Friday, December 31, 2010

Tainted cop Arun Borude committed suicide


The Senior Inspector Called Up Brother Before The Incident To Say He Had Been Defamed And That He Did Not Want To Live



Mateen Hafeez & Tarachand Mhaske TNN


Mumbai/Shrirampur: A tempo, decorated with flowers and garlands, was stationed outside the post-mortem centre in Ahmednagar to carry dismissed senior inspector Arun Borude’s body on Thursday. Written on it in bold letters was ‘Arun Borude Amar Rahe’. The tempo also carried a large photo frame of Borude in police uniform.

Borude, accused in the rape of a 15-year-old Powai girl, allegedly committed suicide on the railway tracks near Shrirampur station. He was found unconscious on the tracks but succumbed to his injuries while being taken to a hospital. The incident took place on Wednesday afternoon on the Daun-Manmad tracks.

Borude’s body was identified after two hours. In their statement, Borude’s family members told the cops that he had committed suicide due to “false media reports which damaged his reputation”.

“His relatives told the police that a section of police officers and some criminals had framed him in a false case. They further said that he was so disappointed that he called
up his younger brother, Prakash, just half an hour before the incident and said that he had been defamed and he did not want to live any longer. Borude also told Prakash to take care of his family after him. Moreover, he informed Prakash about his location at Shrirampur and asked him to collect his body within half an hour. He then switched off his mobile phones,” said Sunil Kadasane, additional superintendent of police.

He is survived by a son, Amit, who is studying for his MBA in the US; daughter, Laxmi; and wife, Aruna, who was at her mother’s home in Vejapur at the time of the incident.
According to Kadasane, after informing Prakash about his decision, Borude lay down on the tracks but when saw a train approach, he got up. “Soon after several boggies passed, he jumped in front of the train and was badly hit,” said Kadasane. While the police recovered Borude’s police identity, his service revolver was not with him.

Borude’s family was in a state of shock and refused to comment. It is learnt that they may shift to Ahmednagar.


The Times of India, December 31, 2010

Purohit’s bail plea rejected


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Thursday rejected the bail applications filed by three suspects, arrested for plotting the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast that killedsix persons.

According to ATS officials, the bail applications of lieutenant colonel Prasad Purohit, Ajay Rahirka and Rakesh Dhawadewere rejectedby judgeYatin D Shinde. While Purohit was convenor of the Abhinav Bharat, Rahirkar was its treasurer. Eleven members of Abhinav Bharat were arrested for theMalegaon blast.

Judge Shinde had in 2009 dropped the MCOCA charges from thecase andtransferredit to a Nashikcourt.


The Times of India, December 31, 2010

Rapist cops mar force’s reputation



STAINS 0N KHAKI


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Deceased cop Arun Borude was not the only police officer to be allegedly involved in crimes such as rape and molestation.

The list of such personnel in the Mumbai police force is long. While senior police officials condemn such acts, they distance themselves from the culprits saying what an officer does off duty is not their responsibility.

Borude (53), who had a controversial career in the police force, fled from the city after his name cropped up in the Powai minor rape case.

Borude allegedly raped the 15-year-old girl who later got pregnant and delivered a baby girl in October this year.

Senior police officials said there is need for complete sensitization of rogue cops. They blame long work hours and pressures for making police
men take to crime. “How can we keep tabs on what a policemen does when not on duty? Whenever such cases come to our notice, we take action,” said an officer.

There have been a series of such cases but few have got as wide a coverage as that of rapist cop Sunil More. The Marine Drive constable had dragged a college student inside a police chowkie and
raped her on April 21, 2005. He was dismissed from the department under Article 311 of the Constitution. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.

While the force was still struggling to wipe off the stain, another police constable, Chandrakant Pawar, attached to the Sahar aiport police, was arrested for raping a minor rag-picker on October 17, 2005. While Pawar hit the headlines for his ‘shameful

act’, he escaped much media attention because the punishment came two days after the 7/11 train blasts. A DNA test proved that he raped the girl while drunk near the airport. A trial was concluded quickly, within nine months of
his arrest. He was found guilty of rape, kidnapping, assault and abduction through abuse of official power.

On July 13, 2006, he was sentenced to 15 years’ rigorous imprisonment.

In December this year, the Ambernath police registered a case against a constable posted with the State Reserve Police Force of the Mumbai police for allegedly raping a 20-year-old girl after promising to marry her. The constable, Sanjay Rathod (26), is absconding since the case was registered against him. Rathod, who resided at Santa Cruz, was unmarried while the victim, his relative, lived at Buvapada in Ambernath. Rathod frequently visited her residence, where he took advantage of the fact that she was divorced.

After the alleged rape, the victim got pregnant and asked Rathod to marry her. He refused.


The Times of India, December 31, 2010

Rapist cops mar force’s reputation



STAINS 0N KHAKI


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Deceased cop Arun Borude was not the only police officer to be allegedly involved in crimes such as rape and molestation.

The list of such personnel in the Mumbai police force is long. While senior police officials condemn such acts, they distance themselves from the culprits saying what an officer does off duty is not their responsibility.

Borude (53), who had a controversial career in the police force, fled from the city after his name cropped up in the Powai minor rape case.

Borude allegedly raped the 15-year-old girl who later got pregnant and delivered a baby girl in October this year.

Senior police officials said there is need for complete sensitization of rogue cops. They blame long work hours and pressures for making police
men take to crime. “How can we keep tabs on what a policemen does when not on duty? Whenever such cases come to our notice, we take action,” said an officer.

There have been a series of such cases but few have got as wide a coverage as that of rapist cop Sunil More. The Marine Drive constable had dragged a college student inside a police chowkie and
raped her on April 21, 2005. He was dismissed from the department under Article 311 of the Constitution. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.

While the force was still struggling to wipe off the stain, another police constable, Chandrakant Pawar, attached to the Sahar aiport police, was arrested for raping a minor rag-picker on October 17, 2005. While Pawar hit the headlines for his ‘shameful

act’, he escaped much media attention because the punishment came two days after the 7/11 train blasts. A DNA test proved that he raped the girl while drunk near the airport. A trial was concluded quickly, within nine months of
his arrest. He was found guilty of rape, kidnapping, assault and abduction through abuse of official power.

On July 13, 2006, he was sentenced to 15 years’ rigorous imprisonment.

In December this year, the Ambernath police registered a case against a constable posted with the State Reserve Police Force of the Mumbai police for allegedly raping a 20-year-old girl after promising to marry her. The constable, Sanjay Rathod (26), is absconding since the case was registered against him. Rathod, who resided at Santa Cruz, was unmarried while the victim, his relative, lived at Buvapada in Ambernath. Rathod frequently visited her residence, where he took advantage of the fact that she was divorced.

After the alleged rape, the victim got pregnant and asked Rathod to marry her. He refused.


The Times of India, December 31, 2010

Rapist cops mar force’s reputation



STAINS 0N KHAKI


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Deceased cop Arun Borude was not the only police officer to be allegedly involved in crimes such as rape and molestation.

The list of such personnel in the Mumbai police force is long. While senior police officials condemn such acts, they distance themselves from the culprits saying what an officer does off duty is not their responsibility.

Borude (53), who had a controversial career in the police force, fled from the city after his name cropped up in the Powai minor rape case.

Borude allegedly raped the 15-year-old girl who later got pregnant and delivered a baby girl in October this year.

Senior police officials said there is need for complete sensitization of rogue cops. They blame long work hours and pressures for making police
men take to crime. “How can we keep tabs on what a policemen does when not on duty? Whenever such cases come to our notice, we take action,” said an officer.

There have been a series of such cases but few have got as wide a coverage as that of rapist cop Sunil More. The Marine Drive constable had dragged a college student inside a police chowkie and
raped her on April 21, 2005. He was dismissed from the department under Article 311 of the Constitution. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.

