Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hasan Ali suffers paralytic stroke, ignored by jail authorities: Lawyer

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Billionaire tax evader Hasan AliKhan,currently housed attheArthur Road jail, suffered a paralytic stroke on Thursday in his highly guarded special cell.Hislawyer,Ishwar PrasadBagharia, alleged that Ali was not provided any medicaltreatmentby thejail authorities.

Bagharia plans to move an application before a court on Monday in this regard.He,however,does not plan to attend the hearing, adding that he will wait for thecourt’sdirectionsin the matter.

“My client is dying in prison. Let him die. We want him to die,” quipped Bagharia sarcastically.

Terming the jail officials corrupt, he said, “All the jail officials are hand in glovewithJJhospital authorities. Why is Ali being given such shoddy treatment?”
Hasan Ali has been kept at the Arthur Roadjailsincehis arrest.

When contacted, jail officials said that Ali has not suffered a paralytic stroke and that he was fine. On Saturday morning, Ali was taken to JJ Hospital. “He was brought to the hospital for vari
ous blood tests. He has been coming to JJ for thelasteightdaysbuthas notbeen admittedtothehospital yet,” saidDr Ashok Rathor, acting dean,JJHospital.

Bagharia, on the other hand, alleged that jail records were being manipulated toshowthatofficialshavebeen taking Ali tothehospital regularly.

“Due to the paralytic attack, his face has been left disfigured. The corrupt jail authorities are not doing anything to save him. We have sent a notice to the jail authorities and will be filing an application beforethecourt,” he added.

However, Bagharia claimed that he won’t appear in courton Monday. “My junior willbe going tothecourt,butwill not argue the case. Let the court decide the course of Ali’s treatment. It’s up to the court whether it allows his treatment or not,” Bagharia said.

The Times of India, October 30, 2011

Bail plea of blast accused on Mon


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: With the bail hearing in the 2006 serial blasts case in Malegaon to be held on Monday, relatives, friends and supporters of the nine local youths arrested for their alleged role in the attack are hoping that they get relief this time.

Several residents have been agitating against the arrests right from the beginning. “We do not believe the police theory that these boys (all Muslims) engineered the September 8, 2006, blasts. The ATS has wrongly framed them in the case just because they were suspected to be members of the outlawed out
fit, SIMI. Now we are hoping that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is getting factual information about the actual culprits who have not been arrested so far,” said a member of the legal cell which is representing the nine accused.

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 bail application was filed before the MCOCA court and will be heard on Monday. Earlier, a CBI special task force which probed the case for two-and-a-half months this year had also indicated that the men were not involved in the blasts case and were wrongly implicated in the case by the ATS.

The Times of India, October 30, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

125 tourists rescued from boat off Elephanta

Falguni Banerjee & Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Mumbai: Nearly 125 tourists, including women and children, were stranded off Elephanta island for nearly one hour and 45 minutes, when their boat broke down while they were celebrating Diwali on Thursday.

They had boarded the Al-Hamd at 6.15 pm on their way back to the Gateway of India. A few minutes later, the boat stopped mid-sea, and after much arguing, the captain admitted that it had developed a technical snag. The boat started drifting from the route with the wind and as it turned dark, the boat began tossing around furiously with the high tide.

Some who where stranded did not want to recount the horrifying experience. “We only have our stars to thank,” said a relieved Rahul Sadhu, a resident of Nagpur. “When the boat did not start after 30 minutes, we realized that the staff aboard were not quali
fied, and we began making desperate phone calls. To our sheer bad luck, there was no network. After much delay, a passenger got through the police helpline, which forwarded the message to the coastal police.”

By then, it was 8 pm and after an agonizing wait, a patrol boat of
the Mumbai police located them and arranged an alternative rescue boat. They reached the Gateway at 9.30 pm.

“The boat operators at Gateway did not respond to our frantic calls. The boat had no life-jackets, hooters or helpline numbers, nor was there any food and water.
We got worried after it became dark. Nobody was responding to our calls. The children got cranky and were scared,” Sadhu said.

Another passenger, Mugdha Bhatawdekar, said, “For long, the driver did not admit that the boat had developed a snag. Fishermen on nearby boats could not hear our
shouts for help.”

Major Uday Kumar, who was stranded with his family, said, “Only a small bulb was burning in a corner. We located the operator’s number on the ticket but nobody responded. There were nearly 30 children on board. How careless can the authorities be?”

Another passenger, Pillai Balachandran, said, “Our mobile phones were not functioning. The boat had no communication or safety systems. The staff were illiterate, clueless and arrogant. Why did it take the police so long?” Two families missed their flights due to the incident.”

DCP (port zone) Tanaji Ghadge said soon after he received a message about the boat, he sent the Indrayani and Bombay 1 boats with over two dozen personnel from the Yellow Gate police station. The personnel, all trained swimmers, provided help to the stranded passengers, he said. The police have sought documents from the boat owner for verification.

The Times of India, October 29, 2011

Butcher murder: Accused will also be booked for suicide attempt


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The JJ Marg police has not arrested, Shaukat Ali, a mutton distributor, for killing a 55-year-old man. Ali, who tried to kill himself, too, after the murder is recuperating at the JJ Hospital.

Now, the police are planning to book him for attempt to commit suicide as well.

On October 20, Ali killed Jameel Qureshi with a knife around 4.15 pm at the latter’s shop in Surti Mohalla, near JJ junction. Locals caught Ali trying to flee the scene. “There were no injuries on Ali’s body while he was trying to flee. But in a span of 15 min
utes, he stabbed himself in his abdomen and his intestines were severely damaged. There were some cut marks on his chest as well,” said a police officer.

“The knife has been seized. The chemical analysis report will show if the knife contained the blood of both Ali and Qureshi,” said the officer. Ali, who was admitted to the ICU in a critical condition on that day, has been shifted to a general ward. “Ali is still in the hospital and will soon be arrested,” the police said. Qureshi, a resident of Nauspora in Bandra, is survived by a wife and seven children. The motive of the murder is yet to be established.

The Times of India, October 29, 2001

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fraud firm investors vent ire on cops

Investors of Symbiosis Gold Trade firm, also mired in controversy, outside the Esplanade Court on Tuesday

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Investors of SpeakAsia, labelled as a dysfunctional firm by the police, have been accusing the media and the police of trying to tarnish the company’s name, cops say. According to the police, investors still believe that the company would have paid up the amount due to them had there been no police action.

Some panelists of the company, who still believe that the company is functional, have been
sending emails, SMSs and calling this correspondent and have been either requesting or
threatening him to not write reports on the issue.

