Thursday, September 29, 2011

TNT was main 13/7 explosive, says forensic lab

Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: The three bombs that exploded on July 13 contained a cocktail of TNT, ammonium nitrate, nitrite and petroleum hydrocarbon, according to the final report of the state Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) at Kalina. Trinitrotoluene, or TNT, was the main explosive in the bombs that went off at Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Dadar, killing 27 people.

Earlier, there were reports that RDX or pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) could have been the main ex
plosive in the bombs. “Neither RDX nor PETN were used in these bombs,” said an Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officer. He added that the bombs seemed to follow an older pattern. TNT, a yellow solid, is sometimes used as a reagent in chemical synthesis, but it is best known as an explosive. The Zaveri Bazar and Opera House bombs weighed around 2.5 to 3 kg while the bomb set off near the Dadar railway station was around 1.5 kg. The Mumbai bombs appear different from the one set off outside the Delhi high court earlier this month, as initial reports said that bomb had PETN.

However, it is not the TNT but ammonium nitrate that points to a sinister pattern. Ammonium nitrate was earlier used in three 2003 blasts (in a BEST bus at Ghatkopar, Mulund and Vile Parle), the 2006 11/7 serial train blasts, the 2008 Jaipur blasts and the 2010 German Bakery blast in Pune.

After the 13/7 blasts, concerned over the increased use of ammonium nitrate by terror groups, the government declared the chemical as an
“explosive”. But given the widespread use of the mixture as fertilizer, the government notification came with a rider – its possession and use can invoke penal action only if 45% or more of a particular composition has ammonium nitrate. Ammonium nitrate is easily available in stores that stock industrial fertilizers. It costs a mere Rs 50 per kg. It is easily available in chemical shops and also used as an oxidizing agent in laboratories. When mixed with a hydrocarbon, it becomes part of a potent explosive mixture.

The Times of India, September 29, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CCTV cameras see fall in number of petty crimes


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Petty crimes like pick-pocketing, theft, chain-snatching and baglifting have dropped after the city police, post-13/7, began helping shop-owners install CCTV cameras in south Mumbai. The triple blasts in July had left 27 dead and many injured.
While the Zaveri Bazar, Pydhonie and Opera House areas used to record around 100 such cases a month, it has now come down to 10-15.

“The thieves know they are being monitored by electronic devices. There were many petty cases, but after the installation of many cameras in these areas, complaints and the number of crimes have reduced drastically,” said Anil Kumbhare, deputy commissioner of police (zone-II).


The police said 132 cameras were installed at Mangaldas market (also known as Mulji Jetha Market), 142 at the Thakurdwaar market (known for imitation jewelry) and over 60 at Kalbadevi’s ballbearing market.


The anti-terrorism squad and crime branch, working jointly on the 13/7 blasts, have got a firsthand account of the scene of crime on that fateful day through some CCTV footage.

“Petty crimes would often go unreported. People would come, provide their names and addresses, but were not interested in an FIR being filed. Now, the number of such victims coming to the police station has dropped and there is no major crime in lanes where the cameras have been installed,” said
Kumbhare.

He said the police had surveyed the entire area and studied the sensitive points. “We marked specific points where the CCTVs had to be installed after thorough research. The cameras have been installed at shops so that they cover maximum area. We had made suggestions to shop-keepers and issued them guidelines about the camera positions and locations,” said Kumbhare. Of the 14 entry points at Mangaldas market, the police have kept only six open.


WATCH OUT
The crimes
Pick-pocketing; theft; chainsnatching and bag-lifting
Where
Zaveri Bazar, Pydhonie and Opera House
What happened
Crime has reduced after the city police, post-13/7, began helping shop-owners install CCTV cameras
Then and now
Around 100 such cases a month, now 10-15



The Times of India, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gangland’s GenNext seeks a new identity


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The kingpins of the city’s underworld have either fled, been killed in encounters or called it aday. But GenX is stepping out of their parents’ feared shadows in search of a new identity in Mumbai as bankers, doctors, engineers, pilots and developers.

Police officers who have closely seen the under
world say families of these gangsters are well acquainted with the pitfalls of their lives and choose not to follow their footsteps. “Times have changed. The youngsters today want respect in society and a bright future. They don’t want to be termed as ‘underworld heirs’ but are trying to make their own identity,” says a senior police official who headed the encounter squad for a decade.

Reshma Naik was only 11 when her gangster father Amar Naik was killed in a police encounter on
July 10, 1996. However, Naik’s wife planned both her daughters’ education meticulously. Reshma, now 25, completed her commercial pilot’s flying training course from an aviation academy in Florida, United States. Her younger sister Aditi (23) is a doctor. The family plans to open a hospital in the city for the poor.

The thirst for education
also touched their extended family. Archana, daughter of Amar Naik’s younger brother and erstwhile don, Ashwin Naik, has done a course in dentistry. Like her cousin Reshma, Archana too studied in an English-medium school, prefers western outfits and a chic straightened-hair look. Archana was in fact an anonymous face till she made a media debut with her father when he met Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray three years ago. At that time, rumours were rife that Naik was joining a political party, but he insisted he had only gone to seek Thackeray’s blessings. Naik was earlier arrested for the alleged murder of his wife Neeta, but was later acquitted by court.

‘Underworld heirs’ study their way out Gangsters,

Families Feel Children’s Education Is Only Ticket To Normal Life

Gangsters have been glamorised by cinema, but the children of Mumbai’s dreaded dons — men who emerged from anonymity to become feared names — seem to prefer the daily grind. Many of their parents are still on ‘wanted’ lists, but all the young brigade wants is a good education, as they feel it will lead to a good life.

Fugitive don Chhota Rajan, who is believed to be hiding in West Asia, was recently booked for plotting the murder of senior journalist J Dey. His wife Sujata was arrested in 2007 for allegedly extorting money from city-based builders and booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act but later got bail. However, their two daughters, Namrata (19) and Mala (17), are on a different track. After studying in Goradia English Medium High School, they are pursuing engineering in two city colleges, Namrata in the second year and Mala in the first. His youngest daughter, Pallavi (11), is in class VI.

Jailed diesel smuggler Mohammed Ali Shaikh, cooling his
heels in a special cell in Arthur Road jail for plotting the murder of a shipping firm owner in September last year, has also focused on his children’s education. Daughter Rukhsar (25) did her MBA (finance) from a city college and was offered a job in a well-known bank last year. His son, an arts graduate, looks after his father’s shipping management company. Sources close to Shaikh say he always wanted his children to study well to give them a new identity.