While the force was still struggling to wipe off the stain, another police constable, Chandrakant Pawar, attached to the Sahar aiport police, was arrested for raping a minor rag-picker on October 17, 2005. While Pawar hit the headlines for his ‘shameful

act’, he escaped much media attention because the punishment came two days after the 7/11 train blasts. A DNA test proved that he raped the girl while drunk near the airport. A trial was concluded quickly, within nine months of
his arrest. He was found guilty of rape, kidnapping, assault and abduction through abuse of official power.

On July 13, 2006, he was sentenced to 15 years’ rigorous imprisonment.

In December this year, the Ambernath police registered a case against a constable posted with the State Reserve Police Force of the Mumbai police for allegedly raping a 20-year-old girl after promising to marry her. The constable, Sanjay Rathod (26), is absconding since the case was registered against him. Rathod, who resided at Santa Cruz, was unmarried while the victim, his relative, lived at Buvapada in Ambernath. Rathod frequently visited her residence, where he took advantage of the fact that she was divorced.

After the alleged rape, the victim got pregnant and asked Rathod to marry her. He refused.


The Times of India, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Borude charge sheet filed the same day as his death

Arun Borude’s family, including his wife, reached Shrirampur by 3 pm




Mateen Hafeez, Tarachand Mhaske and Rebecca Samervel TNN


“I spoke to him for 15-20 minutes and he sounded absolutely normal. He was well aware of all the developments in the case,” Chomal said.

He, too, said that Borude’s brother Prakash had spoken to Arun at 9 am on Wednesday, and
the latter had showed no signs of stress.

“His family is in a state of shock as his death was unexpected. Right from the beginning, Borude knew exactly how he was going to be implicated in the case, including the version of the police and the media hype that it was going to generate,” the lawyer said.


Ironically, on Wednesday morning, the Powai police filed a charge sheet against Borude and the other accused in the rape of the minor at the special Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA) court at Mazgaon. The accused have been charged with rape, illegal confinement and relevant sections of PITA. Although with Borude’s death, his name will no longer feature as an accused in the case, the prosecution will probe his role to support their case and establish the circumstances against the other accused.

Borude went on sick leave on November 5 this year after he came under the cops’ scanner for allegedly raping the minor girl. He had been absconding ever since.


The victim, a resident of Filter Pada, a Powai slum, had lodged a complaint against several people, including Borude, stating that she was threatened, wrongfully confined and raped repeatedly. The girl, who fell pregnant after the crime, delivered a baby girl at Rajawadi Hospital on October 17.

Following public outrage, Borude was dismissed from the police force on November 17 on grounds of immoral conduct. A few days later, on November 22, a lookout notice was issued against him and all the airports across the country were put on alert.

Police commissioner Sanjeev Dayal termed the rape and his escape “shameful” for the force and stated that the department was “very angry” with Borude.


Borude was knocked down on the Daund-Manmad railway tracks, 300 m from Shrirampur (West) railway station. At the time of the “accident”, he was wearing black trousers and a blue shirt. “It seems that Borude had come with the intention of committing suicide but changed his mind at the last moment. He could have tried
to jump to the other side, and during that time, the train hit him. Had he been standing on the tracks, he would have sustained multiple injuries,” Kadasane said. The police recovered Borude’s police identity card and a mobile phone from the spot, but Borude’s service revolver was not with him when he died. The Shrirampur railway police have registered a case of accidental death under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Krishna Prakash, superintendent of Ahmednagar police, told TOI that three Muslim boys had seen “someone” roaming on the tracks. “We are busy recording their statements. The boys had informed the railway police that someone was talking over the

phone while standing near the tracks. Later, the railway police got information about an accident,” he said. However, it was Borude’s brother inlaw Badhade Patil who rushed him to Kamgar Sahakari Hospital in Shrirampur.

Patil told police that he had received a phone call from Borude’s brother Prakash from Ahmednagar that the excop had met with an accident on the railway tracks, and instructed him to reach there. Patil, who stays in Belapur, 10 km from Shrirampur, rushed to the spot in an autorickshaw and took Borude to hospital.

After administering first aid, doctors suggested that Borude be shifted to the superspecialty Sai Hospital in Shirdi. “He was taken to the hospital in Shirdi, but pronounced dead on arrival,” said Krishna Prakash.


The police officer added that Prakash Borude told them that someone had used Borude’s mobile phone and dialled Prakash’s number. “Someone called me saying that the person holding this number (Borude) had met with an accident on the rail
way tracks and was bleeding. After getting this news, I called my brother in-law Patil,” Prakash Borude told police. A Mumbai police team has also reached Shrirampur and was assisting local police in the probe.

By 3 pm, Borude’s family members, including his wife, had reached Shrirampur. Around 6 pm, Borude’s body was sent to Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences (also called Pravara Medical College) in Loni, Ahmednagar.

His family members told the police that they had been unaware of his whereabouts.

Himanshu Roy, Mumbai crime branch chief, said that at this stage, it was difficult to say whether it was a case of accident or suicide, and that the police was probing the case.


Borude had been on the run and there were reports that he had committed suicide in November. At least 10 police teams had been formed to trace Borude in the rape case.

Police teams visited his hometown Ahmednagar several times, but in vain. In Mumbai, Borude lived at Emerald Court building in Andheri (East).

The rape of the girl had also taken place in the same building earlier this year. There were theories that Borude had escaped to Nepal, but this could not be confirmed. He had been filing bail applications through his lawyer, but the high court had rejected his bail.


Police also found that Borude had broken into several sealed rooms at Emerald Court and had ‘rented’ them out. A probe was also on against him for holding benami properties. After the alleged rape, his family had also gone underground. Powai police had arrested a woman, Shanta Bai Gaikwad, and two real estate agents in the rape case. A separate case had been filed against Borude for trespassing and house-breaking as the house where the alleged crime took place was disputed and had been sealed by a court receiver.


Borude first courted controversy after a bomb blast accused, Khwaja Yunus, was beaten to death at the Powai lock-up of the crime branch in 2002—Borude was in charge of the lock-up.

Later, a case of murdering Yunus was registered on the instructions of the high court. In 2006, Borude had been transferred to Amravati, but did not take charge and went on sick leave. In 2009, he was brought back to Mumbai as senior inspector at LT Marg police station.



Brief history:
Arun Borude (53) was born and brought up in Ahmednagar. He lived in Mumbai from 1983 to October 2010. Borude was married with two grownup children; his son works in a bank and daughter is an MBA student


Batch:

He joined the police force in 1983 as sub-inspector. His batch included controversial encounter specialists such as Pradip Sharma, Ravindra Angre and Praful Bhosale. Borude himself was part of 32 encounters


First controversy:

In 2003, a bomb blast accused, Khwaja Yunus, was beaten to death at the crime branch’s Powai lockup, where Borude was in-charge. He was transferred to Amravati. Instead, he went on sick leave in 2006


His return:
In spite of his record, Borude was put in charge of L T Marg police station in 2009. In November 2010, a minor lodged a complaint with Powai police stating she was raped by a police officer. She named Borude

Dismissal:
Soon after his name cropped up in the alleged rape case, Borude went on sick leave. City police commissioner dimissed him from the force on November 17


Death:
He was killed on the railway tracks near Shrirampur on Wednesday


Charge sheet:
On Wedneday again, the Powai police filed a charge sheet against Borude and the other accused in the rape of the minor in the special Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act court at Mazgaon. With Borude's death, though, his name will no longer feature as an accused


The Times of India, December 30, 2010

‘Rapist cop’ Borude killed on rly tracks



He Intended Suicide, Changed His Mind, But Too Late: Police


Mateen Hafeez, Tarachand Mhaske and Rebecca Samervel TNN


Mumbai/Shrirampur: Dismissed senior police inspector Arun Borude of LT Marg police station, an accused in the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl earlier this year, was found dead on Wednesday after a speeding train hit him on the Daund-Manmad railway tracks at Shrirampur. The incident took place around 11.45 am, and Borude’s body was identified two hours later. He had been on the run for 50 days.

