25 December,2010 08:46 AM IST | | Poornima Swaminathan
After rumours of the Don*s death last week, sources say he staged it, in typical gangland custom, for a longer life
Gangster Bharat Nepali is resorting to an age-old underworld superstition to ensure a longer life staging his own death.
Over the last week, there have been unconfirmed reports that Nepali was killed by underworld don Chhota Rajan*s henchmen in Thailand.
However, intelligence agencies said that Nepali is very much alive and is shuttling between Malaysia and Thailand.
In the underworld circles, gangsters often float rumours about being killed and then orchestrate their own death. This, they believe, will ensure a longer life for the gangster, sources said.
"Several dons have done this in the past, including Rajan and Dawood," said a source, who has been tracking the underworld closely.
"They go into hiding and spread rumours about their death. This is believed to give them a longer life," he added.
Nepali has been under tremendous pressure over the last year, after forming a breakaway gang of his own, following a spat with don Chhota Rajan, who he used to work for earlier.
He announced his entry into Mumbai*s mafia with a bang: with the sensational killing of advocate Shahid Azmi, the lawyer representing 26/11 accused Fahim Ansari, and then Farid Tanasha, Rajan*s trusted aide.
Since then, Rajan*s men have been baying for his blood and Mumbai Police and intelligence agencies have been tracking his activities closely.
The recent arrest of Bunty Pandey too turned on the heat on Nepali. Pandey, a notorious extortionate was nabbed last month in Vietnam and deported to India.
Currently in the Crime Branch*s custody, he is believed to have parted with valuable information regarding Nepali*s activities and gang strategies.
Intelligence agencies are keeping a close watch on Nepali and his movements, said sources.
Who is Bharat Nepali?
He began in the underworld as Rajan*s driver. In 1998, Rajan ordered Nepali to kill Nepali parliamentarian Mirza Dilshad Beg, who allegedly had links with the ISI. It was a fallout of the rivalry between Rajan and Dawood Ibrahim.
Nepali then broke away from his mentor to form his own gang, citing differences. He now portrays himself as a patriotic don.
A native of Uttar Pradesh, he is behind the killings of advocate Shahid Azmi, gangster Farid Tanasha, and allegedly, Jamim Shah, owner of Nepal-based Space Time Network.