back. When the duo refused, Sahani approached the cops.

The Times of India, October 7, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cops keep cake out of Salem birthday bash




Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The state jail authorities are in no mood to court trouble any more even if that means estradited gangster Abu Salem might be miffed.

In order to avoid any kind of ruckus inside the prison, policemen at the Taloja jail returned a 1-kg cake brought to “celebrate Salem’s 41st birthday” on October 2. Salem was shifted from Arthur Road jail to Taloja in July after he was assaulted by Dgang member Mustafa Dossa.

The reason that jail officials offered for their refusal to allow the cake inside was that October 2, being the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri, the jail authorities did not want to take
any risk lest their act of granting permission to celebrate a gnagster’s birthday be seen as “politically incorrect or insensitive”.

A source said the refusal could also because of a previous similar inci
dent when liquor bottles and a six-kg cake was ordered by the inmates of Arthur Road jail on January 13 apparently to celebrate underworld don Chhota Rajan’s birthday. The prisoners knew that they would not be allowed to get a cake for Rajan; so, what they did was several of them approached the jail authorities, saying they wanted to celebrate their own birthdays and needed cakes. “The jail officials were surprised that so many inmates wanted to celebrate their birthdays on the same day,’’ said an officer. “When officials found out that January 13 was actually Rajan’s birthday, they refused to order the cakes and returned the inmates’ money.”

“There would have been hell to
pay had something similar occurred on the birth anniversary of Gandhiji and Shastriji,” a Taloja official said.

Though Salem does not have a home in Mumbai, the court has allowed him to have home-cooked food. Every day, he gets his meal in a tiffin box brought from outside. “On October 2, the boys who get him his meal brought a cake, saying it was Salem’s birthday and that he had ordered it. However, after making enquiries, the jail authorities refused to send the cake inside the prison,” said a policeman attached to the jail. Incidentally, two police constables at the Arthur Road jail were suspended on October 2 allegedly for negligence in preventing a fight between inmates there.


The Times of India, October 5, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Victory in ‘surrender’: Lesson from 1,400-year-old treaty

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: While everyone knows about the Allahabad HC’s verdict in the Ayodhya title suit, not many are aware that one of the three judges referred to a 1,400-year-old treaty between Muslims and their ‘rival’ groups, while pronouncing the judgment. “When Prophet Mohammad entered into a treaty with the rival group at Hudaibya, it appeared to be an abject surrender, even to his staunch supporters. The Quran described that as clear victory and it did prove so. Within a short span, Muslims entered Mecca as victors and not a drop of blood was shed,” said Justice Khan.

Hudaibya is a small village located 35 km from Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Hudaibya treaty was inked between Muslims and their rival groups. Narrating the treaty, Mufti Mohammed Ismail, chief imam of Jama Masjid in
Malegaon and an MLA, said that the Prophet and his followers were not allowed to enter Mecca after they migrated from Mecca to Madina. “Muslims were not allowed to enter Mecca for Haj or Umrah rituals. For this, several battles were fought. One day, when Prophet and his followers prepared for Umrah and reached Hudaibya, they were stopped by their rivals from entering Mecca,” said Ismail. He added that when Muslims’ rivals came with an offer of reconciliation, the Prophet said that he would accept their conditions provided they respect Baitullah (Kaaba Shareef) and Mecca. “Most of the terms in the 15-point treaty were against the Muslims. But the Prophet agreed to the treaty because the rival groups had agreed to respect Mecca and Baitullah,” said Ismail.

The rivals breached the treaty by attacking a tribe which was staying with the Prophet. It led to a battle in which the Muslim emerged victorious.


Times Now most watched channel on Ayodhya judgment day

Mumbai:
Times Now notched up record viewership in the English news category on the day the Ayodhya title suit verdict was pronounced. According to viewership data released by AMAP in the males above 25 years category in medium and large cities, Times Now notched 7.61 rating points compared to 3.77 of NDTV 24x7 and 4.06 of CNN IBN. According to TAM data, Times Now has consistently maintained the Number 1 position among English news channel winning in 101 out of last 120 weeks. TNN

The Times of India, October 3, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Speeding tourist bus runs over 68-yr-old near CST


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: A 68-year-old accountant, working with an NGO, was run over by a tourist bus outside the BMC headquarters near CST on Friday evening.

The victim, Ram, an employee of Mission for Vision, got down from his office car near the BMC office and was
crossing the road when he was hit by the speeding tourist bus. “The bus driver did not stop and tried to flee,’’ said Rizwan Khan, an eyewitness. The tourist bus was on its way to Goa.

The police have arrested the bus driver Irshad Saheb on charges of rash and negligent driving and culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The Times of India, October 2, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Relieved govt, police to remain on high alert

Yogesh Naik & Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: The state government and the police heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday as the city survived the Ayodhya judgment without any incidents of violence or protests.

“More than 4,000 people were arrested as a preventive measure and additional forces were deployed across Mumbai,” said deputy commissioner of police (operations) Rajkumar Vhatkar, adding that there was no violence in the city. “The same security level will be continued for the next three days.”

About 38,000 police personnel were deployed on city streets for the Thursday bandobast. Officials said the state and the police would continue to remain on maximum alert on Friday. Mumbai police commissioner Sanjeev Dayal said that joint commissioner of police (law and order) Rajnish Seth met RSS functionaries on Wednesday and asked them to maintain peace.

Nevertheless, there was a stray incident of celebration in the saffron camp. Soon after the verdict was announced, a few party workers began shouting slogans, dancing and distributing sweets outside the state BJP office in Nariman Point, forcing chief minister Ashok Chavan, deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal and home minister R R Patil to intervene.

Sensing trouble brewing, police officials reported the festivities to the CM’s office and, according to Chavan, he, along with Bhujbal and Patil, spoke to state BJP chief Sudhir Mungantiwar.

Addressing journalists in a press conference in Mumbai, Chavan said that the judgment was a step forward and everyone should help maintain law and order.

Soon after the verdict, Chavan had a meeting with home department officials, where they discussed strategies to contain any untoward fallout of the verdict.

Officials said the police have been told to keep an eye on Shiv Sena and the BJP and ensure that their party members do not burst firecrackers or celebrate the verdict.

The chief minister asked citizens to honour the verdict and ensure that the spirit of nationalism always precedes caste or religious considerations. Chavan’s deputy Bhujbal said that the victory should not been as a win or loss by any community. He asked all citizens to exercise restraint and not create law and order problems.

The Times of India, October 1, 2010