Police said Borude (53) had reached the tracks with the intent to commit suicide, but had had second thoughts. However, he did not have time to save himself from the speeding train.


Sunil Kadasane, additional SP (Ahmednagar), said Borude was hit by the Sampark Kranti Express, on its way from Yeshwantpur to Nizamuddin in New Delhi. The engine driver of the train told Powai police on Wednesday afternoon that he had seen a person standing on the tracks, but the train had knocked him down before he could react.

Borude sustained injuries on his chest and head and fractured his leg. He succumbed to his injuries while being taken to Sai Hospital in Shirdi. He is survived by his wife, a daughter and a son.
From the 1983 batch of subinspectors, he had participated in roughly 32 encounters.

A police official said Borude had informed his brother by phone that he was going to kill himself. Borude’s counsel Naveen Chomal said the former cop had been in touch with him since November 10 and that he had last spoken to him on Monday.



STAIN ON KHAKI


Accused Of Raping Minor
A 15-year-old girl lodges a complaint with Powai police on Nov 1, 2010 that she was raped and threatened with death between Feb and March this year by a police officer (whom she identifies as senior inspector Borude of LT Marg police station) and others. She delivers a baby girl on Oct 17. Borude goes on sick leave from Nov 5, absconds from Nov 9


Dismissed From Force
Borude dismissed from police force on November 17 under Article 311 of the Constitution. Lookout notice issued against him on November 22; all airports alerted in case he tries to flee the country. Powai police declare Borude a wanted accused in rape case on November 15. At least 10 police teams formed to hunt him down. Cops file chargesheet under Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act at Mazgaon court on Wednesday

Lawless & Corrupt?
l Borude broke into several sealed rooms in Emerald Court building in Andheri (E)—where he lived—and ‘rented’ them out. Separate case against him for trespassing, house-breaking as house where alleged rape took place had been sealed by court l He was also being probed for owning four benami flats there, a bungalow in Ahmednagar and a resort in Matheran

Sex, Guilt & Escape Theory
l Cops said Borude believed sex with a virgin would rid him of all problems, and this could have prompted minor’s rape l Rumours said he fled to Nepal l Some reports said he had committed suicide in November


The Times of India, December 30, 2010

Stolen gold worth 5 crore recovered


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Mumbai crime branch arrested two brothers and recovered 23 kg of gold which they had stolen on December 7.

Those arrested were identified as Paresh Rawal (24) and his brother Raju Rawal (28). Paresh, who was originally from Pune, used to work for a Kalbadevi jeweller and was responsible for transporting gold from Mumbai to New Delhi.

Amin Shaikh, an ex-corporator from Pune, convinced the Rawals to flee with the gold. On December 7, when Paresh reached Mumbai with the gold, Shaikh( a historysheeter) and Raju met him at the station. “Raju kept 20 kg of gold, while Paresh fled to Goa with 3 kg of gold,” Himanshu Roy, crime branch chief, said.

Paresh was arrested in Goa on December 1. The police apprehended Raju in Mumbai on Wednesday.

The police are looking out for Shaikh and his brother, who are believed to have incited the two accused to commit the crime.


The Times of India, December 30, 2010

36,000 COPS TO PATROL CITY ROADS




Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: With the countdown to New Year’s Eve reaching one, the police have turned the entire city into a fortress. While several companies of the state reserve police force,comprising 1,000 men, are camping across Mumbai,there are 35,000 police personnel to patrol the roads.

Police sources said no cop can take leave. Also, there are restrictions on weekly offs. “Right from a police constable to the commissioner, everyone will be working on New Year’s Eve,” said a senior police officer. Roughly 1,200 home guards are expected to join the police to maintain order.


The police have already deployed hundreds of personnel near the Gateway of India. “There is a reason why we are focusing on this area,” said a security source, citing terror threats to the monumental building and to the Hotel Taj Mahal Palace. Policemen from the special branch, whose duty is gathering intelligence, are in mufti near the Gateway. The police have put up temporary chowkies and help centres.

At the Chowpatty, policemen are keeping a tab on troublemakers. “Considering the huge crowd that gathers here on December 31, we are surveying each spot. The policemen will be equipped with GPS-enabled vehicles, besides sophisticated weapons,” a source said. “We have vehicles which can detect arms and explosives by means of X-rays. These vehicles are already out on the roads. They are also equipped with other gadgets.”


The Times of India, December 30, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Police will crack down on dance parties after 1.30 am


UNDER LOCK AND KEY: Security has been tightened near the Taj for New Year’s Eve


Fire-Crackers Till 10 PM, Drinks Can Be Served Till 5 AM


Mateen Hafeez & Vijay V Singh | TNN


Mumbai: The city’s top cops have decided to take stern action even against five-star hotels if they continue dance parties after the 1.30 am deadline on New Year’s Eve. But drinks can be served till 5 am and the lighting of fire-crackers will be allowed till 10 pm.

No boat parties have been permitted for security reasons and anti-narcotic teams will be after rave parties in the city. “Dance shows can go on till 1.30 am, but after this deadline everyone will have to stop or face police action. Nobody will be spared during this drive,” a senior police official said. The official said there had been violations by some hotels, but this time they will prosecute all who break the rules. Dance parties are likely to be organized at more than 120 places, including hotels, in the city. The police said no boat party will be allowed on New Year’s Eve.

“We have not allowed such parties for two years. This year too, no such party will be allowed for security reasons,” said Rajnish Seth, in charge of the city’s law and order. Many private firms that had been conducting such parties had given applications but they were rejected. Last week, Nawal Bajaj, additional commissioner of police (south region), had said that boat parties would be allowed. The city police have banned vehicle entry near the Gateway of India and Hotel Taj Mahal Palace & Tower. “The parking lot near the Gateway has been shut for December 31. Parking will be permitted near the Regal cinema junction. Residents who stay near the Gateway and Hotel Taj have been issued identity cards to take their vehicles inside the banned area,” an officer said. Police sources said teams of the anti-narcotics cell (ANC) will check
out for rave parties. “The ANC has conducted meetings with officers and is keeping an eye on those who had conducted rave parties earlier. Moreover, we are trying to gather information about those planning rave parties,” said an officer from the ANC.

The police have been banned from taking leave and weekly-offs during the New Year’s Eve period. Many companies of the state reserve police force and home guards will be on duty.

All five regions in the city, which have quick response teams (QRT) to tackle terrorism, will be on alert. Every region has 75 QRT commandos each.
The police said they did not have further information about the four suspected terrorists who had sneaked into Mumbai and were planning strikes during Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

The police have told bars, pubs and hotels to arrange their own internal security and have issued them an advisory to make the New Year’s Eve celebrations safe. The police have stated that they will only provide back-up support to the organizers.
Deputy commissioner of police (licencing) Vijaysingh Jadhav said, “We have issued an advisory to all of them, telling them to adopt various steps to ensure a safe celebration. We also told them not to allow extra customers.”

The police had asked for additional security personnel for bandobast. The official stated that besides dealing with the terror suspects, they are giving priority to street crime, as earlier police bandobast was exposed during the celebrations after a molestation was reported outside a

five-star hotel at Juhu. “We will have separate entrances for men, women and families. We are focusing more at Juhu-Chowpatty,” additional commissioner of police (west region) Amitabh Gupta said.

The police said they had instructed hotels, pubs and gymkhanas organizing parties to hire private security guards, metal detectors and other equipment required for internal security. “We will advize them about arrangements. It’s their responsibility to ensure that everybody entering their premises is checked,” an officer said.



The Times of India, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Police want to get ‘fraud’ firm’s properties attached


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The economic offences wing (EOW) officials probing fraudulent company Aryarup Tourism and Club Resort have identified at least five properties allegedly owned by its two directors in various parts of the country. The EOW has now written to the tehsildar offices in those areas asking them to alert the cops if someone comes forward to sell these properties.

