Anonymous letter exposes threat to Malegaon blast case lawyer's life
Just a day after it came to light that Special Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian is allegedly being pressured by the NIA to go soft on the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, mid-day has learnt that a letter warning of a plan to shoot down a lawyer assisting her in the case reached the court of Special MCOCA Judge A L Pansare 10 days ago.
2008 Malegaon blast case: Prosecutor claims NIA told her to go soft on right wing extremists
The anonymous letter, which was addressed to CM Devendra Fadnavis and was sent to the Mumbai and Nashik police commissioners as well, states unambiguously that Special Public Prosecutor Ajay Misar will be “shot down shortly” and that a conspiracy to this effect is being hatched, using a cellphone, in the Nashik Central Jail.
Misar, a Nashik resident, who is also handling other high-profile cases, including the 2011 shooting of Iqbal Kaskar’s driver by Chhota Rajan’s henchmen, confirmed the death threat and Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria told mid-day that the cellphone number mentioned in the letter is active in Nashik Central Jail. The phone has been seized.
‘High risk to his life’
A source told mid-day that the letter warning of the threat to Misar’s life was sent to Special MCOCA Judge Pansare’s court in the Arthur Road jail premises 10 days ago. The letter, a copy of which is with mid-day, reads: “Special Public Prosecutor Nashik is running a high risk to his life. As he is close you, I am informing you.
You are well aware that he is working with sincerity, honestly and dedication. You personally handed over some important matters to him as he has successfully handled many sensitive trials of the state without any influence.” “Sir, some of the undertrials, gangsters & terrorists annoyed with Shri Ajay Misar have planned his assassination from jail.
His assassination is planned with help of some professionals. Mobile no. 88XXXXXXXX (redacted) is used for the same from the jail premises. Shri Ajay Misar will be shot dead shortly as planned. This is for information and action,” the letter states.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria said, “We have received the complaint and the Crime Branch is conducting an inquiry. Preliminary investigation indicates that the number mentioned in the letter is active in Nashik Central Jail.”
Speaking to mid-day, Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) Meeran Borwankar said, “We had received information from Nashik Police Commissioner S Jagannathan about an active cellphone in the Nashik Central Jail. We have seized the phone and the offence regarding the same has been registered in the police station.
The matter is being investigated by the Nashik Police.” Sources said the cellphone was active in the MCOCA barrack in Nashik Central Jail.
Misar, who got X-category security (one personal security officer guarding him around the clock) in 2011 is handling several cases. Some of them are:
>> 2008 Malegaon blasts case (assisting Rohini Salian)
>> Pakmodia firing case (Before Judge A L Pansare)
>> dvocate Shahid Azmi murder case
>> A few other cases involving the Ravi Poojari and Chhota Rajan gangs.
On May 17, 2011, two gunmen had fired outside the house of Dawood Ibrahim’s brother, Iqbal Kaskar, on Pakmodia street in south Mumbai killing Kaskar’s bodyguard-cum-driver Arif Syed Abu Bukha. Kaskar was not present at the site when the incident happened.
Police had arrested seven accused Indralal Khatri and Bilal Mustafa Ali Sayyed, who had pumped five bullets into Arif; Umed-Ul-Rehman, an alleged Chhota Rajan gang member, who was suspected to have hatched the conspiracy; Rashad Abdul Rashid Shaikh, Adnan Sayed, Aasid Jan Mohammed Shaikh and D K Rao.