Some have opted to enter politics. Gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli’s daughter, Geeta (28), a student of the English-medium St Agnes High School, Clare Road, Byculla, is currently a municipal corporator of ward number 205 (Chinchpokli, Byculla and Mominpura).

Then there is Girish, the eldest son of fugitive gangster Guru Satam. Girish, who studied civil engineering, is now a developer. “The children of underworld figures want to make a name for themselves minus the crime records of their elders. They are studying and getting good opporutunities in MNCs as well,” said a senior cop.

(Some names have been changed to protect identities)

Ashwin Naik’s daughter Archana has studied dentistry


Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan: A former key aide of don Dawood Ibrahim, Rajan began by black marketing movie tickets at Chembur and later joined Rajan Nair (Bada Rajan). He became the gang’s chief after the latter’s murder and joined Dawood but fled to Dubai in 1988. He is wanted in over 20 cases of extortion, murder, smuggling, drug trafficking and the like. After the 1993 blasts he broke away from the D-gang and survived a September 2000 an attempt on his life. His family lives in Chembur


Guru Satam: The Parel-based extortionist was a terror for businessmen in central Mumbai. He fled the country in 1995 and is believed to be in Bangkok. Satam, police say, is virtually bankrupt. His family is still in Mumbai


Mohd Ali Shaikh: Originally from Uttar Pradesh, Shaikh worked at the Mumbai docks and later started his own business. His men would pilfer fuel from ships in the high sea and within a decade he became the king of oil smuggling. Arrested in the 90s but acquitted, he was arrested again in September 2010 for plotting the murder of shipping firm owner, Chand Madar


Arun Gawli: The only don now living in Mumbai, he is currently lodged in Taloja jail for the murder of Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jhamsandekar. Earlier, his men had allegedly plotted the killing of Dawood’s brother in-law, Ibrahim Parkar. Known as ‘Daddy’ to his followers, he floated his political outfit in 1997, Akhil Bhartiya Sena, and won an assembly election in 2004. His nephew is an NCP MLA while daughter Geeta is a corporator


Ashwin Naik: Naik, an engineering graduate, with several cases to his name, was paralysed after being shot at in April 1994 by a rival gang on the premises of a sessions court at Fort. Later accused with plotting his corporator wife Neeta’s murder on November 13, 2000, he has now been acquitted of all charges and stays with his daughter Archana, a dentist, and family at Chinchpokli


Amar Naik: Elder brother of Ashwin Naik, he was wanted in many extortions and murders and had emerged as a threat to the Arun Gawli gang in central Mumbai. He was killed in a police encounter


The Times of India, September 26, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Attackers may try 9/11-like strike: Alert




Plane from Hubli a threat to airport?

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: A private plane taking off from Hubli airport in Karnataka could be used to carry out a terror strike at Mumbai airport, authorities have been warned. Security agencies said fears of such an attack remained till November 15. Earlier, they had issued an attack by plane alert but did not specify from where it could come.

Guidelines issued in the alert state
that access control and security arrangements at the Kalina (VIP) gate and other gates leading to terminal areas and parked aircraft may be re-assessed. Accordingly, security has been beefed up at the Mumbai airport.

The security agencies are also looking into whether any flight request for a private aircraft from Hubli to Mumbai airport has been made within the deadline of November 15. P 3


Mumbai: Sleuths are taking a close look at flight plan requests filed with Hubli airport till November 15 after an alert saying a plane from there could strike Mumbai airport. “Any permission to use a private aircraft from Hubli to Mumbai may be denied unless the bona fides are very well established,” the alert said.

The warning added that the attackers may try “action” like 9/11, but did not identify any group or groups that may mount the strike. Air traffic controllers at the domestic and international terminals in the city have been put on high alert. It further stated that arrangements would be necessary at Juhu airport to ensure that a helicopter/plane does not take off from there and serves as a missile for the airborne attack.


The alert gave three possibilities for the attack. First, a private aircraft could hit the main terminal building. Second, terrorists may gain entry through the VIP gate and a private aircraft could be taken over. It could take off and return immediately for a direct strike on the terminal building. Third, a
four-wheeler, most likely a truck, packed with explosives could be driven through the Kalina gate and rammed into the terminal building. In 2007, an explosive-laden car driven by two young men had rammed into the outer portion of the Glasgow airport.

“We have passed on this information to the con
cerned agencies and are closely working on the security arrangements. The alert clearly indicates the November 15 deadline, so we have to be on high alert. We cannot take any chances,” said a senior security official.


The Times of India, September 25, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

SIMI man in cop custody till October 3

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: A suspected SIMI member, Israr Tailor alias Sagri, arrested by the anti- terrorism squad (ATS) in connection with the fake currency case probe, has been detained in police custody till October 3. Sagri was produced before the Mazgaon court on Friday, where his custody extension was declared. The ATS has indicated that National investigation agency (NIA) will help them in the case. Police sources said that the fake currency seized from Sagri’s associate, Haroon Rasheed Naik, is part of the same consignment seized in 2009. “Two years ago, the ATS had seized fake currency totalling Rs 4.25 lakh and arrested four persons. Later, the case was transferred to the NIA,” said a police officer. Naik is being questioned if he had any knowledge of the 13/7 triple blasts or the perpetrators. Special public prosecutor Rohini Salian, said, “These notes have come from Pakistan and a investigation needs to be carried out.”
mateen.hafeez @timesgroup.com


The Times of India, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Woman implicates ex in ‘kill Anna’ plot


1) Rashmi Shinde (24), a graduate from Yavatmal, was in love with computer engineer, Shirish Kulkarni, but their marriage did not work out 2) Shinde called up the home ministry in New Delhi and claimed that Kulkarni would shoot anti-corruption crusader, Anna Hazare, in hospital 3) The Haveli police in Pune summoned Kulkarni and realised that Shinde did it to seek revenge


ATS Detains Graduate From Yavatmal



Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Union home ministry control room in New Delhi received a call on August 30 that anti-corruption crusader, Anna Hazare, will be shot in hospital.
The caller said computer engineer, Shirish Kulkarni, from Pune was planning to execute the operation. When the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) caught the culprit, they were shocked that the call was by Kulkarni’s former girlfriend who was seeking revenge.

