Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ATS arrests two LeT operatives from Thane

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) claimed to have arrested two members of the banned terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) from Thane on charges of recruiting men for the organization.

The police alleged that they were also busy carrying out a reconnaissance of military installations in Mumbai, Pune and Aurangabad. Besides this, the police said, they were also doing a reconnaissance of oil installations in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

The two suspects were identified as Shareef Thakkar (33) and Ishaque Kunblakh (29), both originally from Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir. They have been booked under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for recruiting men for a banned organization, having association with the banned outfit and preparing to commit an act of terror.


They have been remanded to police custody till December 2. The police claimed to have recovered two Tokarev pistols and several rounds of ammunition from them.

“The two were working as oil tanker drivers with a transport company. The Juhu unit of the ATS first picked them up from the Sun City bar and restaurant in Kapurbawdi area in Thane and booked
them under the arms act. Later, they were booked under UAPA for their association with LeT,” said Rakesh Maria, additional director-general of police (ATS).

He said Kunblakh’s cousin, Ayyub, was killed in a police encounter in Jammu and Kashmir a few years ago. “Kunblakh and Thakkar knew some of Ayyub’s associates who approached the duo in Mumbai. The militants asked them to do a reconnaissance of oil installations in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra and send information to their handlers in Pakistan and Kashmir. They were asked to identify potential oil tanker drivers and recruit them for the LeT to commit acts of terror,” said Maria.

They stayed at Silvasa and Vapi in Gujarat and Talasari in Maharashtra. Thakkar has been working as a driver for the last 12 years.

According to Maria, the duo was looking for drivers who were well-versed with the roads and oil installations. “Moreover, they were also asked to provide details of military installations in Mumbai, Pune and Aurangabad. Thakkar had done a recce of the Mumbai Central railway station two months ago and sent the details to his handlers,” said Maria.

He added that the two terror suspects were about to go to Pakistan for a terror training course and were caught before they could leave the state.


The Times of India, November 30, 2010

Tantrik also raped complainant’s maid

CONMAN: Mehdi Hasan


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Investigations into the case of a tantrik have revealed that he had also raped the 22-year-old domestic help of the complainant and had forced four girls to undergo abortions. The tantrik had come in contact with the victims’ family after their mothers had delivered mentally challenged sons. The accused, Mehdi Hasan had promised to cure them with black magic but instead raped them.

According to a victim’s statement, Hasan, who had posed as Javed Nadim Khadim, would drug the girls before raping them. “He suggested that the victims go in for abortions, claiming that if they did not, no man would marry them,” said a source.

He was arrested by the JJ Marg police on Sunday and a court on Monday remanded him to police custody till December 3.


The oldest victim, who works as a domestic help, is 22. The 19-year-old victim is a commerce student in a south Mumbai college. The third, aged 18, is from Colaba and is
an MBBS student. The fourth is only 13 and is a resident of JJ Marg. The fifth is a 17-year-old. All the girls are cousins. Details of two girls were not available.

The victim’s statement revealed that Hasan forced four victims, except the 13-year-old, to undergo several abortions. “It was a middle
man, Javed Nadim Khadim, who introduced Hasan to the family. Hasan would sometimes pose as Khadim. The police are hunting for Khadim to record his statement and check if he was aware of Hasan’s activities,” said a source. Hasan has been booked under section 376 (rape) and section 312 (causing miscarriage) of the IPC.



The Times of India, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tantrik arrested for raping 3 SoBo teens

CAUGHT: Javed Nadim Khadim


Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: In a shocking incident, an Antop Hill tantrik was arrested by the JJ Marg police on Sunday evening for allegedly raping three teenaged girls from south Mumbai over a period of four years. The oldest victim, aged 19, is from the Crawford Market area and a commerce student in a reputed south Mumbai college. The second victim, aged 18, is from Colaba and an MBBS student. The third victim, a Class V student, is only 13 years old and a resident of the JJ Marg area.

The two older girls had been forced by the tantrik, Javed Nadim Khadim alias Mehdi Hasan (45) to undergo abortions, according to the FIR. The arrest brought
back memories of the horrific rapes of two Mira Road sisters by an Andheri tantrik, Hasmukh Rathod, who was arrested in March 2009. In the present case, all three girls are cousins.

“The police arrested Khadim under section 376 (rape) and section 312 (causing miscarriage) of the Indian Penal Code. He will be produced in the Mazgaon court on Monday,’’ said Chhering
Dorji, deputy commissioner of police. Hasan originally belongs to West Bengal and is the father of two children.

Khadim took advantage of the girls after befriending the families to perform black magic for the mothers.


Khadim may have swindled . 1 cr too
He was picked up in dramatic fashion after he had telephoned the 19-year-old on Saturday saying he was going to visit her at her home in Crawford Market. The girl, having had enough, alerted her family for the first time, who then contacted the MRA Marg police. Plainclothes policemen surrounded the family’s building, but they received a frantic call from the girl upstairs saying Khadim had already reached the house. On rushing upstairs, the police found that Khadim had concealed himself under a burqa.

A source close to the family told TOI, “Initially, he befriended the girls’ mothers. One of the victims’ mothers had some domestic problem and she approached Khadim. He solved the problem in a couple of months and began visiting her house at Colaba, where she showed that she trusted him. Over a period of time, the woman’s sister, who is 42, also had some problem and they approached Khadim again. Her domestic problems were also ‘solved’ by the tantrik.’’ The source added that it was in 2006 that the tantrik began developing ties with the families.


“He’d visit their places at odd times. While one of the mothers was a divorcee, the other’s husband worked as a captain in the merchant navy and would be at sea,” the source said. The 13-yearold’s father is in the merchant navy, while the 18-year-old’s father is a doctor who treats piles.

“When he would visit the victims’ houses, he would bring some medicine in syrup form. He would force the girls to drink and they would lose consciousness.
The 19-year-old victim had to be hospitalized in Habeeb Hospital at Dongri so she could have an abortion,’’ alleged the source. The 18-year-old girl had to be subjected to abortions thrice, according to the police FIR.

The two teenagers told the police that they could not bear the assaults by Khadim any longer and told their fathers on Saturday night. “The girls were scared. Khadim had threatened that if they told anyone he would perform some black magic on them. However, they told the truth to their fathers, who approached the police,’’ the source said.

Khadim, whose wife stays in the Antop Hill slums, would rent rooms in the south Mumbai area to conduct his black magic business. He allegedly took the girls to these rooms to conduct his crimes. Sources in the girls’ families alleged that he once raped a victim at a flat in the jurisdiction of the MRA Marg police. Another girl was raped at Amina Apartment in the jurisdiction of the JJ Marg police, the families said. One girl was raped at Rehmat Mansion in the jurisdiction of the Dongri police.

The FIR was first registered by the MRA Marg police and then transferred to the JJ Marg police.
The families had to approach Nawal Bajaj, the additional commissioner of police (south), to seek his help in exposing the tantrik.

The girls were on Sunday taken for medical exams to the Nagpada police hospital. “Perhaps he had been giving them emergency contraceptive pills after the abortions,’’ a source said. The girls were so traumatized that they could not relate their stories to the cops. The statements were recorded in the presence of women police personnel.

There are further allegations that the tantrik also sought to financially swindle the families. The mother of one victim got Rs 40 lakh from the sale of a property belonging to her NRI father, who stays in London and deals in antique coins. Khadim asked her to invest the money by buying a flat near Gloria Church in Byculla (East). She invested the money but the tantrik got the flat registered in his name.

He also took Rs 60 lakh from the father of the 18-year-old so he could get her admission in a medical college. However, the girl secured high marks and got admission on merit. When the family asked Khadim to return the money, he refused and threatened them with dire consequences.

Mira Road rapes
In March 2009, a tantrik from Andheri, Hasmukh Rathod, was arrested along with his ‘client’ Kishore Chauhan, a businessman from Mira Road, and Chauhan’s wife Anjana. Rathod had raped the couple’s two children and Chauhan had been having sex with his older daughter for nine years.

