Friday, February 28, 2014

Bike-SUV collision on JJ flyover kills 2

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: A biker and his pillion rider had a head-on collision with an SUV at the JJ flyover on Wednesday. While one of them died on the spot, the other succumbed to his injuries in JJ Hospital, police said. Two-wheelers are not allowed on JJ flyover. 

    The police have identified the deceased as Sidesh Kadam (23) and Nitin Pathare
(25). The two were on their way from Dadar to CST around 11.30pm when the accident took place. Kadam, a Dadar resident, had called his friend Pathare from Kalwa for a ride.
    Police said the biker lost control near the Mandvi post office curve, the motorcycle jumped over the divider and collided with the car that was coming from the CST side. The car driver even could not apply the brakes as the vehicle was coming at high speed, the cops said.
    Dinesh Ahir, senior inspector, said, “Bikers are not allowed on the flyover as several accidents had taken place there in the past. The car was coming at a speed of around 80 kmph and hence the driver could not press the brakes. While one youth died on the spot, the other was rushed to JJ Hospital where he died while undergoing treatment.”
    The ban on the entry of two-wheelers on the JJ flyover was imposed on April 1, 2010. Every month accidents have been reported on the 2.4-km long flyover since it became operational in 2001. In the past five years, more than 40 bikers have lost their lives and around 70 were injured in separate accidents on this flyover, said the police. 
The Times of India, February 28, 2014

3 years on, lifer who jumped parole found with new name


Mumbai:  A murder convict, serving life term in a Nashik jail, jumped parole and went into hiding. His Kalbadevi-based family said he was HIV positive and had died. This excuse could not satisfy the Mumbai police, who finally traced the accused to aSatara jail where he was an undertrial with a new identity.
    The Azad Maidan police on Wednesday took the custody of Chandar Naikar (39) and are interrogating him. Naikar is involved in eight criminal cases, including theft, robbery, assault and murder. Sub-inspector Sharad Kumbhar from the Azad Maidan police said, “Naikar was sentenced to life term in 2009 for a 2008 murder. He was detected as HIV positive. After conviction, he was sent to the Nashik central jail. In December 2010, he was released for 14 days on parole. But he did not get back to jail. Jail officials registered a case of escaping from custody with the Azad Maidan police.” 

    “We visited his family but could not get information about him. Last year, his mother said he was suffering from HIV and died subsequently. When we asked them to furnish the death certificate, the family said they would get it and come to the police station,” added Kumbhar.
    A police team visited his hometown in Karnataka in October. But they returned emptyhanded. In January, cops learned that an aide of Naikar, Manik Kasbe, was arrested by the Karad police in a robbery case. Inspectors Haridas Kumbhar and Sharad Kumbhar left for Satara prison and found that Kasbe was arrested in the case with seven others. When cops checked the file of the arrested men, they found a photo of Naikar. But the jail authorities said the man’s name was Ganesh Kaundar. “Naikar had changed his identity and destroyed all evidence of him being alive. But he couldn’t hide two scars on his face,” said senior inspector Narendera Singh. Kaundar later admitted he was Naikar. Mateen Hafeez 

The Times of India, February 28, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pvt firm cheats Tata Capital of 4cr, EOW starts probe

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai:  Tata Capital Financial Services Ltd (TCFSL) has lodged a cheating complaint with the economic offences wing (EOW), saying that a private firm had not repaid it a loan of Rs 4.21 crore.
    The police are probing the case against Sanjeev Gupta and Bhadranath Gupta, both directors of Color Copi Ltd. A senior manager of TCFSL filed the complaint, stating his firm provides financial assistance to small and medium enterprises besides offering infrastructure finance, personal loans etc.
    The complainant said that in August 2012 the Guptas approached TCFSL, saying their company provides printers to its customers. The duo said they required finance to purchase various types of brand new printers to be installed in their clients’ offices located across India. The Guptas also submitted documents showing the finacial status of their company to TCFSL. A credit analysis was carried out and a term loan facility of Rs 4.21 crore was sanctioned to Color Ltd in August 2012, the complaint said. 

    It further said that at the time of availing equipment finance, Guptas also furnished irrevocable power of attorney, Escrow agreement etc. It was agreed between the two parties that the as
sets (printers) to be purchased with the loan will be hypothecated. The Guptas later informed TCFSL that they purchased 97 printers. When the TCFSL officials insisted on inspecting the printers at their installed locations, the Guptas allegedly avoided their calls, raising suspicion.
    A TCFSL team visited M/s Godren & Boyce, Vikhroli where, as per the letter dated October 16, 2012, 15 printers had been installed. But Godrej & Boyce did not entertain the TCFSL team and askedthem tocomewith the Guptas.
    Prima facie the police probe found that Guptas did not buy 97 printers as mentioned in the agreement-—some of the purchased printers were second-hand. “We are probing thecase and recording the statements of the people concerned. We have not arrested anyone yet,” said a police officer. 
The Times of India, February 26, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Thieves steal credit card data to e-shop

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai:   The Cuffe Parade police on Sunday detained three suspects from Uttar Pradesh who had conspired and executed a credit card fraud in Mumbai. The accused targeted at least 60 customers of a bank in Navy Nagar and shopped online for goods worth over Rs 13 lakh, said police.