“However, those who are posing as panelists and still trying to dupe unsuspecting investors will be dealt with strictly,” said Rajvardhan Sinha, additional commissioner of police, economic offences wing (EOW), on Tues
day. SpeakAsia, an online survey firm, has been accused of duping lakhs of investors of crores of rupees.

The police have so far arrested eight accused, most of them being the office bearers of the firm. Tarak Bajpai (36), chief operating officer (COO) of the company, was granted bail by a Maharashtra court. He later applied for anticipatory bail in a Hyderabad court in connection with
a similar case. However, he disappeared soon after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected. The accused are facing cases in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Raipur, Jabalpur, Uttar Pradesh and other places.

“More than 200 complainants have approached us so far. These so-called spokespersons have earned a lot of money and are now trying to mislead people by telling them that there is no police
case against the company. We will take legal action against these panelists if they continue luring investors,” added Sinha. EOW teams from several states are looking for Bajpai. According to Sinha, the police has found out that the online surveys were ‘compiled’ in Mumbai.

“They hired a person to compile surverys, which were later given to the investors, who were told that reputed firms had given out contracts for the surveys, which is false and misleading,” a police officer said. He said that the person who prepared surveys for SpeakAsia would get Rs 15,000 for several assignments and that this amount was later increased upto Rs 1 lakh.

A police officer said that in such cases the investors should also be booked under the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 since they are essentially gambling.

The Times of India, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SpeakAsia COO bail may be cancelled


Mateen Hafeez

Mumbai: The economic offences wing (EOW) of the city police will move the Bombay high court to cancel bail granted to fraud investment firm SpeakAsia’s chief operating officer Tarak Bajpai. He was granted bail in August but did not attend court hearings.

Bajpai (36), who was admitted to Thane’s Jupiter Hospital, jumped bail and has been missing for the last couple of days. “We are trying to trace him, but in vain,” said an officer.
The EOW has appointed special public prosecutor Pradip Gharat to represent the prosecution. The enforcement directorate is probing the role of moneylaundering agents as

The Times of India, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fraud firm COO disappears while on bail

Tarak Bajpai

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The chief operating officer (COO) of fraud online survey firm SpeakAsia has jumped bail. “Tarak Bajpai (36) has disappeared and we don’t know where he is,” said an officer.

Bajpai was first arrested by the Mumbai economic offences wing (EOW) along with other co-accused in the multicrore scam. The men were then arrested by the Thane police in a case registered there. Bajpai complained of health problems and was admitted to Jupiter Hospital on bail and was operated upon.

In the meantime, the Andhra Pradesh police took the remaining accused into custody and took them to Hyderabad. “At that time, Bajpai was in the hospital,” said the officer. Upon
his discharge from the hospital, Bajpai, through his lawyer, approached the Hyderabad court seeking anticipatory bail. “He was not present during the hearing and his anticipatory bail application was rejected,” said the officer.

SpeakAsia, floated in 2010, allegedly duped people by posing as
a survey company. Investors, also called panelists, were given usernames and passwords to be used on the company’s now defunct website upon payment of Rs 11,000. Each panelist was given two surveys to complete in a week. Investors were promised Rs 52,000 if they completed 100 surveys in a year.

According to the police, SpeakAsia transferred Rs 1,000
crore from India to Singapore and that the fraud amount could be over Rs14,000 crore going by the number of investors. Investigations have revealed that the online survey firm duped over 24 lakh investors across the country.

The company’s head office is in Mumbai and not Singa
pore as reported earlier.

The other men arrested with Bajpai are the portal’s technical head Rajeev Mehrotra, Shaikh Rais Latif (32), an assistant for portal operations and in-charge of regular popups, accountant Ravi Janakraj Khanna (44), senior panelist Deepankar Sarkar, financial
advisor Sanjeev Danda and one of the directors, Rahul Shah.

EOW has seized two Mercedes belonging to the firm’s Indian chief and panelist, Manoj Kumar Sharma, who is currently in Dubai. “We found more than 175 accounts in various banks with a collective balance of over 150 crore. All of these have been frozen. The two seized cars are valued at Rs 1.30 crore. We are looking for the company’s properties and will attach them with court’s permission,” said an officer.

The firm’s international chief, Harinder Kaur, is at large. “Red corner notices against seven office-bearers have been issued. We are coordinating with other police agencies to arrest them,” the officer added.

Tarak Bajpai, chief operating officer of fraud online survey firm SpeakAsia, was first arrested by the Mumbai economic offences wing along with other co-accused in the multi-crore scam
The men were then arrested by the Thane police in a case registered there. Bajpai was admitted to Jupiter Hospital where he was operated upon
In the meantime, the Andhra Pradesh police took the accused, except Bajpai as he was still in hospital, into custody and took them to Hyderabad
After being discharged from the hospital, Bajpai, through his lawyer, approached the Hyderabad court seeking anticipatory bail. The court rejected Bajpai’s anticipatory bail plea

The Times of India, October 24, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

‘Terrorists now using satphones’

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Struggling to fight terrorism, the Union home ministry this week issued a confidential note to security agencies in the country warning them abouttheuseof satellite phones of service providers like Thuraya, Iridium and Inmarsat.

The one-page ‘secret’ fax read: “Satellite phone services are not permitted in India. However, unauthorized handlers of Thuraya, Iridium and other satphoneoperatorshave been found using these connectionsillegally.Footprintsof Dubai-based Thuraya, Iridium, Inmarsat (originally InternationalMaritime Satellite Organization) are available in India.Itissuspectedthatsome terrorist group is using these phones.”

Tata provides Inmarsat servicesin India throughitslocal earth station in Dighi, Pune. The department of telecommunication (DoT) has
been informed abouttheuseof illegal satphones by individuals in the country, and it is exploring ways to monitor and jam them.

The note that instructed monitoring of activities of terror suspects in the country was sent to additional chief secretaries and director-generals of police of all the states, commissioners of police and all anti-terror wings in the country.

Only mobile phonescan be tracked, but infighting within
security agencies is also to blame, as each agency uses its own network to track suspicious signals. A retired Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) official had stated that most agencieswerebusy monitoring each others radio signals rather than focusing on their job or sharing information withother agencies.

The satellite phones, commonly used by the defence forces and governmentsecurity agencies, are now being used by terror outfits. Pakista
ni terrorists had been in touch with their Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) handlers through Thuraya satellite phones to ensure that there was no record of their conversations, in the 26/ 11 attacksin Mumbaiin 2008.