The culprit, Rashmi Shinde (24), a graduate from Yavatmal, was detained by the ATS and handed over to the Haveli police in Pune (rural). “The girl first called up the mobile number of a
Pune resident who used to write feature articles in Marathi newspapers in Pune. She told him that Kulkarni had planned to shoot Hazare in hospital on the morning of August 31. She gave Kulkarni’s name and contact number and hung up. Shinde had used a PCO to make the phone call,” ATS chief Rakesh Maria said on Thursday. He added that the person, who had received the call, immediately informed the police about it.

“The same day, another similar call was made to the Union home ministry’s control room. The information was passed on to
the Maharashtra police and our staff began probing the case. We called Kulkarni for questioning and found that he had no such plan and was completely unaware about the phone call,” he said.

“Kulkarni told our men that he was in love with a girl but her
parents had disapproved of their relationship. Shinde’s parents arranged her wedding with someone else in Yavatmal but she refused to marry against her wishes. She was not in touch with Kulkarni for almost six months, but later came to Pune,” Maria said.

The ATS chief said that during this period, Kulkarni had married another woman. Shinde, unaware about the developments, kept urging Kulkarni to marry her, but he refused.

“She could not tolerate rejection in love and planned to retaliate by wrongly implicating Kulkarni in a sensitive case. Hence, she made the threat calls,” the ATS chief said on Thursday.
Shinde has confessed her crime and her statement has been recorded by the Haveli police. She is likely to be arrested on Friday.

(The names of the couple have been changed to protect their identities)


The Times of India, September 23, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cops probe if IM man sent more youths for terror training to Pak

13/7 INVESTIGATION


Mateen Hafeez I TNN


Mumbai: Israr Hamid Tailor alias Sagri arrested for having links with banned outfit SIMI and Indian Mujahideen (IM), was on Tuesday sent to police custody till September 23. The police sought his remand to ascertain whether apart from Haroon Naik, Sagri had sent more youths to Pakistan for terror training.

Sagri (41), a computer trainer at NIIT, was arrested last week in a fake currency case. The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has also slapped Sagri with charges of having association with a banned outfit and participating in a terror act under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act
(UAPA). The police had claimed to have seized fake Indian currency amounting to Rs 97,500 from Naik. “We want to find out for what terror activity the amount was to be used,” the ATS told the Mazgaon court. The squad told the court that it also wants to establish if anyone, other than Naik, was sent to Pakistan by Sagri for terror training.

Sagri was picked up by the police when he was returning home after his computer class. Though he is being grilled for his alleged role in the 13/7 serial blasts, his family says the police had been visiting their house since July 13
when three bombs rocked the city.

“We want to find out if Sagri indoctrinated some other youths for terror activities, so his custodial interrogation is a must,” said an ATS officer. Sagri was first arrested in 2000 for being a SIMI memberand has been visiting the police station every week since he was released. “His calls to the police station had become daily after 13/7,” said Sagri’s relative. The crime branch detained him in April 2008 and handed him over to the ATS for allegedly publishing and distributing inflammatory literature. The ATS said Sagri had been questioned much before the crime branch arrested them. “We preferred to keep an eye on him rather than arrest him,” an ATS officer had then said.

The Times of India, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ATS will appeal in blasts case

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) will appeal against the acquittal of four suspected Sanatan Sanstha members who were let off by a sessions court in connection with the Thane and Vashi bomb blast cases.

The ATS had in 2008 arrested six members of right-wing group Sanatan Sanstha for carrying out bomb blasts at a Thane theatre and Vashi. While two of them, Ramesh Gadkari and Vikram Bhave, were convicted, four others were recently acquitted.

“The procedure to appeal in the case has begun. We are going through all the papers and will file the appeal against their acquittal within the stipulated time,” said ATS chief Rakesh Maria.


The Times of India, September 20, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

WB teenager held for being ‘Bangladeshi’




Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The police seem
Bold to have been arresting Indians as Bangladeshis. In a recent case, the city police’s intelligence wing detained a West Bengal resident, Zamirul Gazi (19) from Koparkhairane and booked him under Foreigners’ Act.

Gazi, who works as a labourer, returned from WB five months ago. “On September 5, he went to Koparkhairne to meet his friends when the police picked him up,” said Gazi’s lawyer, S M Khan. The metropolitan magistrate court granted Gazi bail on a surety of Rs 25,000 after seven days. “He is a labourer. How can he furnish a surety of such a huge amount,” Khan asked. To prove his nationality, Gazi’s family furnished his birth certificate. S K Nurul Islam, an MP, also issued a certificate of verification for Gazi, saying he knows him.



The Times of India, September 18, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

ATS finds 200, umbrella on fake currency accused

Israr Tailor


Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: Israr Ahmed Abdul Hamid Tailor, alias Sagri, arrested for his alleged links with banned outfit SIMI, was returning home after conducting a training session at a computer centre when police intercepted him on Monday. Though he is being grilled for his alleged role in the 13/7 serial bomb blast cases, his family says the police had been visiting their house ever since the three bombs rocked the city.

Sagri (41), who was picked up from outside Borivli railway station on Monday evening in a fake currency case, was first arrested in 2000 for being a SIMI member and has been visiting the police station every week since his release.

Earlier, on August 23, police arrested an associate, Ha
roon Rasheed Naik, in the case and recovered Rs 97,500 from him. Police have recovered Rs 200 and an umbrella from Sagri, which they later returned to his family.

“After 13/7, he was called almost daily to the police station,” said a relative. The crime branch had detained him earlier in April 2008 and handed him over to the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) for allegedly publishing and distributing inflammatory literature. The ATS, then headed by the late Hemant Karkare, said Sagri was not absconding and had been questioned much before the crime branch arrested him.

“We preferred to keep an eye on him rather than arrest him,” an ATS officer had then said. Sagri was subsequently released.

In the latest case, ATS stated that Naik had helped Sagri to go to Pakistan for terror training in 2000.

“Police may say anything but he was here all the time, running a computer institute
in Mira Road. An ATS officer identified as Gaikwad had come to our house post 13/7 with a call record of Sagri and inquired about all his incoming and outgoing calls. He left on being satisfied with the replies,” said the relative.