     Krishna Prakash, additional commissioner of police, south region, said, “We had earlier arrested an accused, Krishna Pandey, who had come to take delivery of the orders placed on the Web. During his interrogation, we learned that the main accused, Sonu Yadav (21), was hiding in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. The gang targeted customers of Central Bank of India, Navy Nagar branch.” 

    The police are in the process of getting the suspects to Mumbai. “A bank official lodged the police complaint after they received several complaints of money being deducted from the accounts of some customers,” said a police source. 

    “They would order TV sets, fridges, high-end mobile phones, IPads and other costly electronics items online. Their intention was to purchase online and sell these goods immediately. It’s still not clear how they got the credit cards’ 16-digit numbers and passwords,” said an officer. Those detained in Gorakhpur include Yadav, his accomplice Harish Pandey and two others. 

 Credit card theft ran from Oct to Jan

    Acomputer and hard disk have also been seized. Police said the accused managed to obtain the 16-digit credit card numbers and hacked into the bank’s system to get the password. 

    Krishna Pandey (26), the arrested accused, is a class XII dropout. He told the police that he was jobless and came in touch with Yadav, who was also from his hometown. Pandey reportedly asked Yadav for a job to earn livelihood. Yadav asked him to collect products for customers of online shopping. Pandey was promised a commission. He was arrested when he went to take delivery of a television set.
    While a waiting police team caught Pandey, Yadav managed to flee from the spot in Thane last week. The accused have been booked for cheating (Section 420 of IPC) and hacking (Section 66 of IT Act). Yadav reportedly has a diploma in computer studies.
    The gang first committed the fraud in October 2013 and continued till January this year. “We have managed to spot several transactions wherein the accused had placed orders. We have recovered some of the products and hope to get the rest,” said an officer.
    O P Shrivastav, the bank’s assistant general manager, asked this correspondent to talk to his deputy Ayyubi, general manager (credit cards). Ayyubi could not be contacted for comment. 
The Times of India, February 24, 2014

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bhatkal, aide’s confessions to be noted under MCOCA

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Suspected 13/7 bombers and Indian Mujahideen operatives Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar alias Tabrez were brought to the city crime branch headquarters late on Friday for recording of their confessional statements before the deputy commissioners of police. 

    Bhatkal has been lodged in the same lock-up at the crime branch’s two-storey building where Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab and 26/11 handler Abu Jundal had been kept. 

    So far, Bhatkal and Tabrez were in the custody of the state anti-terrorism squad for their suspected roles in the July 13, 2011, blasts at Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and near Dadar
station. The blasts had killed 27 people. 

    “The duo has been brought to the police headquarters and their confessional statements will be recorded before officers of the rank of deputy commissioner under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act,” said an officer. Such confessions are treated as evidence against the accused. But in most cases,
accused retract the statements.
    The crime branch lockup has in the past housed actor Sanjay Dutt during the 1993 blasts investigation, film financier Bharat Shah and actor Salman Khan.
    Bhatkal and Tabrez will be produced before DCPrank officers within a day and two. As a procedure, the officers will ask them if they want to give confessional statement. The statement should be taken after their consent, the law says.
    Tabrez is accused of planting an explosive at Opera House, while Bhatkal is suspected to have planted the Dadar bomb. Both were first caught by the Bihar police in August reportedly from the India-Nepal border. Bhatkal faces over two dozen terror cases. 
The Times of India, February 23, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

Maria forms commission to review citizen-friendly plans by ex-chiefs

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: New police commissioner Rakesh Maria has set up a committee that will review the earlier schemes that were introduced by his predecessors to help citizens but never really worked out.
    The study is expected to reveal if the plans can indeed be implemented or continued, in some cases, and how many personnel are involved in them. 

    The committee, to be headed by additional commissioner of police Brijesh Singh, will comprise additional commissioner Krishna Prakash, three deputy commissioners and three assistant commissioners of police. “Former police
commissioners introduced several schemes during each their tenures. The new chief wants to audit them. For that, the committee will talk to the officers who handle the plans and submit their reports to Maria,” said an officer.
    Among the schemes launched by ex-top cops to make their services more readily available to citizens are foot patrolling by policemen throughout the day, a website for interaction with citizens, a messaging service to send in complaints and cops visiting senior citizens’ homes to help them. But most of them either dwindled away within a few weeks or were rendered almost dysfunctional.
    “The review, which will be done for the first time, will offer a clear picture of how many of the plans are actually working and the manpower involved. Some of them may be dropped and some may be modified,” an officer said. The findings would help the commissioner ascertain if any of the schemes was really workable, another officer added.
    “As the department’s current focus is on maximum utilization of manpower, Maria may wind up some of the plans,” said an officer. Laying out his new proposal to start a desk that will look into quick redressal of grievances lodged by women and senior citizens, Maria said he would continue with Mission Mritunjay, introduced by Satya Pal Singh, under which cops are supposed to interact with students. “We are busy setting up the quick-redressal desk for women,” said DCP Mahesh Patil.
    Maria also plans to continue with Janata Darbar, or a cop-citizen interactive session at every police station, a scheme initiated by former top cop M N Singh.