Rathod told the Chauhans that the acts would bring good luck to the family. The older girl was 21 when Rathod was arrested. She told her uncle about the crimes after learning that her 15-year-old sister had been raped by Rathod. TNN


The Times of India, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Notings on Adarsh go missing from file



Yogesh Naik & Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: A fresh cloud of controversy has formed over the Adarsh Housing Society scam. At least four pages of a file dealing with the reduction of the width of Prakash Pethe Marg—the road that was cut down to make space for the tower—have gone missing. The pages contained notings by then UD principal secretary Ramanand Tiwari and former deputy secretary of UD P V Deshmukh. Incidentally, Tiwari’s son Omkar and Deshmukh were allotted flats in the building.
When contacted, Tiwari said: “I had asked for the papers a month ago from the UD department and
even I do not have a copy of them.’’

The state urban development UD) department on Friday filed an FIR with the Marine Drive police, who registered a case of theft and destruction of key documents. On Saturday, the state government transferred the case to the crime branch.

According to sources, the file was last handled allegedly by a section officer with the UD. It was closed in 2003 and “kept in a cupboard belonging to one of the deputy secretaries with UD’’ from where the notings pages were stolen.

Missing pages came to light three weeks ago

According to the police, Gurudutt Madhukar Bajpe—a section officer with the UD department—lodged the complaint under Section 204 (destruction of a document to prevent its production as evidence) and Section 380 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code. Iqbal Shaikh, assistant commissioner of police (Colaba Divsion) said: “The entire file was missing since June 2010. It was found on November 1 and the UD department realized that four pages were gone.’’

UD officials confirmed that the theft was discovered on November 1. According to government sources, the National Coastal Regulation Zone Management Authority had called the heads of the UD, revenue and environment departments to Delhi to discuss the case. It was then that UD department officials discovered that the notings pages were missing. “A search was ordered and the entire department was scanned. After a massive hunt, the officials who were connected with the file submitted in writing that the key notings could not be traced,’’ said the source.

The police, however, said that their preliminary investigations have shown that the theft came to light only after an activist filed an RTI on the
Adarsh case. “Somebody, we are investigating who, had asked questions through an RTI application. The answers to the questions were in the file. It was then that the UD realized the papers were missing.’’ The theft highlights the fact that the UD department does not have an organized or even secure filing system. Most of the files are in open cabinets or kept on the floor wrapped in red cloth, said a senior official.

Some department officials claim that they had asked the police to file an FIR as early as November 19, but fearing political repercussions, the cops only registered a case of missing documents. It was only after chief minister Prithviraj Chavan was briefed on the matter that it was decided an FIR should be filed.

The CBI said it was too early in the investigation to discuss the impact of the missing file on the case.

Commenting on the state government’s decision to transfer the case to the crime branch, a senior police officer said: “This case has several technical limitations pertaining to CRZ norms, revenue laws etc. A team, well versed with such issues, may be given the responsibility to investigate the theft.’’

The crime branch may set up a special team to head the case.


The Times of India, November 28, 2010

Troublesome teens to be counselled at jail





Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Catch them young is the new mantra our cops are chanting. In an attempt to dissuade kids from taking to a life of crime, the men in khaki have decided to zero in on teenagers — who the cops feel will end up behind bars — and bring them to Arthur Road jail for counselling.

The cops will focus on children who have not committed any crime, never been arrested and are not in police records, but are likely to go astray. These kids will be taken to Arthur Road jail for interaction with teenaged inmates, whose stories will help these youngsters realize that choosing the path of crime will only ruin their lives.


The idea is the brainchild of Surender Kumar, the inspector-general of prisons (south region), who has been conducting a series of programmes in various jails under his jurisdiction. Earlier, he had organized a string of sporting events, including tug-of-war, at the Arthur Road jail in a bid to bridge the gap between the inmates lodged there. Next week, inmates at Arthur Road jail will participate in painting, rangoli and elocution programmes.

Kumar said he has written to the deputy commissioner of police, asking him to direct officials to identify boys who are likely to commit crimes in future. “We will identify such boys and bring them to the jail so that they can interact with the
teenaged inmates here. We hope that their trip to the prison will deter them from breaking the law. It will also help the local police counsel such boys,” said Kumar. The jail authorities have so far written letters to the police authorities in Ghatkopar, Trombay, Vikhroli, Bandra, Dongri, Govandi, Malvani, Jogeshwari, Dadar, Parel, Bhandup and Mulund.

“We only intend to bring in these boys so that they can talk to teenaged inmates. We are hoping that such an interaction will help open the teenagers’ eyes,” said Kumar, adding that the authorities are working hard to reform and persuade young criminals to give up the path of violence and fraud.

There are around 175 teenaged inmates at Arthur Road jail. Last week, Kumar, along with jail superintendent Ramesh Dhamne, met these boys and interacted with them for a couple of hours. “The boys told the officials how and why they committed crimes. They vowed to quit smoking and chewing gutka,” Kumar said.



The Times of India, November 28, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kasab boycotts hearing; sleeps through 26/11 after a hearty breakfast


CALLS FOR JUSTICE: Mumbaikars give vent to their anger and throw slippers at an effigy of Kasab on Friday


Mateen Hafeen & Shibu Thomas TNN


Mumbai:On the second anniversary of the 26/11 attacks, Pakistani gunman Amir Ajmal Kasab continued to boycott his death sentence hearing at the Bombay High Court on Friday. Instead, he woke up late, had a hearty breakfast and lunch, and slept through most of the day.

The Bombay High Court is hearing the petition to confirm the death sentence, which was awarded to Kasab by a trial court in May this year. Kasab, who is lodged in a high-security prison cell at Arthur Road jail, was allowed to participate in the proceedings before a division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice R V More through a video conference link. He, however, refused to avail of the facility after the court turned down his request to attend the hearing in person.

Kasab seemed to be unaware that it was two years since he landed on Mumbai’s shores with nine other Pakistani terrorists. “After the R R Patil visit, the police have been wary of interacting with Kasab and did not inform him that it was 26/11. He does have a calendar either,” said a jail official on condition of anonymity. According to the official, Kasab was sleeping till late in the morning and woke up only after a constable asked him to collect his breakfast—milk, poha, sheera, egg and chai prepared by only policemen due to the security reasons—around 8 am. After staying awake for a while, he dozed off again, and woke up at 12.30 pm for lunch, which was dal, rice, chapati and mixed vegetables. “He did not even make any attempt to speak to the policemen, which he normally does,” said the official.

Meanwhile, Kasab’s lawyers
Amin Solkar and Farhana Shah claimed that his confession was fabricated. The defence argued that Kasab was made to sign on a “prepared document”.
The judges remarked that the magistrate had no reason to implicate Kasab. “The magistrate did not have any previous enmity with the accused,” said the court.


Leaders forget 26/11 hero police constable Arun Jadhav

Mumbai: Heroes were felicitated and martyrs were honoured on Friday. But one police constable, Arun Jadhav—who survived the hail of bullets that killed Mumbai’s top cops Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar—was forgotten. The second anniversary of 26/11 was just another
day for Jadhav, who was one of the key witnesses in the subsequent trial of Ajmal Kasab. As he did not receive any invitation for the ceremony, the constable reported to duty at the Anti-Motor Vehicle Theft Unit at Yellow Gate police station.

He refused to talk to the media, but according to colleagues and friends, Jadhav paid his own tribute. “He got up early in the morning, garlanded the photo of Vijay Salaskar, which hangs on the walls of his house, and then reported to work,” said a colleague. Jadhav was the lone survivor of the ill-fated police vehicle. It was Jadhav’s call to the control room that helped the police identify the SUV the terrorists had hijacked. “Badly injured and soaked in blood ,Jadhav raised the alarm even as policemen almost mistook him for one of the terrorists. He deserves to be felicitated,” said a senior official.


The Times of India, November 27, 2010

Speedboats were not bullet-proof after all





26/11 TWO YEARS ON

First Batch Of Boats Returned



Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: A sudden decision to test the 29 high-tech “bulletproof” speedboats, which were ordered by the state government post-26/11, revealed that they were not bullet-proof after all.

The city police tested the bullet-proof capability of one of the boats, prior to United States president Barack Obama’s recent Mumbai visit following the bullet-proof jackets fiasco in the state.

When gunshots from a selfloading rifle (SLR) pierced the speedboat’s body, the police immediately ordered the supplier to take back the consignment of five.