A satphone, similar to a mobile phone,seizedfrom MV Kuber, a fishing trawler,is part of evidence before the SupremeCourt.The10terrorists who travelled from Karachi in Al-Hussain and then shifted to Kuber after reaching Indian waters had been using the Thuraya service (phone number +8821655526412).

Security agencies authorized to monitor phone calls have now noticed an unusual silence and almost no contact being made across the border. A senior intelligence officer said they had for sometime been suspecting that the terroristshad movedto voiceover internet protocol (VoIP), which helps delivery of voice and multimedia data over the Internet.


• The basic difference between cell phones and satellite phones is that the former are dependent on networks of terrestrial cell antennas, while the latter use orbiting satellites

• Satellite phones are normally operated through Inmarsat, for which the land earth station in India is near Pune

• Services to satellite phones used by terrorists in the Mumbai attacks were provided by Thuraya, which covers 99 countries, including India

• These phones can keep conversations classified, so one need not worry that his/her call can be monitored

The Times of India, October 20, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Alert on Naxal threat to blow up city airport

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) and other security agencies received a terror alert this week, warning that a separatist Naxalite body engaged in insurgency activities was planning to breach the perimeter wall of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
The attackers would be using pentaerythritol trinitrate (PETN), a highly powerful plastic explosive, the alert said.

The Times of India, October 20, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Women thrash fraud firm MD

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The police faced a tough time in protecting Rahul Patil, the managing director of Symbiosis Gold Trade, who allegedly duped thousands of investors across Maharashtra. A group of investors, mostly women, began hitting Patil with chappals when he was brought to the Esplanade court on Tuesday. Patil has been accused of cheating over 530 investors.

The police arrested Patil last week and had brought him to court for further remand. Economic offences wing (EOW) officials on Monday arrested Patil’s office manager, Sheila Rajan Rathore alias Jenny (29) in the same fraud case. On Tuesday, soon after the policemen brought Patil out of the court premises after producing him there, a group of women approached Patil and began hitting him with chappals. “Give our money back!,” they demanded. Of the Rs 86 crore invested in Patil’s multi-level market
ing firm, the investors were repaid Rs 74 crores. “Patil has not paid the remaining Rs 12 crores to investors,” said investigating officer Vinayak Chavan of the EOW.

The investors include Air India employees, nurses, policemen, journalists, doctors and engineers. Patil promised to double the investment in one year. “I retired from the railways in 2009. I had got my provident fund amount and invested around 2.50 lakh in the scheme. I got only two instalments. Patil had promised a return of 10% profit on the investments,” said J N Sanghya, an investor.

Patil was arrested after being on the run for over one and a half years. Patil had alleged that the underworld was threatening him and he needed time to repay the amounts. He shut down his four offices in Mumbai and disappeared. He had appointed commission agents, who would get Rs 200 for enrolling a member. Patil, along with his brother, had started the company in 2001.

The Times of India, October 19, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Woman CEO of MNC busted for cybercrime

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Cybercrime is perceived as the province of depraved men. But a disturbing trend has come to light of late. Increasingly, women are resorting to online tactics to achieve some nefarious end.

Recently, the woman CEO of a multinational corporation’s India operations was detained by the police for cyber-harassment of a co-worker in HR —also a woman.

The CEO, aged 43, posted derogatory remarks about the HR executive, aged 39, on a consumer website to
malign her. She described the victim as a sex pest who eyed young men newly recruited into the company and was also “having a good time with a former employee”, said an officer with the police’s cyber crime investigation cell. The CEO was traced through the IP address from where the posts were made.

“In her police complaint, the victim, who is incidentally unmarried, told us that someone was posting comments about her character, or lack thereof, and
that she was described as someone who frequently slept with her colleagues and ‘spoiled’ them,” said a police officer. “She said it all started when she found a change in the way her colleagues perceived her, so much so that she found it difficult to work with them. It was only when her friends and well-wishers asked her about the online posts that she realized what the matter was. She told us she was taken aback and did not know how to react.”
CEO was jealous of colleague’s rise through the ranks
Mumbai: The woman CEO of an MNC’s country operations was recently detained by the police for cyber-harassment of a colleague. She would post on a website derogatory remarks about the colleague, who is an HR executive. The police sought from the website the internet protocol address from where the posts were submitted. “It was found to originate from an apartment in a residential complex in Goregaon. When we reached there, we were shocked to find that the house belonged to the CEO of the firm where the victim worked,” the officer said. “Initially, the CEO was not cooperating. She even accused us of harassing her and said we should conduct our probe in the ‘right direction’ rather than ‘roam here and there’. But we had technical evidence. When we confronted her with it and emphasized that the IP address belonged to her own PC, she surrendered. Her husband, who is in a senior post in a private firm, seemed helpless.”

The CEO broke down at the police station. “She found herself in front of the victim, who she could not look in the eye. She even had tears,” the officer said.

“In a written apology, she said she was jealous as the victim was getting quick promotions. So, she started writing the online posts, the website being one that is commonly visited by private companies, including her own, to do background checks on potential recruits. She wanted the management to take note of the posts and initiate action against the victim.”

The Times of India, October 17, 2011

Women suffer cybercrime in silence

Only Six Of 800 Police Complaints In The Last Nine Months Got Translated Into FIRs

Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Women are often silent victims of crime. Cybercrime is no different. Though an increasing number of cybercrime victims are women, very few come forward to lodge FIRs. “Of late, more of such women are becoming open about their experiences. However, when it comes to filing an FIR, they seem to chicken out. Our cybercrime investigation cell receives hundreds of complaints, but if they don’t translate into FIRs, what good are they?” said a police officer.

In the last nine months, the cell received around 800 complaints, most of them from women; but only six complainants lodged FIRs. “In cases of cyber harassment, we normally carry out a preliminary probe considering the sensitivities involved. But once the identity of the offender is established, the complainant prefers not to pursue the case. With
out an FIR, the police cannot put the law in motion and make arrests,” the officer said. “Take this case, for example. A woman employee of a private firm complained of receiving an obscene email. Our investigation revealed the sender to be a woman friend of hers who posed as a man. We tracked the sender down but had to close the matter there as the email’s recipient did not want to file an FIR.

“We understand that the sender was her friend. But given the nature of the email’s contents, she should have filed an FIR. The sender created a fake email account. She then asked the victim, who is married and has a child, if she was being sexually satisfied by her colleagues. The sender also wrote that ‘he’ would give her ‘full satisfaction’.”