The family said that Naik was just a student at the computer institute. “The local police and even IB officers were in touch with Sagri. He has been cooperating with them,” a friend said.
Sagri, a father of five, is a BSc graduate. “On Monday, when Sagri didn’t return home, we went to Borivli and Andheri railway stations and checked the accidents’ register fearing the worst. But at midnight, the ATS informed us that they took Sagri. He was earlier arrested twice but never fled the city as he is not involved in any anti-national activity. He had also complained to the Kurla court about policemen visiting his home at odd hours,” said the relative.


The Times of India, September 17, 2011

ATS finds 200, umbrella on fake currency accused

Israr Tailor

Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: Israr Ahmed Abdul Hamid Tailor, alias Sagri, arrested for his alleged links with banned outfit SIMI, was returning home after conducting a training session at a computer centre when police intercepted him on Monday. Though he is being grilled for his alleged role in the 13/7 serial bomb blast cases, his family says the police had been visiting their house ever since the three bombs rocked the city.

Sagri (41), who was picked up from outside Borivli railway station on Monday evening in a fake currency case, was first arrested in 2000 for being a SIMI member and has been visiting the police station every week since his release.

Earlier, on August 23, police arrested an associate, Ha
roon Rasheed Naik, in the case and recovered Rs 97,500 from him. Police have recovered Rs 200 and an umbrella from Sagri, which they later returned to his family.

“After 13/7, he was called almost daily to the police station,” said a relative. The crime branch had detained him earlier in April 2008 and handed him over to the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) for allegedly publishing and distributing inflammatory literature. The ATS, then headed by the late Hemant Karkare, said Sagri was not absconding and had been questioned much before the crime branch arrested him.

“We preferred to keep an eye on him rather than arrest him,” an ATS officer had then said. Sagri was subsequently released.

In the latest case, ATS stated that Naik had helped Sagri to go to Pakistan for terror training in 2000.

“Police may say anything but he was here all the time, running a computer institute
in Mira Road. An ATS officer identified as Gaikwad had come to our house post 13/7 with a call record of Sagri and inquired about all his incoming and outgoing calls. He left on being satisfied with the replies,” said the relative.

The family said that Naik was just a student at the computer institute. “The local police and even IB officers were in touch with Sagri. He has been cooperating with them,” a friend said.
Sagri, a father of five, is a BSc graduate. “On Monday, when Sagri didn’t return home, we went to Borivli and Andheri railway stations and checked the accidents’ register fearing the worst. But at midnight, the ATS informed us that they took Sagri. He was earlier arrested twice but never fled the city as he is not involved in any anti-national activity. He had also complained to the Kurla court about policemen visiting his home at odd hours,” said the relative.


The Times of India, September 17, 2011

ATS finds 200, umbrella on fake currency accused


Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: Israr Ahmed Abdul Hamid Tailor, alias Sagri, arrested for his alleged links with banned outfit SIMI, was returning home after conducting a training session at a computer centre when police intercepted him on Monday. Though he is being grilled for his alleged role in the 13/7 serial bomb blast cases, his family says the police had been visiting their house ever since the three bombs rocked the city.

Sagri (41), who was picked up from outside Borivli railway station on Monday evening in a fake currency case, was first arrested in 2000 for being a SIMI member and has been visiting the police station every week since his release.

Earlier, on August 23, police arrested an associate, Ha
roon Rasheed Naik, in the case and recovered Rs 97,500 from him. Police have recovered Rs 200 and an umbrella from Sagri, which they later returned to his family.

“After 13/7, he was called almost daily to the police station,” said a relative. The crime branch had detained him earlier in April 2008 and handed him over to the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) for allegedly publishing and distributing inflammatory literature. The ATS, then headed by the late Hemant Karkare, said Sagri was not absconding and had been questioned much before the crime branch arrested him.

“We preferred to keep an eye on him rather than arrest him,” an ATS officer had then said. Sagri was subsequently released.

In the latest case, ATS stated that Naik had helped Sagri to go to Pakistan for terror training in 2000.

“Police may say anything but he was here all the time, running a computer institute
in Mira Road. An ATS officer identified as Gaikwad had come to our house post 13/7 with a call record of Sagri and inquired about all his incoming and outgoing calls. He left on being satisfied with the replies,” said the relative.

The family said that Naik was just a student at the computer institute. “The local police and even IB officers were in touch with Sagri. He has been cooperating with them,” a friend said.
Sagri, a father of five, is a BSc graduate. “On Monday, when Sagri didn’t return home, we went to Borivli and Andheri railway stations and checked the accidents’ register fearing the worst. But at midnight, the ATS informed us that they took Sagri. He was earlier arrested twice but never fled the city as he is not involved in any anti-national activity. He had also complained to the Kurla court about policemen visiting his home at odd hours,” said the relative.


The Times of India, September 17, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blasts accused to file fresh bail plea


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: While the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is on the verge of completing its probe into the 2006 Malegaon blasts, the suspects in the case are likely to file a fresh bail application within a few days.

During its investigation, the NIA found that the accused were wrongly implicated in the case and that rightwing groups are allegedly responsible for the blasts.

The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) had initially booked nine Muslim youths claiming they were SIMI members. The ATS filed a chargesheet only within 54 days, even though it had 180 days to do the same. Later, the case was transferred to the CBI.

“We are filing a bail application within a day or two,” said Gulzar Azmi, general secretary of the Jamiatul Ulema (legal cell). He added that the Malegaon youths are currently in Gujarat where they are being subjected to narcoanalysis tests. “We have been saying that the youths are framed in the case. We hope
they will secure bail,” added Azmi.Earlier, the CBI had found that slain RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi along with an associate had visited Malegaon in July 2006 and conducted a recce. They also wanted to carry out a terror strike in July, however, their plan did not materialize. Samjhauta train blast accused Swami Aseemannd also confessed that his men engineered the Malegaon blasts. “We have submitted all documents to the NIA,” said advocate Irfana Hamdani, who is representing the youths. Four RDX bombs planted near a cemetery in Malegaon went off on September 8, 2006, killing 31 persons.

MALEGAON BLASTS

• The ATS had said SIMI engineered the 2006 Malegaon blasts that killed 31

• Zahid Majeed, a suspect, was in Malegaon to plant the bomb, the ATS claimed. However, witnesses filed an affidavit stating he was 500 km away in Yavatmal


The Times of India, September 16, 2011

13/7 probe meanders as cops grope for clues


Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: The state’s chief minister, Prithviraj Chavan, may have said there are credible leads in the probe into the 13/7 terror attacks, but those handling the probe say that two months later investigations seem to be going nowhere. Struggling to detect the case, Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) teams are now focusing on those who went to Pakistan to get trained in operating firearms and assembling bombs.