The government had signed a contract with Blue Ocean for the boats at a cost of Rs 150 crore, each costing about Rs 5 crore. The agreement was signed after the terror attacks, when 10 Pakistani terrorists entered Mumbai by sea. The Mumbai coastal police cover 124 km of the state’s 720 km coastline.

“We were surprised to find that there were holes and parts of the boat got ripped apart. Blue Ocean had promised level 3 (as per US National
Institute of Justice specifications) boats which are bulletproof and had claimed that even a bullet from an AK-47 could not pierce them. We told the company to take back the boats,” a senior police official
said. Initially, the source said, the company said it would repair the boats, but the police insisted that they should be bullet-proof as per the agreement. The boats were touted as being the most sophisticated.

“Level 1 boats are not bul
let-proof. The boats given to us had level 1characteristics. The agreement was through the state intelligence department (SID), the nodal agency for coastal security. What was promised in the agreement was not found in the boats,” the source said.

Three boats were given to Mumbai, while two were given to the Thane and Navi Mumbai coastal police.

Quaiser Khalid, deputy commissioner of police (port zone) said, “We were told about deficiencies in the boats, so we told the company to rectify them. The boats have been sent back.”

The central government
has provided Maharashtra with 28 boats and an additional 29 were procured by the state government. Before testing the boats, the police were told that they could travel at speeds of up to 48 nautical miles per hour and could carry six people who can stay onboard for five days at a stretch. Each boat was to have a radar that enables it to spot nearby boats and measure the depth of the sea, a global positioning system and a marine communication device that helps it communicate with other boats. S Chavan, Blue Ocean’s proprietor, was not available for comment despite repeated attempts.

BROKEN BULLETS

The Maharashtra government ordered 29 boats from Blue Ocean for the coastal police

The total budget was Rs 150 crore; each boat costing around Rs 5 crore

The police tested the “bullet-proof”’ boats using an SLR, and found that bullets pierced through them

To avoid controversy, the police returned the batch of five boats and told the company to rectify them


The Times of India, November 27, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Slain gunmen buried near Taloja jail?

9 Terrorists Cremated After Muslim Bodies Said No

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab’s associates were buried near the high-security Taloja prison, wellplaced sources said on Thursday, the eve of the 26/11 attacks’ second anniversary. Officials were, however, tightlipped on the details of the quiet burial of the nine terrorists’ bodies.

According to the sources, the bodies, which even Pakistan did not want, were disposed of near the newly constructed prison in January. Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil had on April 6 said that the bodies of the terrorists, killed by special forces during a three-day siege of the city in November 2008, were buried and adequate care was taken to ensure that the matter stayed a secret.
Mumbai police commissioner Sanjeev Dayal and senior investigators were unwilling to comment on the issue.

The sources said, “The bodies were brought in police vans near the jail. An excavator, operated by two persons, had dug up the soil. The bodies, one by one, were dumped there. The excavator’s operators then filled up the spot with soil.”

They added that a man offered prayers before the van left. Two constables from the jail were told to keep an eye on the spot so that dogs don’t dig it up, the sources said.

The state government had been waiting for Pakistan to claim the bodies, which were finally buried after 14 months. Many Muslim organizations in Mumbai had objected to their burial in their cemetery, as they were “kill
ers”. The state then decided to bury them quietly. Early last year, the Muslim Council had refused to allow the burial in the Marine Lines Bada Qabrastan. The council had sent a message to cemeteries across the nation that none of the terrorists should be buried on Indian soil. The influential Muslim Jama Masjid Trust, which runs the 7.5-acre Qabrastan in south Mumbai, had said it would not permit the burial as the gunmen were not true followers of Islam.

The crime branch, the prime agency probing the 26/ 11 terror attacks, had claimed that the bodies were given holy ablution before burial.


The decision for the burial was prompted by the huge expense incurred on preserving the bodies in an air-conditioned room of the J J Hospital morgue, round-the-clock security at the site, and other related factors.

Keeping the bodies for so long was considered unprecedented in the world.


US solidarity
UState nited States Hillary Secretary Clinton said of in Washington on Thursday that the Americans stand in solidarity with India in mourning victims of the 2008 carnage. On the eve of the second anniversary of the attacks carried out by 10 terrorists, Clinton said, “The resolve and resilience of the people was more powerful than terrorist guns and bombs.”

She said, “Now, as then, the American people stand in solidarity with the people of India and honour those who lost their lives. As the people of the US gather with family to celebrate Thanksgiving, we pause to remember the horrific attack on innocent men, women and children in Mumbai two years ago.”

President Barack Obama had stayed at the Taj, a target of the attacks, during his visit earlier this month “to send a strong message” to terrorists.


FACES OF TERROR
The
nine Pakistanis who terrorized Mumbai for three days


Shoaib aka Abu Shoheb |
Attacked Leopold Cafe, Taj Mahal Palace & Tower. Killed at The Taj

Ismail Khan aka Abu Ismail |
Attacked CST, Cama Hospital and other places. At Chowpatty, police killed him when he fired at them

Hafiz Arshad aka Abdul Rehman |
Attacked the Taj. Took a taxi to the Taj and planted a bomb outside, but it was defused. Killed at The Taj

Javed aka Abu Ali |
Attacked The Taj, after entering from the front gate. Killed at The Taj

Nazir Ahmad aka Abu Umer |
Attacked Leopold Cafe and The Taj . Killed at The Taj


'Chhota' Abdul Rehman aka Sakib |
Attacked the Oberoi & Trident. He and his accomplice set a bomb outside Oberoi, but its effect was minimised with a bomb blanket. Killed at The Trident

Nasir aka Abu Umar |
Attacked Nariman House. Nasir and his accomplice exploded two bombs outside Nariman House and forced the Jewish hostages to speak to their embassy. Killed at Nariman House

Fahad Ullah| Attacked Oberoi & Trident. Fahad and Abdul set off a bomb at Tiffin restaurant. Contacted a TV channel. Used mobiles of a survivor and of a deceased. Killed at The Trident

Imran Babar aka Abu Aakasha |
Attacked Nariman House along with Nasir. Killed at Nariman House


The Times of India, November 26, 2010

Slain gunmen buried near Taloja jail?

9 Terrorists Cremated After Muslim Bodies Said No

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab’s associates were buried near the high-security Taloja prison, wellplaced sources said on Thursday, the eve of the 26/11 attacks’ second anniversary. Officials were, however, tightlipped on the details of the quiet burial of the nine terrorists’ bodies.
According to the sources, the bodies, which even Pakistan did not want, were disposed of near the newly constructed prison in January. Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil had on April 6 said that the bodies of the terrorists, killed by special forces during a three-day siege of the city in November 2008, were buried and adequate care was taken to ensure that the matter stayed a secret.
Mumbai police commissioner Sanjeev Dayal and senior investigators were unwilling to comment on the issue.
The sources said, “The bodies were brought in police vans near the jail. An excavator, operated by two persons, had dug up the soil. The bodies, one by one, were dumped there. The excavator’s operators then filled up the spot with soil.”
They added that a man offered prayers before the van left. Two constables from the jail were told to keep an eye on the spot so that dogs don’t dig it up, the sources said.
The state government had been waiting for Pakistan to claim the bodies, which were finally buried after 14 months. Many Muslim organizations in Mumbai had objected to their burial in their cemetery, as they were “kill
ers”. The state then decided to bury them quietly. Early last year, the Muslim Council had refused to allow the burial in the Marine Lines Bada Qabrastan. The council had sent a message to cemeteries across the nation that none of the terrorists should be buried on Indian soil. The influential Muslim Jama Masjid Trust, which runs the 7.5-acre Qabrastan in south Mumbai, had said it would not permit the burial as the gunmen were not true followers of Islam.
The crime branch, the prime agency probing the 26/ 11 terror attacks, had claimed that the bodies were given holy ablution before burial.

The decision for the burial was prompted by the huge expense incurred on preserving the bodies in an air-conditioned room of the J J Hospital morgue, round-the-clock security at the site, and other related factors.
Keeping the bodies for so long was considered unprecedented in the world.