A cyber cell officer said women victims are scared of their names being published in newspapers if they lodge FIRs. “They think this would tarnish their image. A common complaint we get from women is nude photos of
them being uploaded. Such photographs are clicked when a relationship is in its prime. Later, when it sours, the ex-partner uses the photos for revenge. Our appeal to victims is to come forward and lodge FIRs.”

Never share passwords, even with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Avoid having common email accounts Do not reply to emails of unknown origin Do not share old or intimate pictures with new online friends Never click or reply to unknown emails Attend classes, if need be, to become tech-savvy If you are planning to launch a website, approach a reputed registrar to get your domain name registered. Many registrars follow sloppy procedures, permitting unverified data transfers Get the domain name locked Register a trademark to protect your domain name from theft Buy all top extensions (.com,, etc) for your domain name to prevent
against theft and your web traffic being misled Restrict access to your admin email account The best way to secure your email account against spam bots is to host it on your personal domain. Email accounts on popular mail services are always at risk of being hijacked Create your password with a string of alphabets and numerals to make it strong. Change it frequently

The Times of India, October 17, 2011

Classmate hounds girl using group ID

Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Mumbai: This is a case that illustrates the perils of using group email IDs. Sometime ago, an information technology engineer from VJTI complained to the police about receiving an offensive email from her college friends that described her private parts and her sex life.

The police’s cyber cell conducted a probe and found that the email account belonged to 60 students of her batch. “The group comprised 10 girls and 50 boys. Who among them sent her the email? The needle of suspicion fell on almost everyone in the group,” said a police officer. “More emails followed, each more unsavoury than the preceding one. They also contained expletives. We first got a list
of all 60 users of the email account. Then we traced the IP address of the sender and zeroed in on him.

“This classmate had a crush on the victim, but was ignored by her. It was a case of jealousy; he sought revenge. But then he had never spoken to the victim about his feelings for her; so how would she know? Still, he did not like her interacting with other male students. “So what does he do? Harass her… We found that he had sent the emails from his laptop. We found the emails in his outbox.

“During questioning, he confessed to the crime. He told us that he found the girl’s attitude humiliating. Perhaps more humiliating for him was to face his father at the police station.”

The Times of India, October 17, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Killer of two HC advocates says he has no regrets

Aslam Shaikh he was ill-treated and humiliated by his sister, an advocate

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Aslam Shaikh (50) told the police on Friday that he did not repent killing his sister and their nephew, both Bombay high court advocates, on October 8, as she would spend Rs 7,000 on food for birds and Rs 5,000 on milk for the cat, but would not give him any money.

Aslam, who has been sent to police custody for 15 days, said Fahmida’s “ill-treatment” forced

him to take that drastic step.

Terming Aslam as a be c h a ra, J J Marg police station in-charge Khanderao Patil said he was often humiliated and ignored by Fahmida (60) and her nephew Arsh aka Shera (27). “We found the two murdered on Monday afternoon. Fahmida’s throat was slit open and the body had 17 stab injuries, while Shera’s had nine. No property, documents or valuable were stolen. The killer did not touch two Blackberry phones
too. The room was locked from outside,” assistant commissioner of police Ravi Thakur said.

Fahmida’s youngest brother, Iqbal (46), is in Arthur Road jail for an extortion case, while Aslam was in Meerut. “We informed Aslam that his sister had been killed. He did not show interest in claiming her body and told us to hand it over to some relative. It surprised us. However, he came to Mumbai and we picked him up from Mumbai Central railway station,” said Thakur.

Patil said, “Aslam came at around 2 am, went to the roof of her house, removed the asbestos sheet and entered from the drawing room. Fahmida was asleep in the bedroom. He first slit her throat and then began attacking her. Hearing her screams, Shera woke up and tried to help but
he did not survive the knife attack.”

After killing the two, Aslam cleaned up the room, locked it from outside and left back for Meerut. “Aslam said the three rooms (approximate cost: Rs 1.20 crore) owned by Fahmida and another flat in Mumbra belonged to their father. However, Fahmida did not give him a single room and paid him only Rs 50,000. Last year, when Aslam’s family wanted to come to Mumbai to attend Shera’s wedding, she only permitted him. He had been humiliated, which enraged him,” Patil added.

The Times of India, October 15, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Kin detained in Nagpada double murder

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Aslam Shaikh, the brother of deceased Bhendi Bazar lawyer Fahmida, who, along with her nephew Arsh, was found murdered on Monday afternoon, arrived in Mumbai on Wednesday to claim the bodies of his kin. But after hours of sustained questioning, Shaikh was detained for the murders by the JJ Marg police. He is expected to be arrested on Friday.
Police suspect Shaikh was upset as Fahmida had transferred her properties in Arsh’s name. “Shaikh, who claimed he had arrived from Meerut, could not provide evidence for his journey. Fahmida hadn’t given him a share of her property, which enraged Shaikh,” a source said.

The Times of India, October 14, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

CBI clears 2 of oil pilferer’s kin in Manmad burning

Addl Collector Sonawane Faced Several Allegations Of Bribery, Says Chargesheet

Santosh Sonawane & Mateen Hafeez | TNN

The CBI has exonerated two members of the family of prime accused Popat Shinde in the chargesheet the agency has filed for the January 25 murder of Malegaon additional collector Yeshwant Sonawane. The agency has also alleged that Sonawane was involved in bribery and extortion and had an arrangement with oil pilferer Popat.

Sonawane was murdered by the oil mafia because his relationship with Popat had deteriorated, says the CBI. While the police had accused 11 people in its FIR for the sensational murder, two of them, Shinde’s son Vikas and brother-in-law Deepak Borse, have been cleared by the CBI, which recently filed chargesheets in the Manmad magistrate’s court and Nashik juvenile court.

While the Manmad police’s earlier FIR said that Sonawane was killed by the oil mafia after he detected pilferers robbing fuel outside a dhaba, the CBI chargesheet says Sonawane had called Shinde to the dhaba. Shinde said he was busy with rituals following a death in the family, but Sonawane insisted. Shinde then went to the dhaba with his son and two others and killed Sonawane. The CBI alleges that Shinde committed the crime in a fit of rage and due to past enmity.

TOI reported on January
28 that Popat had told the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) that he was being harassed for bribes and that the arrested men told police that Sonawane’s aides were taking bribes.

The CBI says that a tanker belonging to Popat was seized on May 10, 2010 for violating the Essential Commodities Act. The matter had been pending with Sonawane. Popat on August 27, 2010 complained to the ACB,
Nashik, that Sonawane demanded a bribe of Rs 1 lakh to release the tanker. The amount was brought down to Rs 75,000. The ACB tried thrice on August 30 and 31 to nab Sonawane red-handed with the money, but failed.

