Abu Salem shootout not staged, states his lawyer

Jun 28, 2013, 14:57 IST | Samarth Moray

Abu Salem's lawyer Saba Qureshi on Friday rubbished rumours that her infamous client had planned the shooting on himself.

"This is the second attempt on his life. Moreover had he wanted to do anything, he could've done it earlier... He has been in jail for 12 years. Would the jail authorities cooperate in smuggling a weapon? It is nonsense. In fact, he saw the gun and moved backwards, which is why his life was saves."

She clarified that Salem had thus far been seeking relief through proper channels all this time, so there was no question of him planning such a drastic act.

On Salem's relationship with the shooter Devendra Jagtap alias JD, she added, "There has never been any association between Jagtap and my client, friendly or otherwise. They don't know each other but are in the same prison. Jagtap is a professional shooter who must have been hired."

While Salem is said to be back in Taloja after receiving treatment at JJ Hospital, Qureshi added that she intended to now move an application to have her client sent back to Portugal. "I am in the process of collecting documents, and we will file in a few days," adding that Salem's case is due to come up for hearing in the Supreme Court next month.

Jagtap's background

A source said, “Jagtap had started out as an estate agent in Pune. He later got involved in a scuffle over property and that's how he first appeared on the police radar. The cops later implicated him in other cases as well. That is how he got involved with the underworld.”

In 2010 Jagtap was arrested for the murder of Shahid Azmi, lawyer of 26/11 accused Fahim Ansari. He was incarcerated in Taloja as an undertrial in connection with that case.

Meanwhile, Santosh Shetty’s lawyer KM Mhatre told MiD-DAY, “My client has nothing to do with the shooting. In fact he doesn’t even know JD. Shetty is currently lodged at Arthur Road jail, how could he have anything to do with this shooting?” Shetty's name was initially being linked to the murder.

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