The fraud came to light when a Mumbai-based businessman lodged a complaint with the 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 mentions on various websites that it crossed a turnover of Rs 1,550 crore on March 31, 2010.

According to sources, Aryarup could have more than one lakh investors.

“We have identified properties in Rajasthan, Thane, Pune, Navi Mumbai etcetera, which are owned by the directors of Aryarup. The police have also written to the tehsildar offices in those areas to keep a tab on the above
mentioned properties regarding its sale.

“We have also asked if someone comes to sell these properties, the police should be informed immediately,” said a senior EOW official.

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 Arya
varta Lake View, Murbad (Rs 21crore), Aryarup Jalsa, Jaipur (Rs 170 crore), Aryavarta Peshwai, Pune (Rs 200 crore).

The company plans to buy a new resort in Goa (Rs 50 crore), one in Lonavla (Rs 20 crore) and another property in Jharkhand near Ranchi (around Rs 100 crore).

Aryarup had claimed on various websites that it dis
tributed over Rs 900 crore to its investors in one year. 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.

“We are planning to secure these properties as early as possible,” said the official and added that they will try for the attachment process afterwards. 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.


The Times of India, December 28, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Arthur Rd jail inmates set the stage on fire


JAILHOUSE ROCK: Elias Molan (right), a Mexican, dances to a Michael Jackson song with a Nigerian and an Indian inmate


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: It was a unique gathering where suspended IPS officer Saji Mohan, accused in a drug case, diesel king Mohammed Ali Shaikh, diamond thief Elias Campos Molan, a Mexican national to 2006 Malegaon bomb blast suspects, attended or participated in Prisoners’ Sangeet Mehfil. This programme was organized at the Arthur Road jail on Christmas.

Twenty-two-year-old Saurabh Sharma, from Gwaliar, who has been arrested for raping and abducting a minor girl, appeared on stage holding a guitar. Sharma began with a song Kaise Bataayein Kyun (Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani). Sharma, son of a senior divisional railway manager, has been jailed for the last two months. “I had signed a contract with the Discovery Channel but I was arrested before I could start work. I am now doing a Ph D on Indian Classics,” he said.

Molan (39), participated
in a group dance with a Nigerian drug peddler and Indian peddler on Michael Jackson song. He later took the audience by surprise when he produced a Rs 500 note from a lit cigarette.

Surendar Kumar, IG (prisons), said that it was a risk bringing all the 2,000 inmates together. “Our intention is to
provide some leisure to inmates where they can enjoy themselves.” Arthur Road jail superintendent, Ramesh Dhamne, said Mohan organized the programme.

Ashok Rane, deputy superintendent of the jail, said the response was positive and they may conduct a similar programme next month.


The Times of India, December, 26, 2010

Police work overtime after getting more intel tip-offs

Security stepped up near a south Mumbai hotel



Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Even as the police worked overtime on Saturday, trying to trace the four suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba members who had recently sneaked into the city on a terror mission, they were tipped off by intelligence agencies about Indian Mujahideen cadres who were planning an attack on a well-known five-star hotel in south Mumbai. Moreover, the men in khaki-—incidentally, their weekly-offs and leaves have been cancelled till December 31 for the additional security—were also flooded with reports that some terrorists had entered Gujarat and the same gang could even target Mumbai.

After the intelligence agencies sent an input to the police about a possible strike by IM cadres on the five-star hotel, extra safety measures were implemented around it. “We have asked the hotel to be alert and have deployed more policemen there,” an official said. A source in the security establishment added that they suspected that the IM was helping LeT to carry out attacks in India. But none of the recent suspects could be arrested yet.

Following up on the terror alert, the police have arranged for heavy bandobast at several localities. Quick Response Team personnel
have been deployed near police headquarters and Dadar, Bandra and several other places. “Our men are on high alert. We have not got any further information about the terrorists but are working on it,” said crime branch chief Himanshu Checks are also being conducted on guesthouses and hotels where the suspects might be lodged.



The Times of India, December 26, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

No confirmation yet on fugitive gangster Bharat Nepali’s murder



Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: There are reports that elusive gangster Bharat Nepali was killed in Bangkok on December 20. The city crime branch, which deals with organized crime and the underworld, though, insists that they do not have any official confirmation about the death. “There is no official confirmation about it yet,” said crime branch’s chief officer, Himanshu Roy.

Bhagwant Singh (45) alias Vijay Arsingh Kesarsingh Thakur alias Bharat Nepali was reportedly killed on December 20 near City Market in Bangkok. According to the unconfirmed reports, Nepali was shot at around 7 pm (Bangkok time) and six bullets were fired on him. The report further stated that after he was gunned down, the assailants chopped him to pieces. The reports named Viju Gadkari, a Chhota Rajan gangster, as the shooter.

Nepali’s name had cropped up in the murder of advo
cate Shahid Azmi in February earlier this year. Later, a Chhota Rajan gang member, Farid Tanasha, who was out on bail, was also gunned down at his Tilak Nagar residence. In both the cases, Nepali’s name had figured during police investigation.

Nepali joined the Indian Army in 1983 as a driver. He was attached to the Artillery 95 Field Regiment posted in Jammu and Kashmir. In 1994, Nepali was discharged from service after he was found to be medically unfit.

There are approximately
eight cases registered against Nepali with the Mumbai police. He was involved in cases of murder, attempt to murder, conspiracy, cases under the Arms Act, Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and so on.

Originally from Uttar Pradesh, Nepali lived in Chembur in Mumbai when he was introduced to underworld don Chhota Rajan. After being shunted from the army, he became Rajan’s driver and was soon elevated to the level of a gang member. Police sources said Nepali had plotted Tanasha’s murder, which had angered the gang, as he was was close to Rajan. Nepali had reportedly learnt about Tanasha’s ‘income’ from redevelopment projects in Tilak Nagar and was demanding his share. Tanasha refused to pay; he was killed by four gunmen.

Earlier this year, Nepali had claimed responsibility for four high-profile murders. After Rajan escaped a bid on his life in 2002, Nepali took over the reins of the gang.



Gang War On Foreign Soil

1998 |
Chhota Rajan had ordered Bharat Nepalito kill parliamentarian Mirza Dilshad Beg in Nepal. Police said that Rajan had plotted Beg’s murder since he was aware about Beg’s association with Dawood Ibrahim
2000 |Four members of the Chhota Shakeel gang opened fire on his rival, Chhota Rajan, in Bangkok. Rajan was severely injured in the attack but managed to flee. According to unconfirmed reports, he was saved by intelligence officials
2003 | Dawood Ibrahim’s close associate, Sharad Shetty, was allegedly gunned down by Rajan men at an Indian snooker club in Dubai
2004 |
Ejaz Lakdawala, who had split from the Dawood Ibrahim gang, was shot at in Bobby Market in Bangkok. He was busy shopping with his wife and two-year-old daughter Shifa when unidentified shooters opened fire. He escaped the attack
2005 |
Rajan had ordered Nepali to eliminate his own gang member, Balu Dokre, after a fallout. Nepali chopped Dokre into pieces in Mauritius


The Times of India, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

AN EVENING IN POLICE DARBAR





The court has two sections: Darbar-e-Aam & Darbar-e-Khaas


Mateen Hafeez TNN


It was the day’s breaking news: a former secret service agent with the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies had been held for joining hands with terror outfits. Foreign news channels were hinting at the agent’s possible role in Mumbai’s terror strike on November 26, 2008. This little info was enough to excite the city’s crime reporters .

Around 5 pm, all the reporters from various newspapers gathered at a senior cop’s office for “more dope about the case”. Now, this evening meeting, a ritual among crime reporters, was known as Darbar and was held twice a week. Like the royal court of Mughal emperor Akbar, this one too has two sections: Deewan-e-Aam and Deewane-Khaas. It was aam (common) darbar when all journalists together sought bites from this officer, known for his subtle charm and record at cracking high-profile cases. After this, reporters trooped out but some invariably reentered for a secret talk that almost always never exceeded two minutes. This was Darbar-e-Khaas. Preparation for this meeting was set right in the aam meeting: some would SMS their question to officer even though he was barely five feet away, while some would pass a chit to him. The officer would always cooperate, mindful of the media’s need for secrecy.