TIMES VIEW : The new police commissioner’s ideas, if implemented, can make the citizen’s life easier. But if the past is any indication, implementing these ideas and persisting with them have been a problem. Often, the zeal at the top has not been matched by similar enthusiasm at the police station. This needs to be kept in mind.  


R S Sharma | Foot patrolling by policemen
Current Status | The scheme continued for a month before fizzling out. Routine patrolling by beat marshals on motorcycles, however, continues

Arup Patnaik | A postbox and messaging service started for sending in complaints
Current Status | While the police hardly receive any letter the complaint box is opened once a month. The popularity of the messaging service has fallen drastically; from 200 messages a day in the first week, it is now 25-30 a day

A N Roy | FIRs t be registered in 15 minutes
Current Status | This never really worked out. Even today, registering an FIR is a tedious and lengthy process. A complainant has to spend at least three hours before a case is registered, besides themselves being grilled by cops

D Sivanandhan
A website was launched in July 2009 for the force to be in touch with the common man, to connect the youth to the force and to hear their complaints and suggestions
Current Status | Now when one clicks on the website, the domain name is available for sale

Satya Pal Singh | Cops meeti senior citizens at their homes and collecting their information
Current Status | This service is almost dead now. Policemen visit senior citizens in their areas only if they have to make any presentation or go for a meeting 
The Times of India, February 21, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lady cops to record abused women’s cases at home: CP

Nitasha Natu & Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Victims of sexual abuse or assault will no longer have to relive the trauma of having to visit a police station and recounting their ordeal to a male cop. Police chief Rakesh Maria said he would send woman officers to the residences of such complainants if they express, on helplines, their discomfort in visiting a police station. 

    Among the steps he announced were a special grievance redressal desk for women and the aged at every police station, a unit to lodge a complaint about a missing woman or child at police stations and patrolling by lady cops in crowded areas. P 3 

The Times of India, February 20, 2014

Maria wants police to be women-friendly

Rakesh Maria

Nitasha Natu & Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Those facing sexual abuse will no longer have to go through the trauma of visiting a police station and recounting their ordeal all over again to policemen. According to a plan drawn up by the new police commissioner, Rakesh Maria, if the survivor expresses any discomfort in visiting the local police station, a woman officer will be sent to her home where she will record her statement, prepare the necessary paperwork and forward it to the police station concerned.  At present, every complainant is required to go to the police station to lodge a complaint.
    In an attempt to give the police force an image makeover and make them more friendly towards women, Maria on Wednesday spoke about the formation of a grievance redressal cell for women and senior citizen complainants. “Once they reach the reception counter of a police station, they will be directed to the quick redressal desk and their complaint will be recorded immediately. Preferably, staffers attending to them will be female officers,” Maria said, adding that sensitizing the force and making them aware would take time. A dummy complainant will be sent thereafter to find out how prepared the staff are.
    Missing complaints concerning a woman or child can soon be lodged at any police station in the city. Their personnel will complete the paperwork and forward the complaint to the police station concerned from whose jurisdiction the woman or child have gone missing. This comes in the wake of the murder case of techie Esther Anuhya, whose family was family was made to run around by various police stations for a long time before their complaint was lodged.
    Besides this, mobile patrolling by female personnel will begin near girls schools and colleges, approach roads to railway stations, near temples and in shopping areas. The patrolling will happen when the crowds peak in these areas. “Instructions have been given to senior inspectors and ACPs to study and identify the locations where chain-snatching, eve-teasing, cases of senior citizens being duped, etc., are maximum and deploy mobile patrolling there,” Maria added. “We are also exploring the possibility of having another helpline like 103. The strength of the women’s crime cell, headed by DCP Sharda Raut, will also be augmented.”
    The commissioner said that he was busy in reviewing calls received on women’s helpline and would come up with a few more schemes soon. “I have asked my officers to have zero tolerance when it comes to crime against women and children,” said Maria. 

If a sexual abuse victim expresses discomfort in visiting the police station to lodge a complaint, female officers will be sent to her
residence and record her statement
A quick redressal desk will be set up for complaints from women and senior citizens
PAST CASE OF INJUSTICE | A 16-year-old girl was raped by 6 men at Dindoshi last year. When she and her family went to file a case, cops allegedly mocked her. They allegedly asked if she had fun with the men and if she was an alcoholic or a drug-user
ON THE CARDS A complaint of missing women or kids can be registered at any police station, not just the area concerned
PAST CASE OF INJUSTICE | After techie Esther Anuhya went missing from LTT, the MIDC police did not file a case and told her parents to go to Kurla GRP. The GRP said they should go to the Vijaywada police in Andhra Pradesh
ON THE CARDS Mobile patrolling by women personnel will be started outside girls’ schools and colleges. A new helpline exclusively for women may be launched
PAST CASE OF INJUSTICE | Last year, a man, Nishant Agarwal (36), asked a girl the directions to her school in Kandivli and offered her a lift. Inside, he allegedly sexually assaulted her and video-recorded the act  