Two weeks ago, the ATS arrested Haroon Rasheed Naik, 33, in connection with a fake currency case. The ATS also began interrogating him about the 13/7 blasts and stated that
he had gone to Pakistan in 2000 and was given training to cause destruction. “We are questioning him about the fund raisers of the Pakistan trip, others who participated in the camp and details of people he has been in touch with after returning from Pakistan. However, we have not got anything concrete to show his involvement in the 13/7 blasts,” said an ATS source.

Earlier this week, the ATS arrested Israr Sagri, 41, for being associated with the banned Simi outfit. “We are hunting all those who went for terror training and are missing from their houses,” said another source.

It is noteworthy that the state government has said there are good leads
in the case, while investigators have been frustrated because of the failure to detect. Recently, an attempt to hand the case over to the National Investigation Agency was thwarted because the state told Union home minister P C Chidambaram that the ATS was doing well.

In the last week of July, the Research & Analysis Wing and Intelligence Bureau interrogated one Zaheer alias Rehan alias Zahid, an Indian national, in Kathmandu. Zahid, 40, a resident of Sarlahi district in Nepal’s Terai plains, was arrested by the Kathmandu metropolitan police under the Public Defence Act. He allegedly sent and received suspicious SMSes and
made phone calls to several Indian cities after the July 13 blasts. However, he was given a clean chit.

Moreover, the police found that the scooter that was probably used in the Zaveri Bazar blast was stolen from Khetwadi. The caretaker of the scooter, Arjun Singh alias Chaudhary, was questioned thoroughly. During the interrogation, the names of some bike mechanics cropped up and they were also rounded up for questioning. However, the police did not find anything. “Our teams are still making searches and verifications. We have not arrested anyone so far, but we will solve the case,” said an ATS officer.

13/7 toll climbs to 27, another Zaveri Bazar blast victim dies

Sumitra Deb Roy | TNN


Mumbai: The 13/7 blasts toll rose to 27 on Thursday with the death of Prashant Joshi, who succumbed to his injuries after a battle that stretched two months and two days. He was the last among the critical patients who were injured in the blast at Zaveri Bazar’s Khau Gali.

Prashant had sustained grievous injuries to his brain, ears and eyes, besides sustaining burn wounds on his hands. He never left the critical care unit in the past two months, although he regained some consciousness on and off. There were shrapnel that had penetrated his head, right side of his face and body, which were removed by doctors in subsequent surgeries. Doctors could not operate on his left eye, which was severely damaged in the mishap. J J Hospital dean Dr T P Lahane said Prashant had never gained complete con
sciousness. “He died due to cardio respiratory arrest.”

The 33-year-old VP Road resident, who worked as a sales executive in a plywood product manufacturing company, is survived by wife Ruta and seven-year-old son Mohnish. Doctors at the hospital said the authorities had left no stone unturned to
facilitate his treatment. Lahane confirmed that Prashant was given immunoglobulin injections worth Rs 1.8 lakh to boost his immunity and help him respond better to treatment. “But, it did not help much. He had also lost vision in both eyes.”

Prashant’s family had regained hopes of recovery after he managed to utter a few words a couple of days ago. One of his family friends told TOI that Prashant spoke to his wife very briefly. “His condition deteriorated in the past two days,” the friend said. He had to be put on ventilator again on Tuesday. The
family is now worried about Prashant’s father Harshad, who is a heart patient. “He was completely shattered after hearing the news of his death,” the family friend said.

The Joshis originally hail from Gondal in Gujarat and had shifted to Mumbai only a few years ago in search of better financial prospects. The family was dependent on Prashant’s income as his father had retired from service. His monthly salary of Rs 7,500 and a few thousands earned by his wife Rutu by teaching children from the neighbourhood was all that the family sustained on.

On the day of the blast, Prashant had taken a shortcut home earlier than his usual time. The detour proved to be a fatal choice as he happened to be present at Khau Galli when it was rocked by the blast. Prashant had also called Rutu just before the blast to inform her that he would be home soon. The family friend told TOI that Prashant’s family had made J J Hospital their second home in the past two months. “They were besides him all the time and hardly left the hospital premises. The family’s future looks bleak now.”


Terror Deaths
Opera House | 15
Zaveri Bazar | 11
Dadar | 01
Total | 27

Prashant Joshi



The Times of India, September 16, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

‘State move to ban Hindu group is malicious’

Mahima Sikand TNN


Mumbai: After two of its members were convicted in the Thane blast case, right wing group Sanatan Sanstha termed the state’s proposal to ban it a “malicious conspiracy”.

The organization’s spokesperson, Abhay Vartak, said the ban was part of the Congress’ strategy to malign pro-Hindu groups and divert attention of the public from issues of corruption and mis-governance. Varatk told reporters that there was no mention of the organization in the recent judgment passed by the trial court in the Thane blast case and its name was also not stated as an accused in the charge-sheet filed by the ATS. He asked, “The judge did not even label the convicted men as terrorists. So how can the government, by some extrapolation, declare us a terrorist outfit?”

Condemning the blasts, Vartak said the organization had not lent any financial, legal or ideological support to the two men. However, he said, the acts were a “reaction to the frustration felt by the majority community in India”. “The government was quick to ban Satanic Verses as that offended Muslims. But despite our repeated requests to ban offensive material like J o d h a A k b a r and A m i P a c h p u t e, the government turns a deaf ear towards us. Why are we oppressed in our own country?”

He added they would take the case to the judiciary if the government imposed a ban.


The Times of India, September 14, 2011

‘Suspects went to Pak for training’

S Ahmed Ali & Mateen Hafeez | TNN


The ATS, which is under pressure to solve the July 13 serial bomb blasts case arrested an Indian Mujahideen (IM) suspect in Mumbai and detained a second accused in Pune, on Monday. Though the duo has been brought in for circulating fake currency notes, investigators believe the accused will provide them with clues to the identity of the perpetrators of the 13/7 bomb blasts. The police picked up 41-year-old 'computer trainer' Asrar Ahmed Abdul Hameed Tailor alias Sagri outside Borivli station on Monday. They refused to divulge details on the suspect detained in Pune.