US solidarity
UState nited States Hillary Secretary Clinton said of in Washington on Thursday that the Americans stand in solidarity with India in mourning victims of the 2008 carnage. On the eve of the second anniversary of the attacks carried out by 10 terrorists, Clinton said, “The resolve and resilience of the people was more powerful than terrorist guns and bombs.”
She said, “Now, as then, the American people stand in solidarity with the people of India and honour those who lost their lives. As the people of the US gather with family to celebrate Thanksgiving, we pause to remember the horrific attack on innocent men, women and children in Mumbai two years ago.”
President Barack Obama had stayed at the Taj, a target of the attacks, during his visit earlier this month “to send a strong message” to terrorists.
FACES OF TERROR The nine Pakistanis who terrorized Mumbai for three days
Shoaib aka Abu Shoheb | Attacked Leopold Cafe, Taj Mahal Palace & Tower. Killed at The Taj

Ismail Khan aka Abu Ismail |
Attacked CST, Cama Hospital and other places. At Chowpatty, police killed him when he fired at them

Hafiz Arshad aka Abdul Rehman |
Attacked the Taj. Took a taxi to the Taj and planted a bomb outside, but it was defused. Killed at The Taj

Javed aka Abu Ali |
Attacked The Taj, after entering from the front gate. Killed at The Taj

Nazir Ahmad aka Abu Umer |
Attacked Leopold Cafe and The Taj . Killed at The Taj


'Chhota' Abdul Rehman aka Sakib |
Attacked the Oberoi & Trident. He and his accomplice set a bomb outside Oberoi, but its effect was minimised with a bomb blanket. Killed at The Trident

Nasir aka Abu Umar |
Attacked Nariman House. Nasir and his accomplice exploded two bombs outside Nariman House and forced the Jewish hostages to speak to their embassy. Killed at Nariman House

Fahad Ullah| Attacked Oberoi & Trident. Fahad and Abdul set off a bomb at Tiffin restaurant. Contacted a TV channel. Used mobiles of a survivor and of a deceased. Killed at The Trident

Imran Babar aka Abu Aakasha |
Attacked Nariman House along with Nasir. Killed at Nariman House


The Times of India, November 26, 2010

Tamil Nadu blast suspect held at airport


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The immigration authorities intercepted Shabbir Kochi (34), an accused in the 2002 Coimbatore race course blast case, at the Mumbai international airport. Six people had lost their lives in the explosion.

Kochi (34), who managed to evade the police for eight years, is believed to have been hiding in Riyadh (UAE). “We are questioning him and have also informed the Tamil Nadu police, which is investigating the case. Kochi will be handed over to investigators from TN soon,” said ATS chief Rakesh Maria. Kochi, who was booked under the Explosive Substances Act, was produced before a court on Thursday and will be sent to Kerala on a transit remand. “A look-out notice was issued against him at all the
airports across the country. Kochi arrived in Mumbai on an Air India flight. He was intercepted minutes after his arrival,” said Maria. A police team from TN was expected to reach Mumbai late on Thursday to take Kochi in custody.

The Times of India, November 26, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

EYE ON COAST BUT COPS CAN’T SWIM

In its first-ever ship census, the police found out that there are 5,000 fishing trawlers with 35,000 crew


Mateen Hafeez & S Ahmed Ali | TNN


BOATS | The city police has 23 speed boats. Each has team led by an officer with 4 constables. Many officials say that the boats are not up to international standards
The boats are equipped with AK-47s, wireless sets, all-weather search lights, life jackets, etc. The coastal police have received 12 digital video cameras, binoculars and 314 bulletproof helmets. Cost | Rs 32.31 lakh

SWIMMING LESSONS
Policemen who are part of the coastal policing team cannot swim. That is now being rectified and all personnel are being coached, said officials. There have been instances when policemen on duty have fallen into the water and other agencies had to called in to rescue them. Beyond 5 nautical miles, the sea is monitored by the Coast Guard

AIR SURVEILLANCE
Officials say that air surveillance is still not up to the mark. “Repeated requests for at least three helicopters are being repeatedly ignored by the state government and the Centre,” said an IPS officer


The Times of India, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ATS team in Hyderabad to quiz swami in Malegaon case

MECCA MASJID BLAST ACCUSED


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: A Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) team reached Hyderabad to question Swami Asimanand in connection with the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast, which killed six. Asimanand was arrested on Friday by the CBI for his alleged role in the Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid bomb blast case.

ATS sources said a team of police officers were busy questioning the 59-year-old Asimanand alias Jatin Chatterjee alias Swami Omkarnath regarding the Malegaon blast.

Eleven members of the hardline outfits, Abhinav Bharat and Jai Vande Mataram, were arrested for assembling, planting and executing the RDX bomb blast in Malegaon on September 29, 2008.

An officer from the ATS said the team had taken interrogation reports (IR) of arrested accused lieutenant-colonel Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Sameer Kulkarni, among others. Purohit is accused of conspiracy for the blast, Sadhvi of having provided logistical support and Kulkarni for helping collect manpower.

“It was Asimanand who called Purohit on December 29, 2007, and informed him that one of his associates, Sunil Joshi, was shot down in Madhya Pradesh. Asimanand had also told him that Joshi executed the Mecca Masjid bomb blast,” said a police source. Asimanand, who attended conspiracy meetings in the Malegaon blasts at Bhopal, Faridabad, Bhonsala military school among others was neither made an accused nor a witness.

The Malegaon blast conspiracy was first hatched in a Bhopal meeting in April 2008 where Asimanand was also present. He was present during the selection process of officebearers for Abhinav Bharat. Police said Asimanand played a vital role in bringing together hardline outfits such as Abhinav Bharat and Jai Vande Mataram.


The Times of India, November 24, 2010

Taunts over tainted cop shame officers

STAINS 0N KHAKI


Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: Life for policemen attached to the L T Marg police station has got tougher following media reports over the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl by their former in-charge, senior inspector Arun Borude, who is on the run. The are facing a constant stream of taunts and sarcastic comments.

Borude’s name cropped up when the Powai police was probing a rape case. Borude went on sick leave soon thereafter and was dismissed from service on November 17. .

“The rowdies, who would never dare to cross police’s path, now come and ask where exactly is Borude hiding.
What is our fault? We feel ashamed when even passersby comment on the rape,” said a police constable attached to the L T Marg police station.

“Now, when we go for patrolling, we have to hear taunts and sarcastic remarks. People come and inquire if the news about Borude is true. They even ask our opinion about what penalty must be given to a senior police officer for such a crime. We have no option but to keep our mouth shut,” said another police
man.

Apparently, no policemen had a high regard for Borude, who had recently paid for khaki uniforms for around 200 police personnel. Some police personnel said that it is too early to conclude that Borude had raped the girl. “Let the court decide,” said one.

“Even our family members are asking about Borude,” a constable said, “what should we do? College-going students, social workers, restaurant employees, jewellers and rowdies keep inquiring about Borude. They term him
as a pervert. When we reach home, our family members also want details.”

One of Borude’s counterpart said he should appear before the court. “He is on the run and has invited more trouble. He should come and face the case,” the officer said. Another senior police officer said Borude would be busy narrating his stories of killing sharp-shooters. “He would call himself an encounter specialist.”


The Times of India, November 24, 2010

Police force plans memorial for city


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Mumbai police will be organizing a chain of programmes not just for dignitaries and politicians, but also for citizens. Prayer meetings, an arms exhibition, lectures on terrorism and a parade have been planned as part of the second anniversary of the 26/11 terror attack.

“On Friday at 7.30 am, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the police gymkhana near Marine Drive,” said Rajnish Seth, joint commissioner of police (Law and Order). It will be attended by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, deputy CM Ajit Pawar and home minister, R R Patil. Around 8.15 am a parade will be held between Oberoi Hotel and Aba Saheb Garware Chowk on Marine Drive. “Force-1, Quick Response Team and the State Reserve Police Force will take part in the parade,” he said.

Mumbaikars can visit the police gymkhana on Friday morning to attend an exhibition of police vehicles and arms. It will be open to citizens from 7 am onwards on Friday. The police have also organized a lecture ‘ 2 6 /1 1 Mumai terror attacks : Global , regional and national dimensions’ that will be held at 11 am at the Air India Building. In the evening at 6.30 pm, religious discourses will be conducted at the Gateway of India.


The Times of India, November 24, 2010

‘Khana milta hai? Koi takleef toh nahin hai?

Eknath Khadse (L) and R R Patil outside Arthur Road jail


Khadse, Patil Visit Kasab At Arthur Rd Jail

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Opposition leader Eknath Khadse’s visit to Arthur Road jail on Tuesday and his statements to the media about enquiring after terrorist Ajmal Kasab’s wellbeing have stirred up a hornet’s nest.