Action against cops if they don’t file case, warns Maria

Mumbai: Police chief Rakesh Maria said on Wednesday that officers, who dissuade a person from lodging a complaint, will be dealt with sternly.
    “Mischief and indiscipline will not be tolerated and there will be immediate punishment. Similarly, sincere efforts put in by personnel that help solve cases will be rewarded,” Maria said.
    “I have told officers that nobody is going to ask you why crime has increased but you are certainly going to be asked what have you done to prevent crime. Burking is definitely not the answer,” he added. Maria added that the objective is to bring about an attitudinal change at the level of a police station. “We will be sensitizing personnel to gender issues. But this will take some time,” he said.
    The top cop added that the force was “going back to the basics” with increased visible presence on streets, improving night patrolling, cracking down on street crime and zero tolerance towards drug peddlers, particularly those operating outside schools and colleges. A special drive against narcotics, harassment and chain-snatching will be started soon across the city. Projects started by former commissioner Satya Pal Singh for interacting with citizens will continue.
    Instructions have also been given to the traffic police to improve conditions on arterial motorways. “Each traffic division should come up with schemes on how to reduce driving time. Traffic discipline needs to be brought in. Police personnel have been instructed to crack down on racing and speeding,” said Maria. Assigning clearly defined roles to the crime branch and the local police stations, Maria has instructed each of them to prepare a separate list of top 10 offenders, which they will go after. The crime branch will focus on gangs of dacoits and mafia, while the local police will tackle miscreants. 

    “We have also decided to strengthen anti-terrorism cells at local police stations and they will co-ordinate with the anti-terrorism squad in augmenting collection of intelligence,” he said. Police stations have been asked to identify areas frequented by women and senior citizens for walks so that more personnel can be deployed.

The Times of India, February 20, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

13/7 investigations find Pune hawala operator-IM link

Yasin Bhatkal

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The name of a Pune hawala operator cropped up during the investigations into the 13/7 triple blasts that killed 27 people, sources in the state anti-terrorism squad (ATS) said. 

    They told TOI that the suspect, identified as Ibrahim, had been sending money to Indian Mujahideen’s suspected co-founder and 13/7 bomb planter, Ahmed Zarar Siddibapa, alias Yasin Bhatkal.
    “Bhatkal received Rs 10 lakh through a Delhi-based hawala operator, Kanwarnain Pathreja. This money had come to him from the UAE to execute the bombings. Later, whenever he required money, Ibrahim would send him the amount from Pune. The IM members would also send money to Ibrahim from abroad, who in turn would finance Bhaktal’s alleged activities,” said an ATS source. This revelation has come to light for the first time since Bhatkal’s arrest in August 2013 by Bihar police.
    Bhaktal and his associate Asadullah Akhtar, alias Haddi, alias Tabrez—both of whom are in ATS custody—were produced in a court in Arthur Road jail on Tuesday and remanded in police custody till February 28. The duo are facing charges of murder and having links to IM, a banned organization. On July 13, 2011, three blasts —at Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Dadar—had killed 27 and injured 126 others. Till date, seven people have been arrested in this case.
    During interrogation, the ATS has also found a place, which Bhatkal allegedly used as hideout.     “There is a room in Pydhonie, known as as Siddibapa Kholi, which Bhatkal used as hideout. While he arranged accommodation for his accomplices and bombers—Tabrez and Pakistani national Waqqas—at Byculla’s Habib Manzil, he would not stay there. He would be shuttling between Mumbai and other cities,” said a source. Siddibapa Kholi is owned by a group of people from Karnataka, providing temporary shelter to those coming from that state to Mumbai seeking job or medical treatment.

The Times of India, February 19, 2014

End sway of mafia, Maria tells cops

Police commissioner Rakesh Maria

Mateen Hafeez & S Ahmed Ali TNN

Mumbai: The newly appointed police chief, Rakesh Maria, met senior police officers on Tuesday. During his marathon interaction, Maria said though the influence of gangsters had reduced, the crime branch should wipe them out. “Anti-terror cells in each police station should produce results. My priority is women’s safety, zero tolerance toward street crime and improving rapport with policemen,” Maria told policemen. 

    “We have to increase police patrolling on the street since the presence of men-inkhaki instilled confidence,” he added.

    Talking about women’s safety and security measures in Mumbai, the police chief said, “Women and children
should be treated well at all police stations. Their complaint should be filed swiftly and if the duty officer is busy, then she or he should ask their colleagues to help.”
    “I want to provide women a safe environment and there should be no cases of sexual harassment. If any officer has any problem or is under pressure, then they should approach me,” Maria is learnt to have said.
    Maria said a senior inspector is the key person in controlling crime and taking action in his/her jurisdiction.
    “If a senior inspector cracks down on a crime or acts on information timely, we can prevent it from escalating. I want you people to be more active and alert towards crime. All information should be treated as a valid input,” he added.

