A Special MCOCA court on Friday convicted three of the seven accused in the Pakmodia firing case. On May 17, 2011, two gunmen had opened fire 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.
Iqbal Kaskar, Dawood Ibrahim’s brother, escaped an attempt on his life in 2011. File Pic
Kaskar was not present at the site when the incident happened. Special MCOCA court Judge A L Pansare convicted Indralal Khatri, Bilal Mustafa Ali Sayyed and Rashad Abdul Rashad Shaikh, under sections 302 (murder), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.
However, provisions of the MCOCA were not applied in this case. The court also acquitted D K Rao, who is said to have financed the operation on the instructions of gangster Chhota Rajan.
Speaking to mid-day, defence advocate Prakash Shetty said, “Aasid Jan Mohammed Shaikh was acquitted on benefit of doubt while Umed-Ul Rehman was clearly acquitted by the court.”
The Judge relied upon two eyewitnesses who saw Khatri and Sayyed firing and also the fact that they were arrested on the spot and the Forensic Science Laboratory report which confirmed that the bullets fired from the gun and the those found in the body of the bodyguard-cum-driver were the same.
Special Public Prosecutor Ajay Misar examined 53 witnesses, which included three eyewitnesses. There were four witnesses who turned hostile. Speaking to mid-day, Misar said, “MCOCA was dropped as the person who died was Kaskar’s driver and not Kaskar.”
Police had arrested seven accused; Khatri and 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 who had the possession of the weapons; Adnan Sayed and Aasid Jan Mohammed Shaikh were accused of getting people to carry out the murder, providing a SIM card to the killers and keeping a watch and D K Rao, the alleged financer of the deal.
The prosecution and the defence will argue on the quantum of sentence on August 19. The maximum punishment can be death and minimum could be life imprisonment.