Khadse, along with state home minister R R Patil, paid the visit to the prison just two days before the second anniversary of the 26/11 terror attacks when Kasab and nine of his accomplices from Pakistan laid siege to the city for three days, leaving 166 dead and hundreds
injured.

Khadse apparently asked Kasab if he was facing any difficulties in the prison. The opposition leader did not stop at that and went on to ask Kasab, “Khana miltha hai kya? Koi takleef toh nahin hai?” Kasab coolly replied, “Jaisa boya waisa paya.” According to a source, the two politicians spent more than two minutes in Kasab’s cell, checking
his room, his bed and other amenities.

While leaving the prison, Khadse did not even think twice before boasting to the media of meeting Kasab and asking after his well-being. A video footage clearly showed a smiling Khadse and Patil walking towards reporters, giving details of the visit. Patil told reporters, “More than this, I also did not want to speak (to Kasab).”

However, when Khadse realized that his remarks were inappropriate, he tried to salvage the situation by
saying he did not intend to insult 26/11 martyrs. He said he visited the jail in response to a question raised in the assembly and added that he did not ask about Kasab’s wellbeing.

A lawyer said the ministers should have taken court permission before visiting Kasab. However, senior lawyer Majeed Memon said, “The ministers are allowed to ask undertrials and convicts about their problems. Only because this is a highprofile case it has become important news.”


The Times of India, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Borude last called from Ahmednagar



SAFETY MEASURES: Security checks were carried out near the sessions court on Monday


Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: The last location of dismissed senior inspector Arun Borude, who is accused of raping a 14-year-old girl, was found to be a remote village in Ahmednagar on November 9 before he switched off his mobile phone. The victim had delivered a baby on October 17 in Rajawadi Hospital.

Ten police officers and 30 constables have been deployed to trace the fugitive Borude. Police sources said they tried to locate Borude through his mobile phone, but it has been switched off since November 9. “The last location in the record was shown to be a village near Ahmednagar,” said an officer. Ahmednagar happens to be Borude’s hometown. “We are making all possible efforts to locate him, but there is no clue as yet about his whereabouts. Moreover, his wife and daughter have also gone into hiding,” said the officer.

Borude, a blue-eyed boy of his hometown, had ambitions to contest MLA elections from Ahmednagar after his retirement. During a search at a flat in Andheri’s MIDC area, the police found the case papers of some sensational cases at Borude’s flat. “The papers are

about the custodial death of bomb blast suspect Khwaja Yunus, several robbery and underworld cases, news clippings of encounters in which Borude took part, etc,” said a police source. The papers, mostly photocopies, have been seized. However, an IPS officer termed the papers “ordinary”. When Yunus was murdered in the Powai lock-up in 2003, Borude was in charge of that crime branch unit.

“We are probing the case and exploring all the angles,” said the officer. Borude, who served 27 years in the police force before being dismissed on November 17, will not be entitled to his provident fund and gratuity, which collectively works out to approximately Rs 14 lakh. On sensitizing the force and prevent Borude-like cases, the officer said, “Action is the best sensitization. You cannot keep issuing circulars and notices asking cops to take precaution from certain things. Effective action by the department, like dismissal, is the best answer to such crimes,” said the officer.

The Times of India, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Borivli cops yet to file chargesheet in carpet area ‘cheating’ case

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Six months after registering an FIR against a builder in May this year — for allegedly cheating flat owners on the carpet area of their homes — and subsequently arresting him on August 18, the MHB Colony police in Borivli (W) are yet to file a chargesheet against him.

Following his arrest, the 70-yearold developer, Vincy Moraes, was remanded in police custody and later granted bail. It was perhaps the first case of its kind where a builder was arrested for allegedly duping flat owners by giving them less carpet area than promised. TOI had first reported about it on May 21.

Residents of Rose-mar Apartments in I C Colony alleged that though they had been cooperating with the police, the cops were delaying the probe. “We informed the police about the matter in November 2009. The cops finally registered an FIR after persistent efforts on the part of the residents. It took them another three months to arrest the builder,’’ said a resident.


Investigating officer Satish Raorane, who recorded the statements of both the parties in the case, said the probe was still on. “There is perhaps some misunderstanding about filing the chargesheet. The complainant thinks that the time limit is 90 days to file a chargesheet. But we may take some time in cases such as these,” said Raorane. “We are yet to verify the bank records and corroborate the
statements, besides checking the agreement copies.”

Raorane, though, chose to stay mum when asked why the police were taking so long to check the bank and agreement records.

Moraes’ Da Vincy Constructions was engaged in the redevelopment of Rose-Mar Apartments a few years ago. A new wing was constructed to rehouse the existing residents and another wing was sold to new flat buyers. Fifteen occupants from both the

wings approached the police after they realized that the builder had given them less carpet area than what was mentioned in the agreement.

“We have been chasing the police to file the chargesheet but they are taking too long,” said one of the flat owners. One of the residents had paid Rs 24.5 lakh for a property with a carpet area of 720 sq ft. However, when examined later, the carpet area was found to be only 599.59 sq ft — a shortfall of 120.41 sq ft. Rajendra Dabhade, DCP (additional charge), said he would look into the matter.


The Times of India, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

‘7-member squad sent to Mumbai to unleash terror’

GUNNING FOR TROUBLE-MAKERS: A south Mumbai star hotel is the target


Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: It’s a deadly cocktail of Pakistan’s banned outfits, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, and India’s outlawed organization, Indian Mujahideen (IM). Security agencies have learnt that the outfits are working together, and have apparently dispatched a seven-member team to carry out a 26/11-like terror strike in a south Mumbai five-star hotel.

Security has been beefed up not only at the hotel, but several other terror targets, “where David Headley did a reconnaissance” while laying the groundwork for the November 26, 2008, attack. The conspiracy to carry out a
fresh terror strike in Mumbai was hatched in Kashmir. “It seems an IM representative was present at the meeting, which was attended by top LeT and Harkatul-Mujahideen militants. The terrorists were selected, and later dispatched to Mumbai to execute the plot,” a source said.

It’s not known whether the team has arrived in Mu
mbai, said officials. Equally worrying is the information that the three organizations are working together. The intelligence has been shared with the city police, crime branch, ATS and other security agencies in the state.

Police deployed in large numbers
Mumbai: The police have been deployed in huge numbers across Mumbai after security agencies were warned that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Indian Mujahideen (IM) are working together to launch a terror strike in the city. “This is really shocking,” said a se
nior officer, adding that the police has stepped up security in and around the five-star hotel and several other places.

“A group of seven trained terrorists has been dispatched to target a five-star hotel attacked earlier. We don’t have much information about the seven militants but have tightened the security to
tackle any crisis-like situation,” said an official, adding that no specific information on the group is known.

Nakabandis have been increased across the city, and policemen in huge numbers have also been deployed outside possible ‘targets’ like the University of Mumbai campus in south Mumbai, the Mumbai Port Trust head
quarters and BARC. “We have increased the number of security personnel at all the places surveyed by US national David Headley,” an official said. A former CIA agent, Headley defected to LeT and did the reconnaissance on its behalf. The intelligence has come just days before the second anniversary of 26/11.



The Times of India, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

‘Swami held by CBI has Malegaon links’

MECCA MASJID EXPLOSION


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Swami Asimanand, arrested by the CBI in connection with the blast at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, had close links with the suspects in the 2008 Malegaon explosion case, investigators said. Asimanand had reportedly attended several meetings held in Nashik’s Bhonsala Military School, Bhopal and Faridabad where the conspiracy of the Malegaon blast was hatched.

Asimanand alias Jatin Chatterjee alias Swami Omkarnath (59) was arrested in Haridwar early on Friday. Ajay Pandey, additional chief metropolitan magistrate in Haridwar, allowed the plea of the CBI to produce him in a court in Hyderabad within 48 hours of the arrest, in connection with the Mecca Masjid explosion.

“An ideologue of Abhinav Bharat, Asimanand had been in touch with Malegaon blast arrested accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur over cellphone and the CBI has found several clues to it. He
used his driver’s phone when he had to contact people to spread terrorism in the country,” said a police official. “When a meeting for the selection of Abhinav Bharat’s office bearer was held in Bhopal in April 2007 and a plot was hatched to unleash terror on Muslims, Asimanand was present there.”