The Times of India, February 19, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sexual abuse of toddler: Cops seek to record kin statements

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The JJ Marg police have submitted an application in the court requesting to record the statements of a four-year-old nursery student’s parents before a magistrate. The police are probing a case of alleged molestation of the toddler by school bus driver Shahbaz Shaikh. The accused is facing charges under various sections of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
   Shaikh was arrested on February 12 night and remanded in police custody till February 20. “The sections of the newly introduced POCSO Act are very strong. In such cases the complainant’s (in this case parents) statements are recorded before the magistrate. The accused is a pervert and we are questioning him,” said a police officer. Shaikh, said the police, has molested the little girl several times even though a female attendant was present in the bus. The story came to light when the girl refused to go to school and later told her mother the reason why she didn’t want to go to school. 
The Times of India, February 16, 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014

RTO to verify if lady attendant was in school bus


Mateen Hafeez & Somit Sen TNN

Mumbai:In yet another case of a child being targeted in a school bus, a 25-year-old driver has been arrested for sexually assaulting a four-year-old nursery student last week. 

    The incident came to light when the child refused to go to her nursery school in Mazgaon. After much cajoling, she told her mother the driver was touching her inappropriately. The family then approached the police. After medical tests indicated sexual assault, the J J Marg police arrested Shahbaz Shaikh, a resident of Shantinagar slums in Wadala (East), on Wednesday night. He has been remanded in police custody till
February 20, and booked under several sections of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
    “The girl goes to a nursery school in Mazgaon by the minibus. On February 11 and 12, she started crying when her mother asked her to get ready and refused to go,” said a police officer. After she was calmed, she confided in her mother that she was scared of the driver because he would make her sit next to him and touch her inappropriately. Her family immediately approached the police and a medical report indicated nail marks around the child’s private parts.
    The girl told the police Shaikh had been touching her inappropriately since February 4and continued till February 10. “We are making further investigations to make a watertight case against the accused,” said Krishna Prakash, additional commissioner of police (south region), adding that there was no formal agreement between the bus operator and the school.
    RTO officials are likely to cancel the permit of the Thaneregistered bus after receiving a copy of the FIR—most probably on Saturday—from the J J Marg police. “Under the school bus policy, we will conduct our own probe to ascertain if there was a woman attendant in the bus. If a woman attendant was not present at the time of the crime, we will prosecute the bus operator,” said an official.
   Another senior official said the police were empowered under the Motor Vehicle Act to check documents such as the vehicle’s papers, taxes, insurance, PUC and driving licence. 

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act
The POCSO Act, 2012, defines a child as a person aged below 18. It is gender neutral and has a clear definition for all types of sexual abuse like sexual harassment and penetrative or non-penetrative sexual abuse
Max Punishment
Sec 3(a): Penetrative Sexual Assault 
| Penalty: Not less than 7 years, which may extend to life term, and a fine
 Sec 4: Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault 
| Penalty: Not less than 10 years, which may extend to life term, and a fine
Cases Filed In Maha Under POCSO Act In Past Year | 1,200 
The Times of India, February 15, 2014

Caste slur case against dean of JJ Hospital

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: A case of passing a casteist remark at a sweeper was registered against JJ Hospital dean T P Lahane by the police on Friday.  Lahane denied the charge. The employee union threatened a hunger strike if he was not arrested and suspended. 

    Hospital insiders said
CCTV footage would be gone through to reveal the truth.
    Complainant Naresh Waghela (35) said he was asking a sweeper why he was working despite a strike by temporary staff for permanent jobs when Lahane appeared and abused him.
    “Waghela said Lahane also threatened him,” inspector Shashikant Surve said. 
The Times of India, February 15, 2014

Vacate land in Aurangabad: Waqf notice to Videocon

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The Maharashtra State Waqf Board has issued an eviction notice to Videocon Industries, which, the board says, has been using its 21.23 acre Aurangabad land to run its industrial unit.
    The Waqf ’s land has been leased out to several private companies and it plans to take it back from those not paying rent as per the agreement. 

    “Videocon has been using this land, worth Rs 27 crore, for its factory and an eviction notice under sections of the Waqf Act, 1995, has been issued. It (Videocon) has to vacate the land by February 15,” said Naseem Khan, minister for Awqaf, minorities affairs and textiles. 

    Waqf board CEO Sayyed Ejaz Hussain said the company had entered into a lease agreement in 1990 for 99 years.  “The firm was to pay Rs 2,000 as lease annually. However, since 2005 they have not paid any lease. Moreover, there’s been no reply to our notice to them. As per the agreement, if the conditions are flouted, we may terminate the tenancy rights of the firm,” said Hussain.
    The land is located at Chittegaon, Paithan Road, in Aurangabad. Khan said notices will be issued to all those not abiding by the Waqf board’s rules. 

    Sources said Videocon also has an outstanding Rs 1.32 crore due to the board.
    But Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot dismissed Waqf claims. “We are not using any Waqf land in Aurangabad,” he told TOI. 
The Times of India, February 15, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Gang of 7 shoots at angadia in south Mumbai, snatches bag

Daylight Heist Yields Just 1L Cash, Jewellery


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: An armed gang of around seven men snatched a parcel from an angadia firm’s employee, and shot at him near Khetwadi in South Mumbai on Thursday. All but one of the gang members managed to flee in an SUV. Intezaar Pathan, who shot at the victim, was overpowered and nabbed. The incident took place at 7.15am. 