Sagri’s arrest is the second one the ATS has made in the fake currency case. Eight days ago, they had arrested Haroon Rasheed Abdul Hameed Naik (32) in the same case. The accused and the Pune suspect allegedly visited Pakistan in 2000 where the police believe they were trained in terror camps. “They admitted that they were trained to carry out a terror attack. We are questioning them on their whereabouts before and after the July 13 blasts,” said an officer. Sources say Haroon sponsored Sagri’s visit to Pakistan for terror training.

Sagri has three cases registered against him since 2006, including one with ATS. While
seeking the remand, the ATS informed the court that Sagri is a confidant of the some of the absconding accused in the case. He has been remanded to custody till next week.

ATS brings youth from Surat to city
The Maharashtra ATS detained a labourer, Yusuf Akhar Ali Sayyed (25), from Limbayat area of Surat in connection with the 13/7 bomb blasts, late Monday night. He was brought to Mumbai for questioning. ATS chief Rakesh Maria refused to comment on the detention.

ATS officials believe that Sayyed had a telephonic conversation with another person about planting a bomb in Mumbai on July 13. He was in Jalgaon district from where he went to Gujarat, said a source. The Surat police rounded up the accused with the help of the Gujarat ATS and handed him over to the Mumbai police. “We were informed of his location by the Gujarat ATS following preliminary information from Mumbai,” said Rakesh Asthana, Surat police commissioner. Sayyed does not have a criminal record. Sources say he had a dispute with relatives who tipped off the ATS in revenge.
Mateen Hafeez | TNN

The Times of India, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

13/7 probe hits a dead end

Zaveri Bazar blast



Trouble For Scooter’s Caretaker



Mateen Hafeez | TNN


Mumbai: Investigations into the 13/7 triple blasts seem to have reached a dead end.
The only lead the police have is a stolen scooter used for the Zaveri Bazar blast. Arjun Chaudhary alias Arjun Singh, the scooter’s caretaker, has not resumed work even two

months after the blasts and is being interrogated daily by the police. Investigation showed that Singh (25), a Khetwadi resident, found his scooter missing from outside his house on July 12 morning.

Singh then went to the V P Road police station to lodge a
theft complaint. After noting down the basic details, the police directed him to search for the scooter in the vicinity and report to them. Meanwhile, Singh left for Pune for some work. When he returned at night, he did not go the police station and lodged a complaint the next day—July 13.

“The stolen scooter was a good lead and we were supposed to keep it under wraps. However, after it was reported by the media, there has been no progress in the case,” said an ATS source.
Singh, who worked with a businessman at Khetwadi, had been given the scooter by his employer. Singh told investigators that he had gone to replace his scooter’s seat near Harkisondas Hospital two days before the blasts. “The seat was repaired and in the morning, my scooter, which I usually park outside my rented room in Khetwadi, was stolen,” Singh told the police. He was first picked up and detained by the Kalachowkie unit of the ATS.

The garage owner and staffers at the workshop were also detained for questioning. Singh told the police that he did not remember if he had locked the scooter’s handle the last time he had parked it. The police from Karnataka, Gujarat, Bengal, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are assisting the ATS in the probe. “Soon after the blasts, senior officials probing the case, claimed they had got a good lead and were on the right track,” said a source.

PC meets Chavan
Union home minister P Chidambaram visited Mumbai on Monday. Chidambaram in the presence of senior police officers discussed the law and order situation in the city with the CM, in the wake of the blast in Delhi. He expressed satisfaction over the manner in which the state government managed the security during the recent festivals, CM Chavan told TOI. TNN


The Times of India, September 13, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Duo grilled in connection with Delhi blast, let go


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad recently picked up a duo from a Bandra guest house in connection with the Delhi high court blast. However, intensive interrogation revealed that the two were not involved in the blast and they were allowed to go.

The two, aged 25 and 27, hail from Uttar Pradesh and are said to be carpenters. An informer told the cops about the duo, saying that they looked like the suspects in the sketches released soon after the blast. “Based on this tip-off, we picked the two up on Thursday night,” said ATS chief Rakesh Maria.

“They went to New Delhi last week on a tour and from there, came to Mumbai and then to Goa. After their Goa trip, they returned to Mumbai, where they were staying at the guest house. Our teams brought them to the ATS unit and questioned them thoroughly,” Maria said.

ATS sources said the two provided the phone numbers of their kin, their previous employers and friends. “We checked their baggage and verified other things. Nothing suspicious was found. They told us that they were out of a job and so decided to go on a tour,” an officer said.

An ATS team also crosschecked the information about the duo with the UP police and the Special Task Force.

The Times of India, September 11, 2011

BMC official in cop custody till Monday

Chandrashekhar Rokade outside a special court on Saturday


S Ahmed Ali, Mateen Hafeez & Shawan Sen TNN


Mumbai: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation deputy commissioner (encroachment) Chandrashekar Rokade, who was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Friday for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh , was remanded in police custody till September 12 by the special ACB court. Rokade was booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Rokade’s lawyer argued that he had been framed in the case. But ACB officials told the court that they had strong evidence to prove that Rokade had demanded and accepted the bribe. “On Friday, after accepting the bribe, Rokade immediately wiped his hands on his trousers to ensure that the powder (used to nail him for evidence) did not remain. But we seized his trousers as well,” said an officer.


The ACB slueths also told the court that they had video clippings in which Rokade could be seen demanding money and accepting it. According to the ACB officials, they reached Rokade’s office around 4.30 pm. “The complainant went inside Rokade’s office with the bribe money. When we entered his office, he was in a hurry and tried to resist. “Mujhe phansaya ja raha hai,” Rokade told us,” said an officer. The money, said sources, was hidden in Rokade’s private washroom. “It was hidden behind the window grille. We seized the currency notes from there,” the officer added.

Searches were conducted at his Haji Ali flat and the police found some documents that were being scrutinized. “We have found a locker in his name,” the officer said.

Talking about the case, the police officer said, “Rokade received the first instalment of the bribe (Rs 2 lakh) in June. He issued a notice to the complai
nants saying their work was not up to the mark and he could cancel the tender. The Rs 9-crore tender was given to the complainant’s firm but Rokade demanded more money not to cancel their tender.”

Meanwhile, corporators said Rokade’s arrest would further damage the civic body’s image. “It’s an open secret that the civic body is a hotbed of corruption. Such incidents are unacceptable,” said corporator Vinod Shekhar. In the past, Rokade had been accused of partisanship in various tenders relat
ed to encroachment. Last month, the standing committee had initiated two points of order against Rokade.