Though the ATS charge sheet had not mentioned him as a wanted accused, a source said he was the main link be
tween the 2008 Malegaon blast accused, members of Sanatan Sanstha who planted a bomb in Goa and the accused of the Ajmer shrine as well as that of the Mecca Masjid blasts. “It was Asimanand who had first called up Lt Col Prasad Purohit in 2007 and informed him that one of their sympathizers, Sunil Joshi, was shot in Madhya Pradesh. Purohit has also admitted to his conversation with Asimanand,” said the official.


The Times of India, November 20, 2010

Police botched up probe by chasing wrong inspector


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Cops wasted several days in chasing the wrong L T Marg senior inspector for the rape.

Investigators who had the official mobile number of the senior inspector of L T Marg police station and were armed with only the information that “an L T Marg senior inspector” had raped the girl, first went after Borude’s predecessor as Arun Borude was still using a private number taken on someone else’s name. The officer, pestered by calls, finally had to report the harassment to a deputy commissioner. In all this time, the real culprit — Borude — got a whiff of what was happening and went into hiding.

Reliable sources said that the Powai police began the hunt for Borude after it messed up the investigation. “The Powai police got the number of L T Marg senior inspector. They found that the phone was lying with his wife at his official residence. The police swung into action and a team of around seven police personnel, including four women reached the ‘senior inspectors’ house. However, he was not there,” said a source, adding that the policemen there then took the officer’s new mobile number from his wife and found that the senior inspector was in Pune.

“A police team then informed its Pune counterparts to trace the senior inspector. However, his mobile phone was switched off. Later, the police team analyzed the call records and found one number which had made and received several call from the senior inspector’s number. The new number was found in Talegaon, near Pune,” said the source. The investigation further proved that the number belonged to a close friend of the senior inspector. He was detained and questioned, said the source.

The policemen were doing a “speedy and fair investigation” soon after Borude went into hiding.

Sources said that the man detained in Talegaon finally managed to speak to the senior inspector and requested him to do something. “The senior inspector then spoke to the cops but they were not ready to listen. He was insisting that he was not L T Marg senior inspector. He told the investigating team that he had been in-charge of the L T Marg police station but has been promoted now," said the source.


The Time of India, November 20, 2010

Police botched up probe by chasing wrong inspector

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Cops wasted several days in chasing the wrong L T Marg senior inspector for the rape.

Investigators who had the official mobile number of the senior inspector of L T Marg police station and were armed with only the information that “an L T Marg senior inspector” had raped the girl, first went after Borude’s predecessor as Arun Borude was still using a private number taken on someone else’s name. The officer, pestered by calls, finally had to report the harassment to a deputy commissioner. In all this time, the real culprit — Borude — got a whiff of what was happening and went into hiding.

Reliable sources said that the Powai police began the hunt for Borude after it messed up the investigation. “The Powai police got the number of L T Marg senior inspector. They found that the phone was lying with his wife at his official residence. The police swung into action and a team of around seven police personnel, including four women reached the ‘senior inspectors’ house. However, he was not there,” said a source, adding that the policemen there then took the officer’s new mobile number from his wife and found that the senior inspector was in Pune.

“A police team then informed its Pune counterparts to trace the senior inspector. However, his mobile phone was switched off. Later, the police team analyzed the call records and found one number which had made and received several call from the senior inspector’s number. The new number was found in Talegaon, near Pune,” said the source. The investigation further proved that the number belonged to a close friend of the senior inspector. He was detained and questioned, said the source.

The policemen were doing a “speedy and fair investigation” soon after Borude went into hiding.

Sources said that the man detained in Talegaon finally managed to speak to the senior inspector and requested him to do something. “The senior inspector then spoke to the cops but they were not ready to listen. He was insisting that he was not L T Marg senior inspector. He told the investigating team that he had been in-charge of the L T Marg police station but has been promoted now," said the source.


The Time of India, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Help went for ice cream after killing sr citizen



Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Investigations into the murder of the Pedder Road senior citizen have revealed that the suspected killer, Ramchandra Gomane (23), the domestic help of the family, took his friends to Chowpatty for paani-puri and icecream, just after committing the crime.

The incident occurred on Sunday, when Ila Gandhi (60) and her mother, Champa Gandhi (78), were found lying in their first floor flat at Sunita Apartment on Pedder Road. Champa’s son later rushed them to Breach Candy Hospital, where Ila was declared dead. Champa is still recuperating.


Gomane, who has been arrested, told the police that it was Champa’s daughter-inlaw, Rupal, who had hatched the plot to kill her sister- and mother-in-law to take over their Rs 15-cr 2BHK flat. Rupal, who had paid Gomane Rs 5,000 and also promised to waive his debt of Rs 23,000, has also been arrested and remanded in police custody till November 20. Though Gomane tried to kill both the women, Champa somehow escaped with her life. While Ila used to stay on the firstfloor apartment with her mother, Rupal and her husband stay on a flat above.

“On the day of the murder, Rupal called up Gomane thrice. We have got all the da
ta and the call details of her phone. In the morning, she called up Gomane and told him that she would be leaving for a party and he should execute the crime in her absence. In the afternoon, she again called him up, saying she was leaving. At 10.05 pm, she called up Gomane to enquire if the ‘job was done’,” said a Gamdevi police officer.

The police said the murder took place around 4 pm and was discovered at 10.30 pm. “After killing Ila and injuring her mother—though he thought he had killed both-—Gomane, along with his friends, went to Girgaum Chowpatty to have ice cream and paani-puri. He ate and played with them on the beach and returned home around 10 pm,” said the officer. The police have also sent Gomane’s blood-stained shirt for chemical analysis.



The Times of India, November 19, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SoBo woman got sis-in-law bumped off for 15-cr home

Rupal Gandhi gave a supari to servant R Gomane


Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: The lure of a flat in upscale Pedder Road proved irresistible to Rupal Gandhi, who plotted to kill her mother- and sister-in-law, investigators said after arresting the 44-year-old on Tuesday. While Rupal’s 78-year-old mother-in-law was grievously hurt in the attack, carried out by the family’s servant, her sister-in-law succumbed to her injuries.

Rupal wanted her motherin-law’s 2BHK flat, valued around Rs 15 crore, said a police officer. While the victims stayed on the first floor, Rupal and her husband Deepak (52), who have a 16-year-old son, lived on the third floor of the same building.

Rupal hatched the conspiracy and then blackmailed
her domestic help, Ramchandra Gomane (23), forcing him to agree to carry out the murders. It was decided that he would kill the two women when Rupal went out partying with her husband on Sunday evening.

This was revealed when the Gamdevi police interroga
ted Gomane and discovered that Rupal had plotted the killing. The murder was discovered when Rupal and her husband Deepak returned from a family gathering.

Deepak found the outer safety door of his mother’s flat on the first floor of Sunita Apartment in Sonmarg Housing Cooperative Society on Pedder Road locked, but the inner door was open. He rang the bell, but didn’t get a response and used a duplicate key to enter. He found his 60-year-old unmarried sister, Ila Gandhi, and mother Champa, lying on the floor, their bodies covered with scratches and bruises.

Deepak called the police and rushed the two to Breach Candy Hospital, where Ila was pronounced dead.

Woman blackmailed servant into agreeing to kill in-laws

Champa was admitted to the ICU.
Later, as Rupal helped her husband wrap up the hospital formalities, nobody suspected that she was behind the crime, an officer said.

DCP Anil Kumbhare said Gomane had worked with the Gandhis for the last seven years. Six months ago, he borrowed Rs 30,000 from Rupal for his wedding in Chiplun, Ratnagiri. He returned Rs 7,000 but failed to pay the remainder, said Kumbhare, adding that Gomane earned Rs 4,000 monthly. Last month, he went to Chiplun and did not return. Rupal called him and threatened to lodge a case against him with the police for not repaying the loan and told him to return immediately, Kumbhare added.

Gomane rejoined duty and promised that he would make the balance payment soon. On November 11, while her husband had gone to work, Rupal called Go
mane and blackmailed him. She said she could waive his loan if he killed her mother- and sister-in-law. She promised to pay Rs 5,000 once the plot was executed, and gave him Rs 5,000 in advance, an officer added. She also instructed him not to use any weapon.