    V P Road police have registered a case of attempted murder and dacoity. Police said the victim, Surtaji Prajapati (45), sustained a bullet injury in his left hand. Prajapati is employed with Purnima Angadia service in Gulalwadi, V P Road, near Khetwadi. Every day, Prajapati would collect parcels from Mumbai Central station to deliver them to his employer’s office at Srinathji building.
    Krishna Prakash, additional commissioner of police (south region), said they have admitted Prajapati and Pathan to J J Hospital and are probing the case. “Prajapati and three of his colleagues reached Mumbai Central around 6.45am to collect the parcels. They were escorted in a Nagpada police van till a few hundred metres from their building, as was usual practice. They took a footpath to reach the building gate.”
    Just then, seven-eight men jumped out of an Innova, holding country-made revolvers and choppers, and fired four rounds in the air. Pathan tried to snatch the bag from Prajapati, who resisted. He then fired one round, which hit his left hand. Pathan handed the bag to one of his accomplices,” said asenior police officer. On hearing the shots, locals gathered on the street that gets busy by 8am. The attackers panicked and fled in the Innova and a bike; Pathan was left behind. He was beaten up and handed over to the police.
    The bag contained jewellery and cash collectively valued at Rs 1.2 lakh, a PAN card and a driving licence. Initial probe shows that Pathan is involved in at least 16 cases of theft, robbery and dacoity registered at crime branch property cell, L T Marg police station, Malwani police station, among others.
    “We found more than 20 live cartridges in Pathan’s trousers. There were several bullets in his country-made revolver too. We will invoke the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act against the gang,” said Prakash. Three teams have been formed to trace the wanted accused. “We have got CCTV footage.” The police have managed to get the SUV’s registration number. They suspect the accused had carried out a recce of the place.

CRIME SITE: Building entrance
The Times of India, February 14, 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

IPL matches were on IM radar: ATS



Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Investigations into 13/7 triple blasts have revealed that two bombers, including suspected Pakistani national Waqqas, had recceed Wankhede stadium in south Mumbai during the 2011 IPL matches. But they could not carry out the plan in or around the stadium due to multi-layer police security. 

    Sources in the state anti-terrorism squad (ATS) said arrested Indian Mujahideen (IM) suspect Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi alias Tabrez told the police about the two reccees in 2011.
    “On April 20, 2011, Waqqas bought a ticket for the IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Pune Warriors. He recceed the stadium and found tight security. Two days later, Waqqas and Tabrez recceed the stadium gates during the match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. But due to heavy police deployment, they dropped the plan to target the stadium,” said Rakesh Maria, ATS chief. 

    On July 13, 2011, three blasts ripped through Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar and Kabutarkha
na in Dadar, killing 27.  An officer said on the day of the blasts, IM senior functionary Yasin Bhatkal and wanted accused Tahseen Shaikha alias Monu, who planted the bomb at Kabutarkhana, took a cab from Dadar to Kurla station and then boarded a train to Kasara. “From Kasara they took a train to Nashik, and then went to Bihar. They got the news of the blasts while travelling,” he said. 
    The police said Tabrez fled from India in 2008, after the Batla House encounter in Delhi. “Tabrez escaped to Bangladesh and from there went to Dubai and later to Karachi. There he was trained by the Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2009, and met Waqqas through Riyaz. Waqqas and Tabrez crossed over the border in August 2010,” said the officer.
    Prior to the 13/7 blasts, Yasin, Waqqas and Tabrez had also recceed beaches in Goa, said the ATS. Waqqas and Tabrez had arrived in Mumbai in February 2011, while Yasin had already arranged a flat for them at Byculla a fortnight ago. 
The Times of India, February 12,2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

IM recced eatery where it was named for a blast

The busy fast food outlet outside Andheri station (west) that was targeted

Scared Away By CCTVs & Police Presence 


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The Indian Mujahideen (IM) planned to blow up the eatery in Andheri where its name had been decided in 2008, but was discouraged by the CCTVs and security, said state anti-terrorism squad sleuths.
    IM top operative Yasin Bhatkal and his accomplice Asadullah Akhtar alias Tabrez, who were caught in Nepal last year, have been brought to Maharashtra for investigation into their alleged role in the 13/7 blasts at Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and a Dadar bus stand that killed 27.
    “During interrogation, Ahmed Zarar Siddibapa alias Yasin Bhatkal told us that he and his accomplices had recced the McDonald’s Andheri outlet twice with a terror attack on their mind because the place is always crowded. Bhatkal had sent a list of ‘possible targets’ to his mentor and wanted accused, Riyaz Bhatkal, for his approval,” said a source in the security establishment.
    The fast food outlet outside Andheri station (west) is not just any other eatery for the IM.
    Sadique Shaikh, another IM operative in jail for sending terror emails in 2008, had in a confessional statement before the crime branch said the name Indian Mujahideen was decided at a meeting at the McDonald’s outlet where he, Riyaz Bhatkal, Arif Badar (arrested) and Atif Ameen (killed in the 2008 Batla House encounter in Delhi) were present.
    It was some time before the July 2008 Gujarat blasts. “Riyaz and the others discussed that they were not getting enough publicity despite triggering blasts and decided their organization needed branding. They first thought of Asaaba and then Al-Furqan. But both names were difficult to understand and, so, they finally zeroed in on Indian Mujahideen,” said a police officer. At the same meeting, they decided to send emails before and after the blasts to claim responsibility.
    Before the July 13, 2011, triple blasts, IM operatives visited McDonald’s but decided against an attack. “The most difficult hurdles for them were CCTV cameras, police bandobast outside the station and a place to keep the bomb since citizens were more alert. This forced them to drop the plan,” said the officer.
    Bhatkal, in the ATS interrogation, said he and his accomplices Naqui Ahmed, Tabrez and wanted accused Tahseen Akhtar alias Monu surveyed the Colaba market which many foreigners visit, the ATS office at Nagpada, the state transport bus station at Dadar (east), Gol Deol near Nagpada, Mumbadevi temple, the McDonald’s at Andheri, Juhu beach, the police commissioner’s and director general of police’s offices.