On that day, reporters waited outside the officer’s chamber, each sending a word to him about the need for a darbar. The minute the officer rang the bell, the desperate-for-news reporters barged in. If the officer was offended with their haste, his smile gave nothing away. He ensured that all the 20 journalists, who entered his chamber, were seated before starting.

“Tell us about the agent’s role in the attack,” asked a journalist. Even before the officer could reply, another asked, “Does the police have the names of hotels he stayed in Mumbai and were you aware about his visit?” The officer kept looking on. Another reporter pipped in, “Sir, the foreign federal agency soures have said the agent did a recce of important installations.
Are you aware?” The officer replied, “No comment!” The journalists did not surrender. “Have you visited the hotels the agent had stayed and recorded the staff ’s statement?” asked a senior reporter. “No comments,” the officer said, adding, “It not our case. Why don’t you inquire with those who arrested the agent”. A TV reporter persisted: “Have you spoken to the Indian federal agency since the places the agent visited were earlier targeted during terror strike. Don’t you want to question the agent ?”

The officer refused to budge: “No comment. We have filed a
chargesheet and the foreign agent is not accused in our case.”

As the officer persisted in keeping mum, the scribes changed their track. Their questions made way for appeals. A reporter said, “Sir, don’t
do this to us. Our editors are waiting for some info.” The man in khakhi didn’t budge: “I don’t know about it.” At this point, the journos appeared to press the panic buttons. “Sir, kuch toh dana paani dal do. Naukri ka sawal hai!” a reporter known for his close equation with the officer pleaded. Another tried flattery: “Sir, we know you will not let us return empty handed.” The officer kept repeating: “I have only two words: No comments.” It seemed to be make-or-break point for one of the journalists, who literally grovelled: “The future of journalism is in your hands, sir.” He continued, “Hamari news ki bhook mita do, hum chale jayenge.” The officer gave no indication if he enjoyed the drama, but he did break his silence. “We knew about the agent’s visit for the last month,” the officer whispered. Most reporters began jotting down in haste as the cop suddenly slipped into his role as a raconteur: he praised his unit for getting information “even before country’s federal agency”. The off-the-record session had just begun, and the reporters were savouring every line. A section of old-timer reporters often remarked that this officer is the best story-teller. The chamber was silent except the officer’s suave tones. Suddenly, a young reporter broke the reverie by asking about the police action vis-à-vis the agent. The officer ignored, offering other story ideas. The young man persisted: “Earlier you said some Mumbai guy did the recce, now the agent’s name has cropped up. Who actually did this?” The officer replied as calmly as ever: “I don’t know about the agent. But, in our case, the Mumbai guy did the recce. You can write this”.

The youngster suddenly got up and retorted with a wide grin: “Janab! I am a journalist and not a stenographer.” But his flourish was largely ignored both by the top cop and other journos. The darbar was still on…


The Times of India, December 23, 2010

Nepalese national held for forging Afghan visas

Jameel (left) and Rahim Miya alias Abdul Kalam Ghaswala


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Malabar Hill police arrested two persons for cheating Nepalese nationals seeking employment and forging visas belonging to Afghanistan consulate.

The two accused allegedly demanded Rs one lakh from each Nepalese national to secure them a job in Afghanistan. Assistant police commissioner Ashok Ingale informed that they had arrested Abdul Kalam Ghaswala alias Rahim Miya (35) and Jameel Ahmed (38) in this case. The two have been remanded in police custody till December 27. “We got a tip-off from the Afghan consulate and approached the travel agent from CBD Belapur Vishnu Suman who had sought help from the consulate to verify if the visa was genuine,” Ingale said.

He added, “Suman’s questioning then led to Miya who originally hails from Nepal
and was staying at Ajanta lodge at Mumbai Central. We picked up Miya who later admitted that he had promised jobs to the unemployed. Miya had approached Suman saying that a foreign firm Diana Corp American Army working in Afghanistan needed helpers. Miya asked Suman to provide personnel and promised to get them Afghan visas. Miya demanded Rs one lakh from each candidate,” said Ingale.

To win Suman’s confi
dence, Miya collected 31 passports belonging to Nepalese nationals who wanted jobs. “Miya forged a visa on his laptop and showed its printout to Suman saying it was a photocopy of the original visa. Suman was uncertain about its authenticity and approached the Afghan consulate. Officials from the consulate later informed the police,” said Shailesh Aanchalwar, assistant inspector from the Malabar Hill police station.

Deputy police commissioner (zone-II) Anil Kumbhare said that there was no monetary loss. “We arrested the two accused before they could get money from the job seekers. However, it’s a case of cheating and breach of trust. We have seized a laptop and mobile and are examin
ing how Miya forged the visa. We are ascertaining if there are more people involved in the crime,” added Kumbhare. The police are also searching the room in Ajanta lodge where Miya stayed.



The Times of India, December 23, 2010

Police tighten security around Taj, Gateway




Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: With New Year’s eve round the corner, the Mumbai police, having received specific intelligence inputs that explosive-laden vehicles could be parked near the Gateway of India, have swung into action and are going all out to ensure that no untoward incident takes place while citizens soak in the festivities.

The police have decided to restrict from December 23 vehicular movement in and around hotel Taj—one of the sites where terrorists had struck on November 26, 2008. Additional commissioner of police (south region) Nawal Bajaj said, “All roads, except for two access points, leading to hotel Taj will remain closed from Thursday (December 23). A notification has been issued. This is being done due to a specific intelligence alert. This arrangement will continue for the next 15 days.” The police will
screen vehicles at Regal circle. “Those staying near hotel Taj will be issued identity cards. We have kept two access points open to go to hotel Taj and the Gateway,” said Bajaj, adding “We are leaving no stone unturned. Policemen will stand guard on five jetties to monitor fishing trawlers and speed boats coming towards the Gateway.”

Considering that many people head to the Gateway to usher in the New Year, the cops have also decided to deploy newly-recruited women constables and sub-inspectors to keep an eye on rowdies and anti-social elements. In the past, there have been cases of molestation and groping at the Gateway on New Year’s eve. “There will
be separate entry points for families and single men. Around 800 women, in plainclothes, will be deployed at various points in south Mumbai,” said Bajaj.

A bomb squad will be stationed near hotel Taj. “Every food truck going to the hotel will be checked. We will draw up a list of the hotel’s food suppliers and do a background check on them,” said Bajaj. There will, however, be no restriction on boats leaving from the Gateway for parties on December 31.

All of Colaba will be under CCTV surveillance from December 29. “We will use high resolution cameras which allow us to zoom in on a subject,” Bajaj said.


State wants central cover for Koyna

Mumbai: In the wake of a possible security threat to Koyna dam, the state government wants a security cover from the central government and withdrawal of images of all the dams in the state from Google Maps. The decision to this effect was taken in the meeting held to take stock of security arrangements for Koyna dam, in Mantralaya, on Wednesday. The dam, located about 200 km from Pune, supplies water to the western region of Maharashtra.

Following intelligence inputs, state home minister R R
Patil had called a meeting of senior bureaucrats and police officials to deal with the issue.

“The government has decided to write to the union government reuesting that it direct Google Maps to withdraw images of the dam from its site. Also, a request for a team of the central industrial security force to guard the dam area would be made,” said a senior official present in the meeting. The state government has already deployed over 200 police personnel to the dam, he added.
Sanjeev Shivadekar | TNN



The Times of India, December 23, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thane blast trial to get over in 2 weeks




Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The trial in the Thane theatre blast and auditoriums in Vashi and Panvel may get over in the next two weeks. The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) had arrested six persons—Ramesh Gadkari (50), Mangesh Nikam (34), Santosh Angre (26), Dr Hemant Chalke, Vikram Bhave (26) and police patil Hari Divekar—in connection with the blasts. The court has examined 80 witnesses in the case.