Around 3 pm on Sunday, Rupal and Deepak left for the party. At 4 pm, Gomane entered the flat after Ila opened the door. He kicked and punched her and later strangulated her. When her mother
Champa came out of the bedroom, Gomane hit her and she fell to the floor, unconscious. Gomane thought Champa was also dead and left the place, an officer said.

Around 5 pm, Gomane is learned to have made a call to Rupal’s cellphone that the work was done. She returned from the party around 11.30 pm, when her husband discovered the body. Police have seized the instrument as evidence.

To avoid suspicion, Gomane did not leave the building. Police said Rupal even cooperated with them when she was asked to furnish details of her employees.

“We have arrested Gomane on charges of murder and attempt to murder and the court has remanded him in 10-day police custody,’’ said senior inspector Sanjeev Diwadkar. On Tuesday night, Rupal was also arrested for murder and attempt to murder. Neither Gomane nor Rupal was booked for criminal conspiracy.






The Times of India, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sr citizen found murdered in flat -- Kemps Corner Horror: 60-Year-Old’s Mom Also Hurt In Attack



IT’S AN INSIDE JOB, SAY INVESTIGATORS


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: A 60-year-old woman was kicked and punched to death, while her 78-year-old mother was seriously injured after they were attacked by unidentified assailants inside their Kemps Corner flat on Sunday night.

“Nothing was stolen from the flat. Prima facie, it looks like an inside job,” said the Gamdevi police who have registered a case of murder and attempt to murder.

According to the police, the deceased was identified as Ila Harjeevandas Gandhi.

“Ila was unmarried and stayed with her mother, Champa, on the first floor of Sunita Apartments at Sonmarg Cooperative Housing Society. She was suffering from Schizophrenia and was under treatment. The incident came to light after Ila’s younger brother, Deepak, a businessman, contacted us,” a police officer said, adding that the family had three domestic helps, though none of them was present in the flat at the time of the incident.

“Deepak, who stays on the third floor of the same building along with his family, returned home at around 10.30 pm on Sunday. He noticed that the safety door of his
mother’s flat was locked while the inner door was opened. He rang the bell door repeatedly but got no response. He then went to his flat and brought the duplicate keys of the first-floor flat. When he opened the door, he found his mother and sister lying on the floor,” the officer added.

Deepak then called up the police and rushed the two to
Breach Candy Hospital where the doctors pronounced Ila dead. “She (Ila) had bruises and injury marks all over the body. It seems that she was kicked, punched and scratched badly by her attacker. Moreover, the left side of her face was bruised badly indicating that she had been hit by a heavy object. It’s also possible that her head must have been banged against the wall,” an investigator said.

“We have sent Ila’s body to JJ Hospital for a post-mortem and awaiting the reports. The attackers didn’t use any sharp objects. Incidentally, the intercom phone in the room, where the crime took place, was found below a table,” said an officer.

Incidentally, the building is heavily guarded and has three security personnel on
the vigil.

“There is no CCTV installed in the two-storey structure. There is no entry in the visitors’ register book, because of which we suspect an insider’s hand in the crime,” the officer said, adding that the police have recorded the statements of the security guards and the neighbours.


SHOCKING SUNDAY
Ila Harjeevandas Gandhi (60) was found dead in her Kemps Corner flat on Sunday. Her mother was seriously injured. Nothing was stolen from the house The incident took place on the first floor
of Sunita Apartments at Sonmarg Co-op Housing Society

The incident came to light after deceased’s brother, Deepak (52), found the door locked and no one responded when he rang the bell. He then used the duplicate key to open the door

The police found the intercom lying
on the floor There could have been a scuffle between the victims and the attackers The building has three security guards.

They say no stranger entered the building

The Gandhis have three domestic helps but none of them was present in the flat at the time of the incident


The Times of India, November 16, 2010

City police see through kidnap complaint of cheated youth


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: A youth, who was out to make a quick buck, found he was cheated by his associates. So, he lodged a police complaint alleging that he had been kidnapped and robbed. However, on sustained interrogation by the cops, the youth broke down and revealed the real story. Following this, the police succeeded in nabbing one of the accused in the case.

The accused has been identified as Om Prakash Singh (32), a Patna resident. The complainant, Jagdish Yadav, who originally belongs to Bihar, had complained to the Shivaji Park police that he was going to deposit his employer’s Rs 15,000 in a bank when three persons in a Maruti Van accosted him near Plaza cinema in Dadar. “The trio, whose faces were hidden behind burqas, forced me into the car. Later, they snatched my phone and cash and drop
ped me at Tilak Terminus,” Yadav had told in his statement. According to Yadav, the incident happened at around 10 am on October 14.

“We were surprised to learn that he was kidnapped from a crowded place like Dadar. When we questioned him thoroughly, he told us the truth,” said assistant inspector Anagha Satavase of the crime branch. “On that day, he was going to the bank when three cheats stopped him. They introduced themselves as robbers and said they had stolen Rs 1.5 lakh. The “robbers” said they needed to deposit the money in a bank account and also promised a 50% commission to Yadav if he agreed. Yadav did agree and was given bundle of notes covered with a cloth. The robbers asked him to give them whatever he had with him. They took his Rs 15,000,” said Satavase.


She said when Yadav opened the bundle, there was only one Rs 1,000 note the rest were note size papers. Based on Yadav’s statement, the police arrested Singh and are looking for his associates. The police said this group had been cheating people across Maharashtra. They cheated some people at Pune, Kalyan, Belapur and in Bhoiwada area too, said an officer.

The Times of India, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fraud suspects say they gave . 900 cr to investors


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Suspected fraudulent company, Aryarup Tourism and Club Resort, has claimed on various websites that it distributed over Rs 900 crore to its investors in one year. The firm also claims to have produced more than 400 crorepatis in the country through its various schemes. The city police are hunting for two of its directors, Ravindra Deshmukh and his wife Vasuda Deshmukh, for duping investors. According to police sources, all offices belonging to the firm have now been shut.

The fraud came to light when a Mumbaibased businessman lodged a complaint with the economic offences wing (EOW), stating that he was duped of Rs 81 lakh with promises of fast money and handsome profits in various schemes run by Aryarup. The company, on various websites, mentions that it crossed a turnover of more than Rs 1,550 crore on March 31, 2010. According to sources, Aryarup could have more than one lakh investors.


The EOW has told banks to freeze the company’s sixteen accounts in which investors had deposited over Rs 12.5 crore. The company would lure investors with a promise of returns between 87% and 96% on investments. An investor gave lakhs of rupees and for a while, the company did pay him an amount. “But all of a sudden, they stopped making payments,” said an officer. The suspects had opened branches in various parts of Haryana, Gujarat and other states. In Maharashtra, they started companies in Buldana, Nashik, Nanded, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Mumbai, Parbhani, Jalgaon, Bhusawal, Pune and Latur among other places. “The company has more than 15,000 investors in the state,” said an EOW officer.

According to sources, the company founders also claimed that it would soon be
entering the Limca Book of Records for having the highest turnover in the multi-level marketing (MLM) industry in the first year itself, producing the highest number of crorepatis. The company also claimed that even after distributing huge profits to its investors, it still has a standing property of over Rs 500 crore, which includes Aryavarta Lake View, Murbad (Rs 21crore), Aryarup Jalsa, Jaipur (Rs 170 crore), Aryavarta Peshwai, Pune (Rs 200 crore), the company is going to buy a new resort in Goa (Rs 50 crore), a new resort in Lonavla (Rs 20 crore) and another property in Jharkhand near Ranchi (around Rs 100 crore).

According to experts, there are over 300 such companies operating in India and the schemes would have mobilized an amount of over Rs 7,000 crore till date.