The Times of India, February 11, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Bhatkal and aides planned RDX blasts in wake of 13/7

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The interrogation of 13/7 suspects Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar alias Tabrez has revealed that after killing 27 in the triple blasts, the accused went on to procure 4 kg of explosives containing RDX for more terror strikes. 

    The suspects abandoned their plan to cause more explosions after the arrest of more than a dozen Indian Mujahideen members by the Delhi police.  It was reported on May 2, 2012, that RDX was present in the Habib Manzil flat in Byculla where the bombers had stayed before and after the July 13, 2011, blasts at Dadar, Opera House and Zaveri Bazar. 

    When the police got to the flat, the RDX traces there had confounded them as none of the three blasts had been the caused by that particular explosive substance.  Now, the revelation from the interrogation of Bhatkal and Tabrez has explained how the RDX traces were found at the hideout.

    Additional director general of police (ATS) Rakesh Maria said a second consignment of about 4 kg containing ammonium nitrate and RDX was procured by the suspects. “We had found traces of some suspicious powder-like substance in Habib Manzil during a search and forensic analyzers stated it was RDX,” the officer said on Sunday.
    The missing RDX is yet to be found. The first consignment of explosives, 4 to 5 kg in weight, was delivered to the bombers a few days before July 13, 2011, and was used in assembling the improvised explosive devices used in the blasts.
    Police sources said Bhatkal had arranged for the flat in Habib Manzil for the two other terrorists, Tabrez and the still-wanted Waqqas, for a monthly rent of Rs 10,000.  “We have discovered the identity of the carrier who delivered the two consignments in Karnataka,” an ATS official said. 

    After the blasts, a chemical analysis showed the bombs were a cocktail of TNT, ammonium nitrate and petroleum hydrocarbons. The report said TNT was the main explosive and RDX was not used in the bombs. 

Bombers left for eatery to watch TV  

Police sources say 13/7 bombers Yasin Bhatkal, Asadullah Akhtar alias Tabrez and Waqqas did not have a TV set at their rented flat. The sources say that after planting the bombs the accused first went to the flat and then to a nearby restaurant to watch the news of the serial blasts on TV. They say an hour before the blasts, Bhatkal went to a cybercafe and contacted his mentor and IM founder Riyaz Bhatkal over the internet and informed him the work had “got done”. The sources say that Riyaz congratulated Yasin, promising more money for further operations. At night, Yasin Bhatkal left the city. TNN 
The Times of India, February 10, 2014

Saturday, February 8, 2014

ATS: 13/7 accused wanted to blow up cop van in Dadar

Yasin Bhatkal and his associates surveyed many areas in the city


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The state anti-terrorism squad (ATS), probing the 13/7 bomb blasts in the city, said explosives were kept in four pressure cookers and the accused had initially decided to blow up a police van near Dadar railway station. When the suspects arrived to plant the bomb, the police van had, however, moved, thus saving several lives. Explosives used in the bombs were brought in from Mangalore in Karnataka, the ATS claimed.
    This was disclosed during the interrogation of bombers, Ahmed Zarar Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi alias Tabrez. “Tabrez and a wanted accused, Waqqas Saad Shaikh (a suspected Pakistani), collected around 7kg explosive from outside A J Hospital in Mangalore. The consignment was arranged by Indian Mujahideen (IM) founder Riyaz Bhaktal, who is suspected to have been running the terror module from Pakistan.
    Waqqas and Tabrez returned by a luxury bus the same day, after collecting the explosives, a week before the blasts,” an ATS officer said. ATS chief Rakesh Maria said the cops were busy with interrogation and were collecting evidence. 

    “Two pressure cookers were purchased from Pydhonie and two from Grant Road. Other material, like timers, transistors, arrow boards, batteries and a soldering machine
were also bought here,” an investigator said. Bhatkal, along with a wanted accused, Tahseen Shaikh alias Monu, wanted to plant a bomb under the police van but Monu reached late. They first planted a bomb at a bus-stop in Dadar and another was dumped in a dustbin near the flower market. Two bombs were planted near Opera House and Zaveri Bazar. All bombs, except the one in the dustbin, exploded, killing 27 and injuring 126 on July 13, 2011. Seven persons have been arrested in this case.
    Bhatkal, his accomplices Naqui Ahmed, Tabrez and Monu, also surveyed Colaba market, which many foreigners visit, the ATS office in Nagpada, the state transport bus depot in Dadar (E), Gol Deol, near Nagpada, Mumbadevi temple, the McDonald outlet outside Andheri railway station (W), Juhu beach, the police commissioner’s office and directorgeneral of police’s office.