On June 4, 2008, a bomb had exploded in the parking lot of Gadkari Rangayatan theatre in Thane, injuring seven persons. A play, Amhi Pachpute, was to be staged there. Sanatan Sanstha, a Hindu revivalist group, had protested against the play, saying it portrayed gods and goddesses in poor light. On May 31, 2008, a bomb had ex
ploded at Vishnu Bhave Auditorium in Vashi. On February 20, 2008, a bomb was planted at Cineraj cinema hall in Panvel. “We have filed a 1,925-page charge sheet against the six suspects. Most of the witnesses have deposed before the court. We are hoping that the trial would be over soon,” said an officer who was part of the investigation.

Two of the six accused were sevaks of Sanatan Sanstha, a sister organization of Hindu Janjagran Samiti. The ATS had claimed to have recovered six batteries, one timer and half-a-dozen detonators from near Nikam’s house. According to the ATS, Gadkari, Bhave and Nikam knew how to make bombs and were present when the bombs were being manufactured.



TERROR TRAIL

• June 4, 2008: A bomb explodes in the parking lot of Thane’s Gadkari Rangayatan theatre, injuring seven. A play, A m h i P a c h p u t e, was to be staged there

• May 31, 2008: A blast takes place at Vishnu Bhave Auditorium in Vashi

• February 20, 2008: A bomb is planted at Cineraj cinema hall in Panvel



The Times of India, December 21, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Did Mozawala get help from defence insider?

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The crime branch is now probing whether any government officer attached to the armed forces was in touch with the alleged Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) mole, Javed Mozawala. The police sources, who recovered over 95 electronic private automatic branch exchange (EPABX) phone code numbers belonging to the navy and army offices from the suspect, said it was not easy to get them without the helpe of an insider.

Mozawala, (28), a resident of Infinity Towers in Mazgaon (E), was arrested on December 9 on charges of spying for a foreign country. He was produced before a court and remanded in police custody till December 20. Crime branch sources said that he was allegedly in touch with two Pakistani nationals working at the Pakistan High Commission’s Delhi office.

“Mozawala was found in possession of photos of sensitive installations, dams
and bridges. To click the photos he entered the restricted defence areas, which are inaccessible to the public. We suspect that he could have been provided some support. Otherwise, he would not have been able to take close-ups of sensitive installations like the defence base in Lonavla,” said a senior police official. It is also learned that the crime branch is in the process of writing a letter to the defence authorities. “Mozawala, a class XII pass-out, is not a civil engineer who would have knowledge about the breach point of bridges and dams. He has clicked these photographs with utmost clarity. We also suspect that someone had guided him while clicking the photos of around 25 locations in the country,” said another officer. Among the places photographed by Mozawala is the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. Mozawala, an Indian, is suspected to be a spy for ISI who did a recce of the army’s cantonment area in New Delhi in mid-2010.

The police have seized a computer, a hard disk, five DVDs, two pen drives, a mobile phone, several sim cards, maps, pictures and some documents from Mozawala. He had also drawn some maps relating to the job assigned to him, said a police source. “In the last two years, Mozawala had been paid more than Rs 9 lakh (Indian currency) at the Pakistani Hi
Commission. We want to find out where he spent this money and why he was given Rs 9 lakh when he was already getting his Pakistan visas for free,” said an officer.


The Times of India, December, 19, 2010

4 wives 28 kids ‘reform’ criminal


Accused: ATIQUE SHAIKH

Age:
36
Wives:
Four
Children: 28
Cases: Eight cases of extortion, two cases of attempt to murder and nine cases of assault and robberies.
Currently: Lodged in Ghatkopar central lock-up.


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Fed up of policemen knocking on their door at odd hours, four wives and 28 children of an absconding history-sheeter have forced him to surrender before a local court. With 19 cases against him since 1991, Atique Shaikh, 36, had been on the run for the last two years. “I want a chance to get rid of my criminal identity and spend the rest of my life with dignity,” Shaikh told the Kurla court on Tuesday after his wives and children convinced him that giving himself up might help him get a lighter punishment and start a new life.

According to the police, it was his
children who convinced Shaikh to
quit crime. “They pleaded that otherwise it would be difficult for them
to continue with their studies or to get married,” said a police source. While surrendering, Shaikh, a resident of Baiganwadi in Shivaji Nagar, told the court that he was worried about the future of his wives and children, said a police officer. Over a period, Shaikh had fallen in love with the four women and married them. They all stay in separate houses in Govandi.

Shaikh can help crack many cases

While Shaikh’s eldest son, who is 17, is pursuing a degree in arts, 10 other children are studying in various schools in Govandi. His wives work as domestic help and run their respective families.

The court remanded Shaikh in Shivaji Nagar police’s custody till December 20 and he is now cooling his heels at the Ghatkopar central lock up. Cops from at least six police stations were hunting for Shaikh, wanted in several cases of extortion, robbery, assault and attempts to murder.

Assistant police inspector Bhimrao Valatkar, who is probing the case, said, “Shaikh was a habitual offender. He stepped into the world of crime in 1991. Though he has been arrested in most of the cases and is facing trial, he had been on the run and could not be arrested in two previous cases.” Policemen said Shaikh’s surrender would help them crack pending cases.



The Times of India, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

No chargesheet yet in 26/11 info leakage case

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: It’s been over oneand-a-half years since the city crime branch registered a case under the Official Secrets Act (OSA)—India’s anti-espionage laws—in connection with the leakage of the details of a logbook and a control room conversation on the night of 26/11, but neither a chargesheet has yet been filed nor the final report on the status of the case submitted.

The divulged tape comprises the conversation among the police officials on the field and those monitoring the scene from the control room on the night of November 26, 2008, when a group of 10 Pakistani gunmen unleashed terror on the city, killing 166 people and injuring several more over
the next three days. The logbook contained the details of senior policemen’s movements on that night. Following the leak, three private news channels aired the conversation in January, 2009.

Two months later, on March 2, 2009, inspector Dattatrey Bhargude of the crime branch lodged a complaint with the Azad Maidan police against unidentified persons for stealing the details of the conversation and of the logbook. The case was registered under sections 3 (penalties for spying), 5 (wrongful communication, etc, of information) and 7 (interfering with the police or members of the Armed Forces of Union) of Official Secrets Act, 1923.

After the case was registered, the crime branch bosses had said they would arrest the culprit even if he was from the police and that the charge sheet would be filed after the terror judgment was pronounced. When contacted, additional commissioner of police (detection) Deven Bharti confirmed: “It had not been done yet.”

The crime branch had earlier claimed to have questioned more than 12 policemen, including two IPS officers, but did not reveal the names. Besides, 15 correspondents and four heads of the departments of news channels were also supposed to be interrogated

Anti-Espionage Act
Section 3 Penalties for spying
Offence may invite jail term up to 14 years
Section 5 Wrongful communication, etc, of information
Offence may invite jail term up to three years or fine or both

Section 7
Interfering with officers of the police or members of the Armed Forces of Union
Offence may invite jail term up to three years or fine or both


The Times of India, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

It’s study time for jail inmates

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: A classroom lesson for inmates of the Arthur Road Jail in progress


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Arthur Road jail authorities now have a new mission: they are trying to educate illiterate prisoners. Around 250 inmates, including convicts, have been chosen for the literacy programme in the jail. To teach them, educated prisoners and even the jail police personnel have been selected.

The programme, the first of its kind in the Arthur Road jail, has been initiated by Surender Kumar, inspectorgeneral (prisons). Since the last four months, the jail authorities have been conducting various programmes to reduce the stress faced by the inmates. “We have decided to educate those inmates who do not know how to read and write. For this, we asked them to participate in the education programme,” said Kumar. The literacy classes began three days ago.