“One of the points of order was related to the auction of scrap material collected during the encroachment drive, whereby Rokade was accused of favouring a single company. In the other, he was again accused of favouring another particular company for the vehicles used for the encroachment drive,” said standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale.

Activists, however, have questioned the probity of the standing committee. “This incident has disappointed us as we have worked very closely with Rokade on hawkers’ eviction. It turns out that he, too, has feet of clay. After this incident, we will no longer believe civic officials on face value,” said activist Anandini Thakoor.



The Times of India, September 12, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fake CBI officer, aide duped more than 100 people


Anirudh Agarwal


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Investigators have now learnt that Ashwini Kumar Sharma, who posed as a CBI officer, and his associate Rajesh Ranjan duped as many as 100 people, including a host of film personalities.

The duo was recently arrested after film-maker Rakesh Roshan, who paid Rs 50 lakh to
the fake CBI officer and his associate after they promised to settle a civil case, approached the CBI.

The CBI is now looking for a third accused, Panipat resident Anirudh Agarwal.

In a twist, Sharma was arrestedby theCBI’s anti-corruption branchin a freshcasefiledby a businessman, Anwar Merchant, who alleged that he had demanded Rs 25 lakh to settle a dispute with Merchant’s rival by registering a case against him. Sharma has been remanded in CBI custody for eight days.

“We arelooking for Agarwalwhousedtoinvest the money earned by Sharma and Ranjan. He is absconding and anyone who gives information about his whereabouts will be given a rewardof Rs50,000,”saidRishiRaj Singh,joint director of the CBI in Mumbai. Total assets of the two accused are over Rs 25 crore.

“Agarwal, a college drop out, is Sharma’s schoolfriend,” a CBIofficer said.“Agarwalwas hand-in-glove with Sharma and Ranjan and they have been carrying out their activities since 2006.” The CBI may request the court to auction the seized property and return the victims’ money.“We are probing if someof CBIofficers were involved in the fraud,” said Singh.


The Times of India, September 10, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

State ATS team in Delhi to help in blast probe

Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: While the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is trying to trace the senders of an email claiming responsibility for the Delhi high court blast, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is assisting other agencies in providing information about terror groups that have, in the past, similarly claimed responsibility for various attacks.

A five-member ATS reached New Delhi on Wednesday and visited the blast site. The agency had
in the past traced several internet protocol (IP) addresses used to send terror emails. “Our technical unit in Mumbai is working to find out the route and the gateway used to send the emails. We can’t comment further at this stage,” said an ATS officer in Mumbai.

The ATS officers met the NIA and discussed the modus operandi of the blast. The team will return to Mumbai on Friday. Meanwhile, the ATS and crime branch summoned those questioned, detained and released after the 13/7 terror attacks in the city in July.

The Times of India, September 9, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

NO. OF INTEL ALERTS DROP





Terror In Capital Prompts State Authorities To Revisit Security Measures Even As Warnings From Centre Dwindle



Mateen Hafeez | TNN


The Mumbai police received far fewer intelligence alerts in the last one month than it is normally does. Instead of the usual 10 to 12, the number of warnings cops here received fell to three. And even these, officers complained, were vague; none provided any specific information on the feared attack, the suspected attacker or the location. Police officers said that in the last month they were sent one terror alert forewarning about heightened threat perceptions during Ramzan preparations and another two before Ganeshotsav. All three were similarly inexact. “Terrorist organizations may carry out attacks at crowded places, religious places, shopping malls, etc. Some terror outfits are preparing anti-national activity,” one of them read.

An officer told TOI: “Most terror alerts issued by intelligence agencies were non-actionable. The
number of alerts received in the last one month is far less than is normal. In a way it’s better because we are not getting inundated with extremely general warnings.” The trend of vague intelligence alerts is not altogether new. “In 2009, around 350 terror alerts were issued, and in 2010, 447 were sent. This year the number has crossed 100,” said an officer.

In the past too, scarcely any alerts gave specifics like the suspected date of attack or the place or any information about the attackers. Significantly, no terror alert was issued before the bomb blasts in Mumbai in July that killed 25 people. Police offi
cers in the city complained that the generalities in the alerts do not help them in any way. In a crowded city like Mumbai, there are numberless spots that are always congested. “How can we keep tab everywhere? We try our level best to beef up security (when we get an alert) and erect nakabandis besides checking with our informers,” said an officer.

Meanwhile, a Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad team rushed to New Delhi on Wednesday to visit the high court where a bomb blast killed 11 and injured many more. “Our team will visit the blast site to examine the modus operandi, the material used in the bomb and how it was planted. They will also check if there was any similarity with the 13/7 bombings,” said an ATS officer.

The ATS team, sources said, is carrying the statements of some Indian Mujahideen members who were arrested in 2008 for allegedly sending emails in which they claimed responsibility for that year’s Delhi serial blasts. “As of now we can’t say who is behind the blast. We are open to all possibilities. We will discuss the issue with our counterparts there,” said a senior ATS officer.


SAFETY BLANKET

The government on Wednesday asked the police to increase security arrangements at all vulnerable spots and make special security arrangements outside all courts
With Ganeshotsav on, all guardian ministers were asked to return to their constituencies to monitor the law and order situation and assess security arrangements.

The Bombay high court separately chalked out plans to strengthen the security there.
The court plans to reintroduce an entrypass system similar to one that existed briefly during 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab’s death confirmation hearing. Alternatively, identity cards may be issued to all advocates



BEST staff ordered to be on lookout
The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport Undertaking (BEST) put its bus staff on alert and stepped up security at bus depots after the Delhi blast. BEST general manager Om Prakash Gupta told TOI that intelligence agencies and the home department had informed the undertaking about the “high alert” in the city. “I have instructed the managers at the 25 bus depots to ask drivers and conductors to keep an eye out for unclaimed bags and objects,” said Gupta. The undertaking has also decided to expedite the introduction of the security measures settled on after earlier terror attacks. Over the last few months, the BEST has been equipping its flying squads with metal detectors to conduct random checks in buses. Besides this, it is installing closed-circuit television cameras in buses and hiring guards to man its electric sub-stations and depots.
— Somit Sen | TNN


State speeds up CCTV procurement
Shaken by yet another bomb attack in the country, the state government on Wednesday decided to expedite the process of installing 5,000 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras around the city. In all, 10 companies have bid for the CCTV tender, whose deadline was Wednesday. State officials said they would shortlist the right bids and award contracts by November. “The government hopes that in the next six to seven months, Mumbai’s vital areas would be covered by a network of 5,000 CCTV cameras,” an official said. “This use of technology will strengthen surveillance and security in the city.” TNN


Times View
Wednesday’s Delhi high court blast is chillingly similar to what happened in Mumbai less than two months ago, especially in the ease with which the operation was carried out. What makes the future scarier is the total lack of headway in the 13/7 blasts probe. The government has again made the right “seasonal” noises about CCTVs and enhancing security it makes after a blast anywhere in the country. But it needs to understand that the public has now seen through the knee-jerk reactions—ordering more CCTVs and metal detectors—and the vague promises. The only way it can convince Mumbaikars that it is capable of securing the city is to take the 13/7 probe to its logical conclusion.