The Times of India, February 8, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

Cops to grill Yasin, aide over hawala funds for 13/7 blasts

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The state anti-terrorism squad took the custody of Indian Mujahideen operative Yasin Bhatkal on Wednesday for his alleged role in the triple blasts that rocked the city on July 13, 2011, claiming the lives of 27 and injuring scores of others. A special MCOCA court remanded him in police custody till February 18.
    Bhatkal’s aide, Asadullah Akhtar alias Shakir alias Daniel alias Haddi alias Tabrez, who has also been booked in the same case, was also taken into ATS custody. While seeking their custody, the police focused on two points in court: they intend to find out the source of hawala money sent for the blasts and to establish that Bhatkal (30) was a key IM man whose custodial interrogation was required. 
    On July 13, 2011, three bombs exploded at Opera House, Zaveri Bazar and a bus stop in Dadar, killing 27 people and injuring 126. “Though Yasin is wanted in cases dating back to 2008, we first want to question him in the more recent 13/7 blasts as Tabrez is a co-accused. Had we sought Bhatkal’s custody in the 2010 Pune’s German Bakery blast, we would not have got Tabrez’s custody. So we decided to question
them where they have common role,” said an ATS officer.
    While Bhatkal, with the help of his wanted accomplice Tahseen Shaikh allegedly planted a bomb at the Dadar bus stop, Tabrez left an explosive at Opera House. “On Bhatkal’s instructions, Tabrez and his accomplice Waqqas rented a room in Byculla where they made the bombs and ferried them to the sites on July 13, 2011,” the officer said. The accused had also procured SIM cards using forged documents. “We got the first clue into the blasts case while probing the SIM card fraud,” the officer said.
    On Wednesday, defence lawyers argued that since the ATS was conducting a supplementary 
investigation, the accused should be remanded in judicial custody, adding Bhatkal and Tabrez didn’t want to make any confessions to the ATS. But special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told judge Y D Shinde Bhatkal was indeed the key conspirator of the triple blasts and played an important role in procuring explosives and making improvised explosive device (IED). “The court allowed us to handcuff the accused while being transported,” Nikam added. 
    Suspected mastermind of the case Riyaz Bhatkal and his brother Iqbal are on the run. 
The Times of India, February 7, 2014 

‘Birla Power shifted money to sister cos’

Mumbai: The economic offences wing (EOW) probing a cheating case against several directors of Birla Power Solutions Pvt Ltd on Thursday said it had found a total FDs and ICDs (inter-corporate deposits) worth Rs 214 crore in the firm. 

    “There were 11 transactions from Birla Solutions to their sister companies. We found that a large chunk of investors’ money had been transferred to sister concerns and other companies,” said Rajvardhan Sinha, additional commissioner of police, EOW. — Mateen Hafeez 

The Times of India, February 7, 2014

QNet: ED lodges money laundering case

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against marketing firm, QNet, Vihaan Direct Selling company, former world billiards champion Michael Ferreira and QNet’s office-bearer, Vijay Eswaran. 

    The economic offences wing (EOW) is already probing a cheating case and has arrest
ed nine persons connected to QNet. Sources in the ED said it would investigate and attach properties under the Act if proved that the same were purchased from the proceeds of crime.  “Most of the money went abroad. The ED will focus on finding the money trail and the suspected hawala transactions,” said an officer from the security establishment. 
    QNet refuted these allegations. In a statement it said: “QNET as a matter of policy adheres to strong principles of legal business, transparency and corporate governance. All documentation pertaining to the operations of its Indian franchisee Vihaan Direct Selling (VDS) and its financial transactions have been provided to the investigators at the EOW.”
Mateen Hafeez 

The Times of India, February 7, 2014

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Click on police website, get info on bridal fashion


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: If you intend to search for city police’s official website— —brace yourself for the unexpected. Of late, thousands of Mumbaikars seeking police help online are being directed to a fashion website for young women, brides and even their bridesmaids and flower girls.
    The police website, which was active for eight years, became non-operational a few months ago. Now, once you key in, you are instantly directed to the colourful homepage of with photographs of foreign models in bridal and summer wear. The dresses on this website are priced from $100 to $600. One B Hristov has been mentioned as the site’s owner.
    Sources in Mumbai’s cyber crime cell admit the website became “defunct a long time ago”. An officer told TOI: “Now, we have a new site ——which has been operational for several months.”
    It has all the details that people looked for in the earlier website, even photographs of former police commissioner Satya Pal Singh, who resigned to join the BJP and served his last day on Friday.
    The site—which police officers say is updated on a dayto-day basis—still mentions Singh as the city police chief and also carries his video message.
    Sources say the earlier city police site was on a USbased server and they did not renew it after its term expired. “There is a possibility that some other person/ company might have purchased
the domain name,” said an officer and added, “It’s a routine practice.”
    “Now, the new police website is associated with National Informatics Centre (NIC) server. NIC is the premier science and technology organization of the Union government in informatics services and information-and-communication-technology applications. NIC is a part of the ministry of communications and information technology.”

The Times of India, February 2, 2014