The police had initially arrested 11 people, but Popat, who was also burnt in the incident, died on January 31 in JJ Hospital, Mumbai. Of the remaining 10, the CBI has charged seven — Rajendra
Shirsat, Machhindra Suradkar and Ajay Sonawane for murder, and Haqqani Khan Rabbani, Imran Khan and Tausif Altaf Shaikh for rioting, criminal conspiracy and black marketing. The seventh person is Popat’s minor son Kunal, 17, who faces murder, rioting and black marketing charges in the juvenile court. Along with Vikas and Borse, Sitaram Bhalerao is not named in the CBI chargesheet.

Meanwhile, Yeshwant’s elder brother, Sham Sonawane, who is with the Nashik rural police, said the family is not interested in following the case. “Ever since the incident, neither my wife nor my sister-in-law are keeping well. Thus we have decided to not watch TV or read the papers,” said Sham.

“People keep enquiring, which only adds to the stress. I too try to remain out of it. Popat Shinde and Yeshwant
may or may not have been acquainted. The investigations may go in any direction. No one knows what transpired between the two as both are no more,” he said.

After the initial Rs 25 lakh received as compensation from the state, the Sonawanes said they got nothing, including Yeshwant’s salary and pension. Sham said, “We are paying installments for the flat from the interest got from the Rs 25 lakh we deposited.”


JAN 25: Additional collector (Malegaon) Yeshwant Sonawane is burnt alive by the oil mafia in Panewadi, Manmad city, Nashik district. Police register an FIR in which Sonawane’s PA Raju Kale and driver Kailash Gawli are the main complainants
JAN 25-26: 11 are arrested for murder. Black marketing charges are later added
JAN 27 TO 31: Reports emerge that prime accused Popat Shinde’s relatives and the arrested men tell police that Sonawane and his aides were collecting bribes
JAN 31: Popat, who was also burnt in the melee, dies at JJ Hospital, Mumbai. 10 accused remain
FEB 2: Home minister R R Patil says the CBI will be asked to begin a probe
FEB 11: The Manmad police invoke the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the case
APR 8: Jagan Pimple, Rajesh Batolia and Dheeraj Yewale, who have been added as accused by the police for black marketing, move the Bombay high court seeking quashing of the FIR against them and challenging the application of MCOCA
OCT 11: CBI files chargesheet accusing only four initially named by police of murder. Three are named for rioting and blackmarketing and three have been let off

Popat Shinde (prime accused); Kunal, 17 (Popat’s minor son); Vikas, 19 (Popat’s son); Ajay Sonawane, 25; Imran Khan, 25; Haqqani Khan Rabbani, 49; Deepak Borse, 32 (Popat’s son-in-law); Raju Shirsat (Popat’s employee); Machhindra Suradkar; Sitaram Bhalerao; Tausif Altaf Sheikh

Jagan Pimple, Rajesh Batalia, Dheeraj Yewale

FOR MURDER: Rajendra Shirsat, Machhindra Suradkar, Ajay Sonawane, Kunal Shinde*
FOR RIOTING, CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY & BLACK MARKETING: Haqqani Khan Rabbani, Imran Khan, Tausif Altaf Sheikh, Kunal Shinde*
FOR BLACK MARKETING: Jagan Pimple, Rajesh Batolia, Dheeraj Yewale * Kunal is charged in the juvenile court
Deepak Borse, Vikas Shinde, Sitaram Bhalerao

Yeshwant Sonawane

The Times of India, October 13, 2011

‘Hope Mirchi will be extradited within a month’

S Ahmed Ali & Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai/New Delhi: India is keeping its fingers crossed regarding the extradition of drug baron Iqbal Memon alias Iqbal Mirchi within a month, with the UK authorities’ communication with the Interpol wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) regarding his arrest in London. The UK authorities responded to Interpol’s email and telephonic conversation and have told the CBI to start the process on Wednesday. Sources said the CBI has contacted the Mumbai police, who have started dusting out Mirchi’s old files.

Mirchi (61), wanted in India, particularly by the Mumbai police, in half a dozen cases, was arrested by the London police on Monday. Sources said a businessman from London alleged that Mirchi, who operates rice mills as front companies, had threatened him over property. Mirchi has been remanded to police custody till October 15. Sources said his lawyers may appeal for bail, but senior Interpol officials are speaking to the UK authorities for his extradition. India’s request for Mirchi’s extradition in 1998 was rejected after he sought political asylum, claiming that he would be persecuted as he belonged to a minority community. Sources said even music composer Nadeem Saifee, who was accused of killing mu
sic baron Gulshan Kumar, could be extradited as he too had alleged that he was framed as he belonged to a minority community.

With Mirchi’s deportation, the crime branch hopes he will shed light on journalist J Dey’s killing. There were reports that Dey, who was killed at gangster Chhota Rajan’s behest in June, had met Mirchi in London. But the trail got cold as the police could not collect evidence.

“We have information that he purchased several properties for the Dawood Ibrahim gang in London. Though it is not an offence in London, we have information about the money flow and how it was used for the gang,” said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime). “We are collecting evidence to prepare a dossier on him. We will try our best to extradite him,” he added. However, the city police may have a problem proving charges against Mirchi as most officers who investigated the cases have retired. The witnesses have also either changed residence, died or are untraceable.

Meanwhile, the Indian government on Wednesday said it was making all efforts to extradite Mirchi. Union external affairs minister S M Krishna said the process had already started. “We will take up the issue with the British government and hopefully he’ll be extradited.”

The Times of India, October 13, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lawyers’ killers knew duo won’t have visitors

The police found Fahmida Shaikh and her nephew, Arsh, dead in their Bhendi Bazar home

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Investigations into the murder of two Bombay high court lawyers, a 60-yearold woman and her nephew, have revealed that the killers knew that the two would be at home on Saturday and no guest was likely to arrive.

The decomposed bodies of Fahmida Shaikh and her 27-year-old nephew, Arsh, were found at their Bhendi Bazar residence on Monday evening. “Everything in the house is intact. Nothing has

been found or reported missing. It seems that the assailants just wanted to kill the duo and had nothing to do with money or other stuff,” said another officer.

But to allay any doubt, the police are still trying to ascertain if the murders were the fallout of a dispute over money. The officials have found the mobiles of the deceased and sent them for analysis to find out the call details. “The calls that they made and received will definitely help the
police lead the probe,” said an officer. The police have so far questioned and recorded the statements of nine persons.