The Times of India, September 8, 2011

Malegaon ka superhero gets last wish, dies



Mateen Hafeez & Bharati Dubey I TNN


Mumbai: Shafique Shaikh, the cancer stricken M a l e g a o n man who starred in
M a l e ga o n Ka Superman, had one last wish: to see
his film’s release before his death. The film was released on Tuesday evening and he died on Wednesday morning after watching the final cut. Shaikh (23), father of two, was diagnosed with cancer last year and was being treated at Tata Memorial Hospital.

Nasir Khan, director of the film, said, “Shaikh’s last wish was to watch the film in a cinema hall. He was going through a tough time and we decided to organize a premiere at 6 pm on Tuesday. At 6 am on Wednesday, Shaikh died.” Shaikh was buried at Malegaon’s Bada Qabrastan (cemetery) around 2 pm on Wednesday. Thousands attended the funeral.

“On our request, film-maker Anurag Kashyap and several other Bollywood personalities had come to watch the premiere. Shaikh was brought
to Central cinema in a news channel van and taken inside on a stretcher. Though he could not speak, we saw him smiling everytime the audience clapped,” said Khan.

“After the film, the audience shook hands with the actor and congratulated him. He was taken home afterwards. Late at night, he felt acute pain and was breathless in the morning,” said Akram Khan, a unit member who played villain in the film. The spoof, where ‘Superman’ fights the menace of tobacco, was scheduled for a December release. Shaikh, a resident of Gulab Park in Malegaon, used to chew around 40 packets of gutka a day.

“Our movie is against the menace of tobacco. Sadly, our lead hero fell prey to it,” said a unit member.
“Actor Deepti Bhatnagar (producer of Malegaon Ka Chintu) footed the bill for Shaikh’s treatment at Tata Memorial Hospital,” the unit member added. Producer Sunil Bohra, who plans to have a theatrical release of the film in November, told TOI, “We will take care of his wife and children. We have asked his family to open a bank account and we will send them money on a regular basis.’’


The Times of India, September 8, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Red corner notices for 7 SpeakAsia office-bearers

ONLINE SURVEY FRAUD


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Investigations into the SpeakAsia fraud have revealed that the online survey firm duped over 24 lakh investors across the country and it haditsheadofficein Mumbaiitself, and not Singapore, as reportedearlier.

The police said the firm had transferred Rs 1,000 crore from India to Singapore. They said the
fraud amount has crossed Rs 2,276 crore, but going by the number of investors, it could be over Rs14,000crore.

Economic offences wing (EOW) additional commissioner of police Rajvardhan said, “We have seized two Mercedes cars belonging to its Indian chief, Manoj Kumar Sharma, currently in Dubai, and a panelist. We are trying to find out the banks where transactions took place. Our teams are also working on forensic accounting toes
tablishit.”

Thefirm, floated in 2010, had been duping peopleby posing as asurvey company.If an investor (panelist) invested Rs 11,000, he would be given a personal account number of thecompany’s nowdefunctwebsite and a password. Each panelist was given two surveys to complete a week andby doing 100 a year, an inves
tor was promisedRs52,000.

The EOW had arrested chief operating officer, Tarak Bajpai, 36, and his colleagues Rajeev Mehrotra, technical head for the portal, Shaikh Rais Latif, 32, an assistant for portal operations and in-charge of regular pop-ups,RaviJanakrajKhanna, 44,finance accountant, andDeepankar Sarkar. They are in the Thane(rural) police’scustody.

“We have found 60 accounts
in variousbanks andfrozethem with court permission. These accounts contain over Rs 150 crore. The two cars seized are valued at Rs 1.30 crore. We are looking for the company’s properties and will attach them with court permission,” said an officer. The firm’s international chief, Harinder Kaur, is at large. “Redcorner notices againstseven office-bearers have been issued. We are coordinating with other police agencies to arrest them,” theofficer added.

The police have found the flow of over Rs 1,000 crore to the UnitedBankof Singapore. “The firm has started a new web site, claiming the cops are allowing them to continue business. They are lying, to cheat investors. While people are coming forward, most don’t want to lodge complaints, hoping to get their money back,” saidtheofficer.The policesaid more arrests arelikely.

The Times of India, September 7, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

13/7 suspect was on way home from Jeddah




Mateen Hafeez I TNN


Mumbai: Mumbra resident Mohammed Haroon, who is being questioned in connection with the 13/7 triple blasts, had come to Mumbai from Jeddah on August 23 to celebrate Eid when he was detained by immigration officials at the airport.

A lookout notice had been issued against Haroon
(30), a suspected member of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). A bachelor, Haroon was arrested for allegedly possessing Rs 80,000 in fake Indian currency. Sources said Haroon was initially taken to the Andheri house of an officer who works with intelligence agencies which keep tabs on the underworld.

It is learnt that a D-gang member, who was deported from the UAE and has now been acquitted of all charges, had recently attended the funeral of this officer’s mother.
Haroon is now in the custody of the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) and is being grilled about the 13/7 triple blasts. The ATS is yet to make any arrest in the triple blasts case. “It is too early to say whether this suspect had any connection with the serial blasts. We are trying our best to detect the case,” said a security official.

It is learnt that Haroon’s brothers are trying to secure his release. A wellknown developer from south Mumbai is reportedly negotiating with the ATS for his release. The developer was in the news following the mysterious death of a Buddhist monk in Govandi a few years ago.
Meanwhile, a suspect, against whom a lookout notice had been issued, was detained at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and brought to Mumbai on Wednesday night.



The Times of India, September 4, 2011