Ramesh Dhamane, superintendent of the jail, said they had conducted exams for educated prisoners and selected around 15 from them. The se
lected inmates are teaching the rest of the illiterate inmates. Moreover, an examination of the policemen, including constables and jailors, was also conducted to ascertain whether they could be appointed as supervisors for the literacy programme. “We selected around eight police personnel for this job,” said Dhamane.

The class begins soon after breakfast, at around 9 am. “We have divided the inmates and their teachers barrackwise. If a student inmate faces any problem, he can consult his teacher immediately,”
said Kumar.

Initially, classes for Urdu, Marathi, Hindi and English have been started. “Inmates, who are willing to appear in class X, XII or graduation examinations, will be provided all study materials so that they could get degrees. We want them to become educated so that once they are re
leased from jail, they could get jobs or start their own businesses,” added Kumar.

A separate class for semiliterates has also been started. “The prisoners come to us and express their desire to study. We have also got several educational charts which are used during the classes,” said Kumar.


Free Bhagwad Gita for prisoners
Mumbai:
Celebrating Gita Jayanti, the day Lord Krishna revealed the Bhagwad Gita to Arjun on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) will distribute free copies of the epic to inmates of prisons across Maharashtra throughout the month. This year, Gita Jayanti falls on December 17.

‘‘The main function will be held at Arthur Road jail on Friday,’’ says ISKCON spokesperson Parijata Devi Dasi. ‘‘Beginning that day, we will hand out 30,000 copies of the Gita free of charge at all jails in Mumbai, Nashik, Nagpur, Yerwada, Amravati, Akola, Nanded, Taloja, Yavatmal, Paithan, Ambad and Kolhapur.’’ The programme culminates on December 31.

Believing that positive reinforcement can help reform prisoners, the prison authorities have allowed ISKCON to observe Gita Jayanti which, this year, coincides with Ashura, the tenth day of Moharram. Surender Kumar, IG (prisons), welcomed the move, saying, ‘‘The Gita spreads the message of selfless service and exhorts you to do your duty without focusing on the result. Moharram carries the essence of sacrifice and the fight against injustice, so we are happy to commemorate both occasions.’’ TNN



The Times of India, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ISI ‘mole’ had phone nos of defence units

NUMBERS WERE CONFIDENTIAL



Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The city crime branch and intelligence bureau (IB), who are jointly interrogating alleged ISI mole Javed Mozawala, have recovered more than 87 coded telephone numbers belonging to defence establishments across the country.

According to security sources, most numbers belong to naval establishments. “The numbers were typed on a piece of paper. We are still questioning Mozawala as to whether he received these numbers from someone or prepared a list of these coded telephone numbers for any of his contacts,” said a source.

The numbers belong to electronic private automative branching exchange (EPABX). “These are confidential numbers. How did Mozawala get hold of these and for what purpose? This question must be answered,” said a source.

One of the latest trends in EPABX development is the
VoIP PBX, also known as IPPBX or IPBX, which uses Internet Protocol to carry calls. Most modern PBXs support VoIP.

Mozawala (28), a resident of Infinity Towers at Mazgaon, was arrested last Thursday on charges of spying for a foreign country. On Sunday, he was produced before a court and remanded to police custody till December 20. Crime Branch

sources said he was allegedly in touch with a foreign contact at the Pakistan embassy in New Delhi. Mozawala is suspected to be a spy for Pakistan’s ISI, and that he did a recce of the Indian Army’s cantonment area in New Delhi in mid-2010 and of an important location in Mumbai. He has been booked for forgery and spying.

“We have also recovered two blank certificates of ‘In
flight Management Training’ from him. This is why he has been charged with forgery. The certificates are fake,” the source said. Mozawala is in police custody till December 20.

“It’s too early to say whom Mozwala was in touch with at the Pakistani Embassy in New Delhi. The 15 passports recovered from his house belong to various people, including job seekers who wanted to go abroad. Mozawala owns a private tour and travel agency, and he might have got these passports for visa stamping,” the source said. The police found that Mozawala had an account in a nationalised bank with a total deposit of only Rs 780.

“A team of IB officers from Delhi has come to Mumbai since the recce was done in Delhi too,” the source said. The police have seized a computer, a hard disk, five DVDs, two pen drives, a mobile phone, sim cards, maps, pictures and documents from Mozawala. He had drawn maps related to the job assigned to him, a police source said.


The Times of India, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Probe into Varanasi blast mail reaches dead end

TERROR ATTACK


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Investigations into an e-mail allegedly sent by the banned outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM), after the Varanasi blast, has reached a dead end. The e-mail, sent 21 minutes after the Varanasi blast on December 7, had shown its Internet Protocol (IP) address in Navi Mumbai but due to the unsecured WiFi connection, the police probe has not progressed.

Two persons, including a twoyear-old girl and a woman, were killed and over 20 people injured when a low intensity bomb went off at Sheetla Ghat in Varanasi, a place where devotees were to gather for puja. The blast took place at around 6.35 pm while the e-mail was sent to TV channels at 6.56 pm, claiming the responsibility of a terror attack. However, the e-mail, drafted on December 6 as written in it, did not have any mention of Varanasi.


Initially, it was said that the mail had been sent from Infinity mall in Malad (W). However, location of the mail’s IP address (122.158.42.223) was later traced to Mansarvor building, Sector 17 in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. The unsecured WiFi network, which was used for sending the terror mail, belongs to two Deejay brothers; Nikhil and Akhil Talreja, both in their 20s. Later, the crime branch questioned the brothers and gave them a clean chit, saying that their internet connection had been hacked into. The mail was sent from an ID created on December 6. The mail linked the blast to the 18th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid. The Talrejas had Airtel wi-fi internet connection. The crime branch and the ATSbegan probe in the mail. However, ATS sleuths reached the spot almost one-anda-half hours after the crime branch personnel reached there.

While checking the IP address, the police had also found a server based in China. “However, it had no connection with our case,” said an officer.

“Since the WiFi network was unsecured, the probe has reached a dead end now. Technically, we traced the IP address (belonging to Talrejas) which was used for sending the terror mail. However, it was hacked into. It’s highly difficult to trace the culprits now,” said a source.


The Times of India, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rapist tantrik is a Bangla national

Hasan Was Living In India Illegally


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Tantrik Mehdi Hasan (46), who was arrested on November 28 on charges of raping seven girls, including five minors, is a Bangladesh national and had been staying in India illegally, investigators told a court on Sunday. Sources said the case is likely to be shifted to a fast track court soon.

Hasan, produced before the Esplanade court, was remanded in judicial custody for 15 days. “We have got sufficient evidence that Hasan is a Bangladeshi. He belongs to Dhaka and had crossed the border illegally,” said an officer who is part of the investigation team.

Earlier, Hasan was charged with rape and for causing miscarriage. Hasan has been charged under various sections of the Foreigners Act for staying in the country illegally. Initially, Hasan had told the police that he was a resident of West Bengal. However, when the police reached his given address, it was found that he never stayed there.

The police had arrested Hasan for allegedly raping six girls—all cousins—and their domestic help for over two years. He had promised the families that he would cure their mentally challenged sons. One of the victims is a BDS student, while another is studying Arts in a reputed city college, the third victim is a science student and the youngest victim is just 13 years old who studies in class V. Three of the girls, victims of
alleged rape, had become pregnant and were hospitalized for abortion. “One girl was subjected to abortion thrice,” said a family friend.

Hasan had threatened the victims not to tell anyone about the rapes, saying he would ruin their lives with black magic if they confided in anyone. He came in touch with the victims’ families in 1999 on the pretext of imparting them education.


The police said that Hasan had entered India with his parents when he was just seven years old. “He had forged several documents to show himself as an Indian. He had been staying in various parts of the country,” said an officer. He had also cheated the family of Rs 2 crore, the family source said.