The police said Fahmida’s brother, Iqbal Shaikh, has been in jail since 2006, when he was arrested in an extortion case and booked under the MCOCA. However, his wife visited the Shaikhs regularly. In fact, she stayed with the Shaikhs most of the time but every Friday and Sunday, she visited her mother’s house, which is also located nearby. “The murderers were aware that Iqbal’s wife would not be at home. Primary investigations show that the killers or conspirators were acquaintances of the Shaikhs,” said a police officer. Post mortem reports are yet to describe the sequence of event leading to the murder. The police will take court permission to question Iqbal.

After the neighbours alerted the police on Sunday afternoon about a stench emanating from the Shaikhs’ locked house, a team arrived at the spot and had to break open the door of the three-room residence. They discovered the bodies in the bedroom. The officials suspect that the murders took place two days ago.

Fahmida’s husband, Jalal, who was also an advocate, died eight years ago and since then she had been staying with her nephew. “As the couple did not have a child, they adopted Arsh more than two decades ago,” said a neighbor.

The Times of India, October 12, 2011


Offenders Behind Terror-Related Hoax Calls & E-Mails Are Jilted Youth Seeking Revenge Or Teens In Search Of Fun And Fame

Mateen Hafeez | TNN

Terror e-mail hoaxes have become the weapon of choice for the jealous or jilted lover and the teenager or young professional looking for a bit of fun or fame. The police are now calling for stricter laws to act as a deterrent to future callers. In the past, most offenders simply got away with a rap on the wrist despite the fact that that investigating agencies end up diverting a large chunk of their resources and time assessing the veracity and threat level of the hoax. But in three recent hoax e-mail cases in the aftermath of the Delhi High Court blast, the offenders have been booked for cyber terrorism, where the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

In September, three people
from different parts of India—all in their late teens or early 20s—had various investigating agencies chasing false leads by claiming to be associated with terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI). Kolkata resident Sunny Shukla (23) sent a terror email after the Delhi High Court blast posing as a HuJI member and taking responsibility for the attack. He was motivated by the need to have “some fun”.

In an unrelated case, UPbased Manoj Ojha (24) who works as a data operator also sent an e-mail claiming to be a HuJi member. In the third instance, the NIA arrested Kashmiri teenager Aamir Ahmed
(19) after he sent the agency a terror e-mail posing as an Indian Mujahideen member.

“By using the names of terror groups the offenders know that they will get publicity at the national level. They also believe that they can get away with the crime,” said a senior police officer. An unrepentant Ojha said he was testing the Delhi police’s security, preparedness and response levels. “I wanted to check the police’s alertness so I sent them an e-mail claiming responsibility of the Delhi HC blast,” he told the police.

Revenge was 24-year-old Pune resident Rashmi Shinde’s motive. She had called up a local newspaper in Pune and the Union home ministry control room in New Delhi on August 30 warning them that a person by name of Shirish Kulkarni was on his way to assassinate anticorruption crusader Anna Hazare. When the police finally questioned Shinde and identified the would-be assassin, they unravelled the age-old plot of a jilted lover exacting revenge on her former boyfriend.

The problem is rampant in Mumbai, too, where the police receive a terror hoax call alm o s t e ve r day. Em a i l threats are also on the rise, said investigators with the cyber crime cell of the Mumbai police.

In May 2011, the city police arrested software developer Tushar Sawant (27) for sending a terror e-mail to the CBI. ‘‘Sawant had lost his job at a multinational company prior to sending the e-mail where he claimed to be a part of terror group, which was planning to carry out a nationwide attack. He said that cities like Mumbai and Delhi would be targeted,’’ said a police official said. Sawant was not booked for cyber terrorism as the police believed he was not mentally stable. Instead he was booked for hacking under the Information Technology Act, which has a more lenient sentence of two years imprisonment and (or) a fine.

Convicted, but not punished
A16-year-old teenager from Ahmedabad sent an e-mail to a private news channel on March 18, 2008 warning officials of a bomb on an Andheri-bound train. In the e-mail, he claimed to be a member of the Dawood Ibrahim gang. Three days later, the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) of the city police arrested the boy under Section 506 (ii) for criminal intimidation. He was convicted, but did not face imprisonment. A juvenile court let him off with a warning

Living Vicariously?
On April 1 2011, as Mumbai geared up for Cricket World Cup match, which was to be held at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, Rajesh Dave (40), a ticketing agent, posted a threat on the city police’s website posing as an LeT member. He said he had planted 30 bombs at the stadium and dared the police to find them. When investigators finally traced him, Dave said he had posted it for fun

Depression and mental illness
In May this year, the city police arrested software developer Tushar Sawant (27) for sending a terror e-mail to the CBI. ‘‘Sawant had lost his job at a multinational company prior to sending a threatening e-mail where he claimed to be a part of terror group, which was planning to carry out a nationwide attack. In his e-mail he said that cities like Mumbai and Delhi would be targeted,’’ said a police official said. But Sawant was not booked for cyber terrorism as he was not mentally stable. Instead he was booked for hacking under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, which has a more lenient sentence of two years imprisonment and (or) a fine

Past Cases

NOV 11, 2009 | The cyber crime cell arrested a 17-yearold boy for sending a hoax e-mail to Air India “to see how the security agencies responded”. The offender was the son of a doctor employed at a government hospital in Haryana. He wrote in the mail that there will be a bomb on an IA plane on November 1.’’
STATUS: Charge sheet filed, trial on

July 29, 2008: A 14-year-old Colaba boy sent a hoax e-mail to a TV channel in Madhya Pradesh, three days after the July 26, 2008, Ahmedabad bomb blasts. He claimed that 29 bombs would go off in Jabalpur. He was picked up by officers of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) who, with the help of the MP police, were able to trace the e-mail to a cyber cafĂ© in Colaba. STATUS: No FIR was registered. The Cuffe Parade police registered a non-cognizable (NC) complaint against him, and the boy was allowed to go home after the police gave him a “strict warning”

February 26, 2006:
A 17-year-old student from Jamnabai Narsee School called an Alitalia flight bound to Milan at 2am telling them there was a bomb on board. He wanted to stop his girlfriend from going abroad. She was one of the 12 students on their way to attend a mock United Nations session in Genoa

May 25, 2009: A 15-year-old teenager from Bangalore was arrested for allegedly sending a terror e-mail to a private news channel claiming that he had planted five bombs in Mumbai. He had challenged the police to find them before it was too late. His hoax mail read: “I have planted five bombs in Mumbai; you have two hours to find it.” The police traced the Internet Protocol (IP) address to Vijay Nagar in Bangalore, and the boy was booked for criminal intimidation. The Information Technology (amended) Acts section for cyber terrorism, where the maximum penalty is life imprisonment, however, was not included in the charge sheet.
STATUS: Trial pending

The Times of India, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Terror suspect Afroz Shaikh flying high 10 years later

Afroz Shaikh

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Afroz Shaikhwas arrested by the city crime branch in October 2001 for planning to hijack an airliner in theUK and crashing it into the House of Commons on 9/11. A free man now, he says the police’s attempts to ‘‘malign’’ him failed. Thefather of twohadto giveup his career as a pilot and now helpshisfamily in the garment business.

