Mumbai: Devendra Jagtap alias JD, who last week shot at extradited gangster Abu Salem inside the Taloja prison, had kept his weapon hidden in a jail loudspeaker for two months, said the police on Friday.
JD told the Navi Mumbai crime branch that he sharpened a spoon and used it as a screwdriver to open the loudspeaker, through which announcements are made to inmates in the anda cell. So far, the police have arrested JD for attempt to murder and the supplier of the weapon, Manoj Lahmane. Fugitive gangster Chhota Shakeel is believed to have hired JD for the job.On the night of June 27, JD fired twice at Salem. The first bullet hit Salem’s fingers, the next hit a cupboard. As JD pulled the trigger a third time, the revolver got jammed and he was overpowered by the jail constables.
“JD had also looked for a chance to eliminate Salem twice before, but could not succeed since jail officials were patrolling the anda cell’s corridor on both occasions,” a police officer said. The officer said JD took just a minute to open the speaker and hide the gun. “It’s very strange how he did it,” the officer said.
After the first bullet injured him, Salem reacted fast and hid behind the cupboard in his cell.
“Salem told us that he suspected there would be an attempt to kill him and so he covered his cell with cardboard and other material,” deputy police commissioner of the Navi Mumbai crime branch Shrikant Phatak said. Police officers said JD was now frustrated as he would be under a strict vigil and his image had also taken a beating in the Dawood gang after failing to kill Salem.
Failed 2012 plan to murder Salem
Devendra Jagtap alias JD has told the police that Chhota Shakeel last year hired a contract killer from the Arthur Road jail to kill Abu Salem, but the plan failed. “Shakeel got the contract killer transferred to Taloja jail, but he could not execute the plan. Later, Shakeel selected JD for this job,” an officer said.
The Times of India, July 6, 2013