The police, during a raid at his Kalyan hutment, recovered cash amounting to Rs 87.3 lakh and jewellery worth Rs 13.7 lakh.


Victim’s laptop seized from accused
T he police recovered a laptop from the tantrik that belonged to one of the rape victims. “He had taken the laptop from the girls, saying they could misuse it by watching objectionable movies/pictures. It has been sent for forensic analysis. The cops are waiting for the report to find out if the laptop contained any pornographic movie, clipping or photos of victims or others. TNN





The Times of India, December 13, 2010

Sleuths come calling in search of Bhatkals

Mateen Hafeez I TNN

Mumbai: Residents of Qadir building in Kurla (W) are getting unexpected guests these days — sleuths from the Mumbai crime branch and the anti-terrorism squad (ATS).

The police, say residents, enquire about the Bhatkal brothers who used to stay on the first floor. Two rooms owned by the family have been locked since 2006.

The occupants of two other rooms — also owned by the family of terror suspect Roshan Jamal alias Riyaz Bhatkal and his brother Iqbal — said they did not know about the Bhatkals’ whereabouts but were questioned by the police “every time”.

The residents have been told that the police are looking for the Bhatkal brothers in connection with terror email sent from Khalsa College, Navi Mumbai, a private firm in Chembur, and even in Pune’s German Bakery bomb blast case.

The Bhatkals’ father, Mohammed Ismail Shah Bundri, was last seen in Mumbai on April 16, 2008, when he collected the rent for the two rooms.

The 62-year-old, twostorey building is close to Kurla’s vegetable market. The two first-floor rooms
have been rented out for Rs 3,000 a month each. The tenants said they had paid 11 months’ rent in advance. A family had been staying in one room for two years. They said even after the train blasts, a police team had asked them about the Bhatkal brothers. “We told the police that we did not know who Riyaz was. They took down our names, permanent address and telephone numbers and left. The police keep coming for Riyaz,’’ said a neighbour.

No Qadir building resident knew much about Riyaz’s educational background. While some claimed that he had passed Std XII, others said he was a civil engineer who rarely stayed
with his family.

Riyaz’s father, along with his two sons and two daughters, stayed in the rooms till 2006. “The family rented out the rooms due to police visits and probably went to their hometown, Bhatkal, in Karnataka,’’ a resident said.

The crime branch claimed that Bhatkal was a cofounder of the Indian Mujahideen (IM). The police also said he supplied 10 kg of gelatine and ammonium nitrate, 15 detonators, 8 kg of ball bearings and four electronic circuits used in bombs.

The consignment was seized after Riyaz’s protege and IM’s second-in-command, Sadiq Shaikh, was arrested last Tuesday.


Who Is Riyaz Bhatkal?
Riyaz is an accused in blasts/terror plots at the following places:
Oct 29, 2005 | Paharganj, Sarojini Nagar and Gopal Nagar in Delhi
March 7, 2006 | Sankat Mochan temple, Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi (unexploded) Nov 24, 2006 | Faizabad
May 25, 2007 | Gorakhpur market
Aug 25, 2007 | Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat in Hyderabad
May 23, 2008 |
Jaipur
July 24, 2008 | Bangalore
July 25, 2008 |
Ahmedabad serial blasts
July 26, 2008 | Surat (bombs defused)
Sept 13, 2008 |
Delhi


ROOM WITH NO VIEW:
The entrance to one of the rooms owned by the Bhatkals in Kurla’s Qadir building


The Times of India, December 13, 2010

ISI suspect may have been part of larger conspiracy


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Sleuths interrogating suspected Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agent Javed Mozawala said on Sunday that information collected by him about the army cantonment in New Delhi could have been part of a larger conspiracy. Security agencies fear Mozawala’s information was to be used for another 2008 Rampur Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp-like attack. However, Mozawala has not said anything about it.

Mozawala (28), a resident of Infinity Towers at Maz
gaon, was arrested last Thursday on charges of spying for a foreign country. On Sunday, he was produced before a court and remanded in police custody till December 20. Crime Branch sources said that he was allegedly in touch with a foreign contact at the Pakistan embassy in New Delhi. Mozawala is suspected to be a spy for Pakistan’s ISI and did a recce of the Indian Army’s cantonment area in New Delhi mid-2010 and of an important location in Mumbai.

The police have seized a computer, a hard disk, five
DVDs, two pen drives, a mobile phone, several sim cards, maps, pictures and documents from Mozawala. He had drawn some maps relating to the job assigned to him, a police source said.

Investigators said Mozawala was cooperating. “We are trying to find out whether he was given the code name of his contact or was he aware of the contact’s real identity. His bank accounts, and sale and purchase deals of the last two years are being scanned,” an officer said.

On January 1, 2008, suspected terrorists had attacked a CRPF camp in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, killing seven personnel and a civilian. Accord
ing to the police, four terrorists, armed with sophisticated weapons, raided the CRPF’s group centre and fled minutes after the attack. The UP police had arrested over half a dozen suspects, including Mumbai-based Faheem Ansari, for that attack. The police are now trying to find out if Mozawala knew Ansari and had met him, to establish if the former had any connection with 26/11. “As of now, Mozawala’s role has not appeared in the 26/11 probe,” a source said.

Mozawala, who passed Class XII and speaks fluent
English, visited Delhi thrice this year. Mozawala failed to convince the investigators on the purpose of his Delhi trips. The police are checking the records of the Delhi guesthouse where he had stayed.

Mozawala has been booked under Section 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and Section 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputations) of the Indian Penal Code and under the stringent Official Secrets Act for leaking sensitive official information that could harm the nation.


Open Secret
Javed Mozawala was booked under the Official Secrets Act:
Section 3 (1) (c): Penalties for spying
Section 4 (2) (a):
Communications with foreign agents to be evidence of commission of certain offences Section 9: Attempts, incitements, etc


The Times of India, December 13, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Household denies any contact with suspect

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Javed Mozawala’s flat in a Mazgaon building

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: When TOI visited the flat in Infinity Tower, Mazgaon, on Friday from where the Mumbai crime branch picked up alleged Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) operative Javed Mozawala, 28, a woman who opened the door denied knowing any such man. She denied that Mozawala was part of their family and insisted that it was a case of mistaken identity.

According to the FIR, the arrested Javed Abdul Gafoor Mozawala lives at 103, Infinity Tower, Mazgaon. While there are three wings at Infinity – wings A, B and C -- people at the premises said that Mozawala lives at 103-A.

When TOI visited the flat at 2.45 pm and knocked several times, nobody opened the door. At around 3 pm, a burqa-clad woman opened the inner door and complained, “Why are you people trying to create panic in our house? Journalists are coming to inquire about some Javed, but no one with that name stays here.” The woman, without opening the outer door, continued, “My husband is known as Zahid and not Javed. We have no connection with any Javed. You please go and inquire somewhere else.” However, a resident on the second floor said that a Javed lived in Flat 103-A.


When asked about the whereabouts of ‘Zahid’, the woman said, “He is not at home.” She further stated that the household had nothing to do with the police or any related agency. “Why are you people making our lives difficult?” the nervous woman asked.

One of the other residents of the building confirmed that Javed Mozawala lived in 103-A. “He would hardly go out. He appeared to mostly work from home. I have hardly seen him talking to anyone. There has never been any complaint against him since they came to stay here four months ago,” said the neighbour, who wished not be identified. Another neighbour also said that Mozawala was rarely seen, except for weekends, and that they didn’t know what he did behind his closed doors.

Mozawala is a Class XII passout who owns a travel agency in the city. He stays in a 340-square-foot 1-room-kitchen that was bought for Rs 30 lakh and is today worth around Rs 45 lakh. The building was redeveloped three years ago.
The burqa-clad woman left the flat at around 3.15 pm, locked it and went downstairs. On Friday afternoon, when media personnel tried to meet a man who is reportedly Mozawala’s brother, he only said his mother-in-law was ill and he was going to the hospital.



The Times of India, December 11, 2010