When Pappu Kalia bought his cell phone, he least expected the handset to take a bullet for him. But it did or, at least, helped him dodge one, leading the ex-convict to emerge almost whole from a shootout meant to finish him off.
After midnight on Saturday, 36-year-old Mohammad Raees Ansari alias Pappu Kalia, a history-sheeter from Govandi, was riding home on his motorcycle.
Around 12.20 am on Saturday, Sharif Sha supplies blow-by-blow information regarding Kalia’s whereabouts to the two bike-borne shooters, helping them execute the plan on 90 Feet Road
He was on the 90 Feet Road when two bike-borne men drew up alongside and opened fire at him. Of the three rounds fired, one was headed straight for his chest, but it deflected off the cell phone in his pocket, recalibrated its trajectory and ended up grazing his thigh.
The hired guns then draw up next to Kalia’s bike and the pillion rider fires thrice.
One of the bullets, which could have been pumped into Kalia’s chest, bounces off the cell phone in his pocket, brushing past his thigh and sparing his life
An official from Crime Branch (Unit VI) said on the condition of anonymity, “The accused had aimed the shot at Kalia’s chest. Instead of hitting his chest, the bullet hit his cell phone, which was in his shirt pocket. Due to the friction with the mobile phone the bullet coming in the direction of the victim got diverted and eventually brushed the victim’s thigh, giving him minor injuries.”
According to the Shivaji Nagar police, the pillion rider shot at him thrice, and one of the bullets hit him in the left thigh. He fell off his bike, and his assailants fled the spot, after which he went to Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar with the help of his associate.
After treatment, Kalia rushed to the police station and registered a complaint with the local cops. After going through the CCTV footage in the area, the Crime Branch officials arrested three suspects, Mohammed Sharif Sha (33), Yohan alias John Kulatey (28) and Mohammed Aneesh Ansari (27), who were found loitering around in the area. The accused confessed to their involvement in the crime, to the extent of providing logistic support to the shooters, who are currently at large.
Saturday’s attempt on Kalia’s life was a fallout of an ongoing dispute he had with his mortal enemy, one Rajesh Chaudhary, who is currently doing time for murder in the Nashik jail. Investigators said that the two have been locked in a territorial squabble over distribution of stolen electricity in Govandi area.
They said Chaudhary had planned the murder bid on Kalia’s life from inside the prison. “Selling stolen power is a huge business involving mafias in the slums of Govandi and Shivaji Nagar. The monthly turnover of each gang is around Rs 3-4 lakh.
Since Chaudhary is in jail, Kalia has taken over the empire. When Chaudhary got the news through his men, who visited him in jail, he got irked and decided to kill Kalia. He hired the two shooters from inside the jail,” an officer involved with the investigation said.
Last month, Chaudhary had called Sharif and Kulatey to the prison to thrash out the assassination attempt. He asked Sharif to provide all the logistics required to execute the plan. Upon investigations, the cops found out that Aneesh had given his bike to the shooters, and he was also arrested in the case.
3 phones that saved lives
1. October 2013: A store clerk in Florida, USA, cheated death during an armed robbery when his mobile phone managed to stop a bullet fired at his chest. The man was shot in the chest — but his HTC Evo 3D smartphone stopped the bullet from doing any damage.
2. August 2012: A Nokia X2 user from Syria was documenting a fight between the rebels and military, using the camera of his handset when a bullet came his way and hit him. Thankfully, the bullet first met the Nokia X2 that he was holding in front of him.
3. February 2010: A woman in Ohio was sitting with her gun-handling boyfriend at a restaurant when a .32-caliber handgun caught in his sleeve, cocked back, and discharged. The bullet went through his coat and his girlfriend’s jeans, hitting the BlackBerry in the back of her pocket.
According to the police, Kalia has more than 20 offences registered against him. He was externed from city limits twice, in 2005 and the year after. The Crime Branch had also arrested him for murdering his wife, for which he has served the sentence. He was released from jail in 2011.
Kalia arrested for revenge assault
Kalia refused to identify the shooters when he was called to the police station, cops said. Soon after the incident, Kalia headed straight to the accused Sharif’s residence. “He attacked Sharif’s brother, Mohammad Naeem Sha, with a stone, leaving him severely injured,” an officer said. Kalia has now been booked under section 307 of the IPC.