Heoffers namazfivetimes a day now andspends mostof his time with his family. “It was a horrible experience with the city police. I was termed an al Qaida associatein India and arrested on terror charges. But where is the evidence? The entirecasewasfabricated andthe police’s cooked up story fell through in court,” saysAfroz.

“I was framed in eight cases. Just to keep me in custody, the cops booked me in cases
of theft, robbery and forgery,” he laughs. He says his family and the media stood by him in the “most difficult time of his life”. Soon after the court acquitted him, he decided to marry a Pune-based HR executive, now ahousewife.

“My two sons go to reputed schools. I don’t want to mix my present with the past but I re
member the methods and tactics the police used to harass and malign me. My passport is still with the court so I can’t take up the job of a pilot. What have they achieved by doing this?” Afrozwonders.

His training certificates obtainedfrom Australian,American andBritishflying clubs are withthecourttoo. “Iwanttoexpand my business and go abroad but my passport is with thecourt,” saysAfroz,trying to recollect the date his papers expired a few years ago.

How did he spend six months in jail? “Excellent,” he laughs, “I was not a culprit but framed in the case. My father had arranged homemade food andother stuff in jail.Other inmates would clean my clothes and myfamily would pay them. Even Iwould get a massageservicein jail.” He also contested the 2004 assembly elections as an independentbutlost.

The Case File
Waging war against nation and criminal conspiracy (Pota case); extortion case at Vashi police station; theft case at Azad Maidan; four cases of theft and robbery at various police stations
(acquitted in all); forgery of SSC marksheet
(pending in the high court)

The Times of India, October 11, 2011

Two HC lawyers found murdered in Nagpada

Cops outside the Shaikhs’ first floor residence at Bhendi Bazaar

Woman (60), Nephew Had Planned Haj

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Two Bombay high court lawyers, a 60-year-old woman and her nephew, were found murdered at their BhendiBazaar residenceon Monday evening.

Fahmida Shaikh and Arsh Shaikh (27) were found lying in apoolof bloodin their bedroom after police broke open the lock of their three-room residence in Nagpada. The two were to leavefor Hajon October 29. The J J Marg police received a telephone call from neighbours at 4 pm, informing them that a stenchwasemanating from the Shaikhs’ residence andtheoccupantshad notbeen seen for two days. “It seems the murder took place around two days ago. Nothing seems to be missing or stolen,” said Ashok Durraphe, assistant commissioner of police (crime branch). The police are yet to establish the motiveof the murders.

A police van was stationed near the Minara Masjid Trust building, and the lane was cordoned off as teams went inside the room. The bodies were sent toJJHospitalfor post-mortem.
Fahmida’s husband, Jalal, who was also an advocate, had passed away around eight years ago. “The couple did not
have any children, but they adopted Arsh more than two decades ago.ArshwasFahmida’s nephew and had been staying with them,” said a neighbour.

The Shaikhs were a bit reserved but would keep in touch with the neighbours. “Fahmida hadcometoour room on Fri
day and spoke to us. She spoke about her domestic work and other issues,” added another neighbour. On Sunday, the Shaikhs’ maidfoundthedoor locked and left. She returned on Monday, but again found the door locked,the neighbourssaid.
Arsh marriedon October 23 last year butseparatedfrom his wife after six months. “Fahmida would treat Arsh like a son. They had paid a privatetour operator Rs 5 lakh for the Haj pilgrimage,” said a neighbour.

The Shaikhs owned three rooms in the building. A police officer said, “We did not find any weapon at the spot. There seems to be the involvement of an insider whohad gotthekeys, murdered them and locked the room beforefleeing.” Fahmida’s brother, Iqbal Shaikh, has been in jail for six yearsin a caseunder MCOCA.

A 60-year-old woman and her nephew, both high court lawyers, were found murdered in their three-room Bhendi Bazaar residence on Monday
Fahmida Shaikh and Arsh Shaikh were to set off for Haj
After the maid found the door locked for two consecutive days, and the neighbours noticed a stench from the residence, they called up the police
Cops suspect an insider’s job

The Times of India, October 11, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

ATS gets no leads out of bike mechanic from UP

13/7 PROBE

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officers, probing the July 13 triple blasts, thought they had found a definite lead when they picked up a bike mechanic, Bhima, from Basti in Uttar Pradesh recently. However, it turned out to be another dead end as Bhima’s interrogation yielded precious little and the ATS hadtosubsequently release him.

Bhima’s name cropped up when Arjun Choudhary, who was the caretaker of a scooter that was allegedly stolen and used in the blast at Zaveri Bazaar,toldtheinvestigators about him—after over a month of questioning. “This input came in very late.An ATS team immediately left for Basti. They brought Bhima to Mumbai on a
flight from Lucknow. At that time, the cops were hopeful they would have a breakthrough in thecase.Hewaskept attheKalachowkie ATS office,” a police officer said. However, Bhima was released as the ATS could not gather any evidence to link him totheblast.

Choudhary, a Khetwadi resident,toldthecopsthat a fewdays
before the blasts, he had given his scooter to Bhima for repair. Bhima, who has a garage at CP Tank, however, kept delaying the work for a couple of days before finally doing it, said an officer. However, the scooter again developed a snag, but this time, Choudhary gave the scooter to Gulam, another mechanic, who repaired it and returned it to him a day before the blasts, the officer added. It was learnt that Bhima had left for Basti on July 13 night, a fact that deepened suspicion about his involvement.

Now, the ATS only has the stolen scooter astheir leadin the case. Meanwhile, Choudhary is stillbeing interrogatedby theinvestigators daily. He has not resumedworksincetheblasts.

