Sunday, June 30, 2013

Salem assailant squeals on mentor Santosh Shetty


Attacked Gangster May Be Moved To Byculla Jail


S Ahmed Ali & Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Devendra Jagtap alias JD is believed to have spilled the beans about the involvement of his mentor, Santosh Shetty, in the plot to kill underworld don Abu Salem inside Taloja jail.
    Investigators suspect that Santosh had taken a ‘supari’ (contract) from Dawood Ibrahim’s aide Chhota Shakeel. TOI was the first to report about the involvement of the D-gang in the hit. 

    Jagtap is believed to have told the police that although the plot was hatched earlier, it was executed on Santosh’s birthday which was celebrated on sessions court premises on Thursday. Jagtap promised Shetty that he would deliver “good news late in the evening” on the fateful day.  A man named Mirza is believed to have acted as a gobetween and facilitated Santosh’s entry into Chhota Shakeel’s circle after Bharat Nepali’s killing in 2010.   Jagtap revealed that Santosh moved away from Vijay Shetty and the latter has no role to play in the shooting.
    The city crime branch, which is conducting a parallel investigation, on Saturday evening interrogated Santosh inside Arthur Road jail. The Navi Mumbai police are likely to send a team on Sunday to take custody of Santosh. Meanwhile, the Navi Mumbai crime branch feels the firearm that was used to fire at Salem was smuggled into the jail minutes before the firing. A subinspector and nine constables from the Navi Mumbai local arm unit are under the scanner. The policemen had escorted Jagtap and three other accused to the sessions court at Kala Ghoda. “The team took the four accused in a police van from the jail around 11am and headed for Mumbai. Jagtap had a court hearing in connection with the murder of advocate Shahid Azmi. Jagtap later met his wife and three aides. We suspect that the weapon changed hands at this stage,” said a police officer. On Saturday, the Navi Mumbai crime branch questioned four constables in the escort team. 
The statements of the five prison constables who had frisked Jagtap were recorded. A report in the breach of security case is likely to be submitted to the state government by Wednesday. Jagtap and Salem were housed away from each other in jail, said sources. “Jagtap began talking to Vishwanath Shetty, an accused lodged in a cell adjacent to Salem’s. Jagtap then pulled out a pistol and started firing,” said a police officer.
    Vishwanath is facing trial for killing Farid Tanasha, a Chhota Rajan aide. The police are trying to find out what transpired between him and Jagtap. “The prison manual stipulates that an anda cell inmate has to be dropped to his cell by a policeman and then locked up. This rule was flouted and no policeman accompanied Jagtap,” said a source. A source also said that Salem could be shifted to the women’s prison in Byculla

The Times of India, June 30, 2013

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