Tuesday, July 2, 2013

‘Shakeel paid 5L for foreign gun but shooter got desi weapon’

Salem attacker JD at Thane hospital

S Ahmed Ali & Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Fugitive gangster Chhota Shakeel apparently paid a middleman around Rs 5 lakh to supply an imported weapon to Devendra Jagtap alias JD to kill Abu Salem. But the middleman passed on a country-made revolver, worth Rs 20,000 only, and the gun got jammed as JD shot at Salem, said a source.
    Last Thursday, J D fired three rounds at Salem inside Taloja jail. While one bullet missed the gangster, the second one hit him on his hand and for the third bullet, the trigger of the country-made revolver got jammed. “Our sources said Rs 5 lakh and above was paid to the middleman 15 to 20 days in advance. But the middleman thought that when a country-made weapon could do the job, why spend Rs 2 or 3 lakh for a sophisticated gun,” said an officer. J D had told the Navi Mumbai crime branch that the hit was ordered by Shakeel and the weapon was supplied by Manoj Lahmane, whom the police are trying to trace. The officers hope that Lahmane might shed light on the middleman.
Still trying to ascertain the motive behind the attack, the crime branch on Monday picked up JD’s wife, Harshada, from her mother’s home at Dombivli and questioned her about her meeting with her husband on the fateful day. On Thursday, Harshada, along with JD’s associate Karan, met the accused at the sessions court where he was brought for a hearing in the advocate Shahid Azmi murder case. The police rubbished reports that on that day, the accused had celebrated his mentor Santosh Shetty’s birthday.
As Shakeel has claimed the responsibility for the attack, the city crime branch’s anti-extortion cell summoned Dawood’s brother Iqbal Kaskar, Shakeel’s brother-in-law Saleem Fruit and D gang man Ahmed Langda for questioning. “Kaskar has given his statement and the two others will be called on Tuesday,” said a crime branch officer.
Salem, meanwhile, missed his train to Hyderabad where he was supposed to attend a hearing in a fake passport case. He was brought to JJ Hospital for medical test, but from there, he could not be taken to the station on time owing to heavy rain and traffic jam. “His hearing in a fake passport was slated for Tuesday but he missed the train. After the attack, jail officials also want to review the security on trains,” said the police.
Shetty lawyer rubbishes gangster’s b’day angle
 Gangster Santosh Shetty and ’93 blasts accused Mustafa Dossa have denied being involved in the attack on Abu Salem. “Reports that gang members celebrated Santosh Shetty’s birthday on Thursday and that the weapon used to attack Salem was smuggled into Taloja jail along with cake and eatables are false. Shetty’s birthday is on March 31. Moreover, he disowned Jagtap alias JD one-and-a-half years ago and Salem and Shetty are good friends,” said Shetty’s lawyer Rajesh Srivastav. He also said on Thursday, Shetty did not attend a hearing in court and stayed back at Arthur Road jail. Srivastav, also appearing for Dossa, made an application saying the police should probe the case as Salem might try to implicate the blasts accused, owing to their previous enmity. “Dossa’s custody may not be handed over to the police without properly verifying the allegations,” he said. Taloja jail officials have submitted areport to special TADA judge Y D Shinde, chronicling the attack. TNN

The Times of India, July 2, 2013

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