In what could be seen as the underworld rearing its ugly head yet again in the city, two henchmen of gangster Chhota Shakeel were nabbed before they could allegedly execute their plan of killing two men from rival Chhota Rajan’s gang. The Anti-Extortion Cell of the Mumbai Crime Branch arrested the duo on Wednesday before they zeroed in on their targets.
D K Rao had earlier ordered a hit on Iqbal Kaskar, younger brother of Dawood Ibrahim, Shakeel’s boss. File pic
“The two have been identified as Mohammad Mahir Ashraf Kalbe Siddiqui (30) and Akhtar Jamal Khan (35), residents of Mumbra and Dharavi respectively,” said Sadanand Date, joint commissioner of police, Mumbai Crime Branch.
According to the police, the duo had arrived in the city to eliminate gangster D K Rao and Ashok Satardekar, both of whom are loyal to Rajan. Rao is currently lodged in Nashik jail after he ordered a hit on Dawood Ibrahim’s younger brother Iqbal Kaskar, and also extorted money from a businessman.
Satardekar is the secretary of Sahyadri Krida Mandal in Tilak nagar, one of the biggest Ganpati mandals in the city, allegedly funded by Rajan. Satardekar had also been arrested in connection with the murder of trade union leader Datta Samant.
Police officers Vinayak Vast and Jaywant Sakpal from the Anti-Extortion Cell got a tip-off about the two men’s devious plans and arrested them near Noor Hospital at Dharavi.
According to the police, Siddiqui is an active member of Chhota Shakeel’s gang, and helped several members flee the country with duplicate passports. The accused has even helped Shakeel flee on a duplicate passport. He was arrested by the Lucknow police in 2010 and released in February this year.
After his release, Siddiqui got in touch with his boss asking for work, police said. Shakeel then told him about D K Rao and Satardekar, and asked him to finish off the two. Siddiqui enlisted his friend Khan’s help for the job. Khan has murder cases against him in the city.
The accused confessed to having received money for the job, along with a .32 bore pistol. “They planned to kill Rao when he would be brought to sessions court on Thursday from Nasik. They would’ve killed Satardekar in Chembur, but we pre-empted it,” said a Crime Branch police officer.
The underworld was also recently in the news, after producer Karim Morani received threat calls and messages and shots were fired outside his house, allegedly by Ravi Pujari’s men.
Actor Shah Rukh Khan also received threat calls from a person calling himself Ravi Pujari, after which cops had provided security cover to all Bollywood personalities who had received threats from Pujari.