“The scooter was a good lead and we were supposed to keep it under wraps. But after it was reported by the media, there has been little progress in the case,” said an ATS source. The ATS officers have questioned over 200 two-wheeler thieves in and around the city but are yet to make a breakthrough.They now believe that it could be the handiwork of a bike thief who came toMumbaifrom elsewhere.

The Times of India, October 8, 20111

Friday, October 7, 2011

IM suspect’s kin did not die due to torture: CID


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Preliminary probe into the alleged custodial death of Faiz Usmani, the elder brother of suspected Indian Mujahideen operative Afzal Usmani, has revealed that he died owing to high blood pressure and not police torture.

The state CID, which was investigating the case, would file its conclusive re
port by the end of October, said a police source. “We recorded the statements of several police personnel as well as that of Usmani’s family. We will submit our report to the director-general of police,” said a police officer.

Following the 13/7 serial blasts, the crime branch picked up Usmani (43), a grocery shop owner from Govandi, on July 17 and took him
to the Chembur unit. There, Usmani started vomiting after which the officials took him to a nearby hospital from where he was shifted to Sion Hospital, where he died. Father of five, Usmani was the sole earning members of his family. After Usmani’s wife, Ruheda, alleged that her husband was tortured to death in police custody, and going by the sensitivity of the 13/7 case, the government ordered the state CID to inquire into the death. Even senior officials from the crime branch were reportedly unaware that Usmani had been rounded up for questioning.

“The CID has collected Usmani’s medical reports. Our probe indicated that his family was beside him when he died. The family alleged that Usmani was tortured to death. But during investigations, we have found that their claim did not corroborate with the facts,” the officer added.

The Times of India, October 7, 2011

Police stn operates from 6 Mhada flats in Chunabhatti

The Chunabhatti police station does not have a lock-up

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Chunabhatti police station operates from six flats on the first and second floors of a sevenstorey Mhada building. Unable to find space to operate from, the police station coversthreesqkm andcaters to aroundfour lakh people.It neither has a lock-up nor women officers.

The station has not been officially inaugurated, but it has been functioning with 80 personnel for two months.“Thereis a space problem in thecity andwe are not getting proper space to start police stations. Howev
er, a station was much needed in Chunabhatti,” said Rajnish Seth, joint commissioner of police (law&order).

Thestation,which alsocovers Sion andthe Wadala truck terminal areas partially, has no sub-inspectors or assistant police inspectors. “Head constables act as duty officers and register cases,” a sourcesaid. Thekitchen sinks arestilltherein theflats and thereis nochanging room or rest-room for personnel, though the station has six women constables.
“In two months, we have only registered 41 cases of assault, theft and rioting. When we register cases and arrest the accused, we send them to the Ghatkopar police lock-up,” a policeman said.Asmallflaton thesecondfloor isused asthe armory.

Residents of nearby buildings hadobjectedwhen the policestation was started from the flats. In letters to the deputy police commissioner and joint police commissioners, they had stated that they didn’t want a station near their residences. “Criminals will be questioned here. Wedon’twant a policestation here,”
the residents had complained. However, over a periodof time,theopposition has “vanished”,the policesaid. Sethsaid, “Howcan weshiftthe policestation? We don’t have space. The police station is to maintain law and order, and for the safety of the publiconly.”

Govandi policestation wassanctioned,butconstruction is pending asthe authoritieshave not yet found space, while the Irla police station proposal has also been sanctioned but there’s no space in VileParle.

The Times of India, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

‘Govt is harassing Sanstha members’

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Right-wing Hindu organization Sanatan Sanstha’s spokesperson Abhay Vartak on Wednesday branded the central government as a thief.“ The Centre is using several tactics to ban the organization,” he alleged. Vartak also claimed that lakhs of Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agents are living in the country.

Vartak was reacting to the National Investigation Agency (NIA)’s raid on the Sanstha’s headquarters and some residential quarters in north Goa’s Ponda on Tuesday. The Sanstha’s nearly dozen members have been chargesheeted for carrying out blasts in Goa and several other parts of Maharashtra over the last few years.

“The Sanstha is a religious organization but the Congress wants to ban it. Though they can’t ban it, they are harassing our advertisers and donors. Our well-wishers are receiving phone calls from the police asking them not to raise funds for the outfit,” Vartak alleged. He admitted that the two persons, Hanumant Gadkari and Vikaram Bhave, convicted for the Thane and Vashi blasts recently, were the Sanstha’s workers.

“Last night around a hundred police personnel entered the Sanstha’s headquarters and did not even remove their shoes until they were asked to do so. Our sevaks are forced to leave the outfit and are being threatened with arrest. Ours is not a terrorist outfit,” he said.

The Times of India, October 4, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Travel firm ex-director evading arrest in fraud case?

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Former director of Aryarup Travel and Club Resort, Vasuda Deshmukh, has been admitted to David Sassoon Hospital in Pune. She is apparently dodging arrest in a case registered with the city police against her.

Vasuda surrendered before the Nigadi police station in the last week of August in a multi-crore in
vestment fraud. The police are still hunting for her husband, Ravindra, and other partners, including Rajesh Pandey, Rajan Paliwal and Udaysingh Ghorpade. “We visited the Khandala court to take her into custody. She got herself admitted in the hospital after she complained of chest pain,” said an officer from city’s economic offences wing (EOW).

The EOW had registered an
FIR against the directors and office- bearers of the firm in 2010. The Deshmukhs floated several schemes in Gujarat, Haryana, Jaipur, Bangalore and Maharashtra. Investors were promised annual returns of 86% to 96% if they put in Rs 5,000 and more in the schemes. Investors who brought in others were entitled to additional returns. The company had opened accounts of its investors on its website www.aryain. “The suspects allotted login names and passwords to the investors and told them that their profit would be automatically transferred to their accounts. The Mumbai police are investigating the case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code ,” said a police officer.

The city police said that they had visited a Khandala court with a production warrant but her cus
tody was not granted since she was in hospital. The Khandala police arrested her and later she was sent to Yervada jail from where Vasuda was shifted to the hospital. The EOW had recently issued lookout notices against Vasuda and Ravindra. Sources said the firm’s turnover was in excess of Rs 1,000 crore per annum. Aryarup claimed on various websites that it distributed over Rs 900 crore to its investors in one year. The firm also said that 400 of its investors had earned over Rs one crore. Two plots, totaling 75 acres, owned by the company’s directors were attached by the EOW in February this year. The total value of these plots is around Rs 12.30 crore, said sources. Besides, 17 bank accounts in which investors had deposited Rs 12.5 crore have also been frozen.

The Times of India, October 3, 2011