MODUS OPERANDI

• Fraudulent companies target those who want fast cash

• They then float new schemes. Promoters (those with experience) announce a scheme and start collecting money

• The money collected is then used to reimburse the initial investor. People start getting money, more people invest

• As money is collected from new investors, commissions are paid to those who had joined earlier from that kitty of new investors

• The older investors start showing cheques they have received to new investors and prospects, which boosts their confidence

• They start getting their friends and relatives to invest

• Once a huge amount is collected, the founders shut shop and flee


The Times of India, November 15, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

‘Spiderman’ thief caught in the act at Charni Road




Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: His ability to scuttle up and down the walls and drainpipes of buildings and then vanish into thin air (after pocketing valuables from the houses) has earned him the sobriquet of “Spiderman”. But his “skills” finally failed him when he was caught red-handed by the V P Road police last week. Spiderman thief Muqueem Zargar (22) was climbing up a building at Khetwadi in Charni Road and had almost reached the fourth floor when a police patrol team spotted him. Zargar tried his best to flee but got caught.

According to the police, they had been trying to nab Zargar for the past few months, but every time he would give them the slip. “Last week, a sevenmember police team was patrolling the streets when it spotted someone scaling the drainpipe of a building. A constable flashed his torch at the person and he tried to hide his face and began to climb even faster,” said a police official. “While three policemen waited outside the building, the rest ran inside and took the stairs till the fourth floor. However, the thief had managed to find a hiding place. Suddenly, we heard a thud and saw Zargar jump on the terrace of another building. The policemen, who were waiting downstairs, were instructed to cordon off the next house and Zargar was eventually caught.” In the melee, the policemen forgot about any aide that Zargar might have with him. In fact, he did have one, Zaheer, who managed to escape. He was reportedly waiting on the road below the building when Zargar was climbing up.

The police have recovered stolen booty and cash collectively worth Rs 6.09 lakh. An officer said, “The duo would target buildings with minimum security. While Zargar would climb up the houses, Zaheer would keep a watch.” Both the accused are originally from Uttar Pradesh and have been staying in a guest house in the city for several years.



The Times of India, November 13, 2010

Prisoners to offer a unique angle to crime

SEMINAR IN JAILS

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: What is crime? Does society single-handedly push a person to the other side of law?
It’s not sociologists but convicts and undertrials who will answer these questions and give a discourse on the social evil at a unique seminar that will be held in several of the jails in the state in two weeks. Film-makers Gulzar, Prakash Jha and Shyam Benegal and lyricist Javed Akhtar are likely to preside over the event.

Inspector-general of prisons Surinder Kumar had earlier arranged for competitions such as tug-of-war and rangolis for inmates. This is the first time that Kumar, who is the brain behind the seminar, has decided to lend these interactive sessions a “debate” touch. “The inmates could recount the experiences of their lives and offer a different angle to crime. Their tales may come as a deterrant for others,” said Kumar. Each speaker will get four to five minutes to express their views on ‘what is crime?’, ‘what is the role of NGOs?’, ‘what is the role of government?’, ‘is society solely responsible for a crime?’ and ‘what is the way to prevent crimes?’.

However, it isnot clear if suspended IPS officer Saji Mohan will participate in the seminar. Mohan, former zonal director of Narcotics Control Bureau in Kochi, was arrested last year on for possessing, stealing and selling heroine. He is currently at the Arthur Road jail. A jail official said, “If he wants, he is free to tae part. The programme is open to all the inmates.”

The Times of India, Novembre 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

IG SHOOTS OFF LETTER TO JJ HOSPITAL DEAN

‘Prisoners must be admitted only to the dedicated ward’

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The state prison department has written to the dean of JJ Hospital, T P Lahane, asking him to admit prisoners in the prisoners’ ward only.

It is learnt that the letter was sent to Lahane last week after the jail authorities found that several prisoners, admitted to the staterun JJ Hospital for treatment, were kept in general wards. “Senior officers found that some inmates, who were supposed to be kept in ward number 44 (prisoners’ ward) were not admitted there. Instead, they were found chatting with friends, family members and others in the general ward. This might have forced senior officials to write the letter,” said a source. Two boys were caught talking to an inmate in the hospital on Wednesday. They were handed over to the JJ Marg police. According to sources, some prisoners feign illness and get admitted to hospital so that they can interact with their associates or family members.


Some inmates manage to get themselves admitted to the ICU so that they can meet their associates or family members, said a source. “When an inmate is shifted to JJ Hospital, he/she should be kept in the prisoners’ ward and no one is allowed to meet him/ her. But, in the general ward, inmates manage to meet anyone and even chat for hours,” said an official. “Diesel king Mohammed Ali Shaikh, arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder of Chand Madar, a shipping firm owner, got himself admitted in the JJ Hospital feigning chest pain. Though he was kept in the general ward for a short time, it is unacceptable,” said a jail official.

When contacted, Surinder Kumar, inspector-general (prisons), confirmed that he had sent a
letter to JJ Hospital authorities. “The letter stated that routine cases or patients who don’t need to be admitted to the ICU should not be kept in any ward other than the prisoners’ ward. Sometimes, inmates’ relatives come to meet them in the hospital. We have instructed our staff to keep an eye and ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future,” said Lahane.


The Times of India, November 12, 2010

IG SHOOTS OFF LETTER TO JJ HOSPITAL DEAN


‘Prisoners must be admitted only to the dedicated ward’

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The state prison department has written to the dean of JJ Hospital, T P Lahane, asking him to admit prisoners in the prisoners’ ward only.

It is learnt that the letter was sent to Lahane last week after the jail authorities found that several prisoners, admitted to the staterun JJ Hospital for treatment, were kept in general wards. “Senior officers found that some inmates, who were supposed to be kept in ward number 44 (prisoners’ ward) were not admitted there. Instead, they were found chatting with friends, family members and others in the general ward. This might have forced senior officials to write the letter,” said a source. Two boys were caught talking to an inmate in the hospital on Wednesday. They were handed over to the JJ Marg police. According to sources, some prisoners feign illness and get admitted to hospital so that they can interact with their associates or family members.


Some inmates manage to get themselves admitted to the ICU so that they can meet their associates or family members, said a source. “When an inmate is shifted to JJ Hospital, he/she should be kept in the prisoners’ ward and no one is allowed to meet him/ her. But, in the general ward, inmates manage to meet anyone and even chat for hours,” said an official. “Diesel king Mohammed Ali Shaikh, arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder of Chand Madar, a shipping firm owner, got himself admitted in the JJ Hospital feigning chest pain. Though he was kept in the general ward for a short time, it is unacceptable,” said a jail official.

When contacted, Surinder Kumar, inspector-general (prisons), confirmed that he had sent a
letter to JJ Hospital authorities. “The letter stated that routine cases or patients who don’t need to be admitted to the ICU should not be kept in any ward other than the prisoners’ ward. Sometimes, inmates’ relatives come to meet them in the hospital. We have instructed our staff to keep an eye and ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future,” said Lahane.


The Times of India, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Couple held for 81 lakh investment fraud



Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the city police has registered a case against a husband-wife duo who posed as directors of an investment company and cheated thousands of investors across the country.

Sixteen bank accounts, in which investors had deposited over Rs 12.5 crore, have been frozen.

Sources in the EOW identified the suspects as Ravindra Deshmukh and his wife Vasuda Deshmukh, both directors of Arya Rup Travel and Club Resort. “A Mumbai-based businessman Arun Salunkhe lodged a complaint saying that he had been lured with a promise of returns between 87% and 96% on his investment in the company. He invested lakhs of rupees and for a while, the company did pay him some amount. But all of a sudden, they stopped making payments,” said an offi
cer. The police have so far received cheating complaints amounting to Rs 81 lakh. The suspects had opened branches in various parts of Haryana, Gujarat and other states. In Maharashtra, they started their company in Buldana, Nashik, Nanded, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Mumbai, Parbhani, Jalgaon, Bhusawal, Pune and Latur among others. “There were more than 15,000 investors in the company,” said an EOW officer.

The duo used to ask the victim to invest any amount more than Rs 5,000 for a travel and club resort. Moreover, the investor was told that he was entitled to additional profit if he brought more investors. “The company also floated other schemes. We are still receiving complaints from various parts of the country,” said the officer.

“The duo had two rented offices in Mumbai. After the complaint was made, when the police reached these offices, it was found that the offices were shut and had been rented for some time. The police then reached the duo’s Pune bungalow but it, too, had been let out on rent and the accused had fled by then,” he said.

The company also had a website through which it opened accounts for its investors. The accused allotted login names and passwords to the investors and said that their profit would automatically be transferred into their accounts. The web site has been blocked now.
mateen.hafeez@timesgroup.com


The Times of India, November 11, 2010