Mumbai cops probe Dawood's '09 call for which his aide jumped furlough

Updated: Nov 16, 2016, 17:56 IST | Suraj Ojha

What assignment did Dawood Ibrahim have in store for his close aide and Gulshan Kumar’s killer Abdul Rauf Daud Merchant? That is the riddle the Mumbai Police is trying to solve

The call was allegedly made to Abdul Rauf Merchant at Dawood Ibrahim’s behest (right) Abdul Rauf Merchant was serving a life term for murdering Gulshan Kumar
The call was allegedly made to Abdul Rauf Merchant at Dawood Ibrahim’s behest (right) Abdul Rauf Merchant was serving a life term for murdering Gulshan Kumar

What assignment did Dawood Ibrahim have in store for his close aide and Gulshan Kumar’s killer Abdul Rauf Daud Merchant? That is the riddle the Mumbai Police is trying to solve, after Merchant was brought back from Bangladesh on Sunday. He was interrogated for an hour by the crime branch, during which they got to know that the call which made Merchant jump furlough was on behalf of Dawood. November 6.

Merchant — who was serving a life term at Aurangabad jail for the murder of music baron Kumar — received a fortnight-long furlough in 2009. During the time, Merchant spent a few days with his family in Mumbra. “He stayed there for 10 days and on the 11th day, he got a call from Dubai,” said a crime branch officer. Merchant then made his way to Kolkata A crime branch source said he jumped his furlough for another ‘task’ handed to him by Dawood.

Leave for Kolkata
In their hour-long interrogation, the crime branch got to know that the call was made at Dawood’s behest. On that call, he got a message to leave immediately for Kolkata, where he will meet an agent who will direct him on his next move.

Read Story: Gulshan Kumar murder case convict sent to jail

Later, Merchant left for Kolkata via an express train. Upon reaching there, he met the agent, who helped him cross into Bangladesh via the border. Once he was there, he met another agent who helped him make a fake Bangladeshi passport.

Jailed twice in B’desh
In 2013, a case the Mumbra police registered against Merchant for jumping furlough. Crime branch sources further said that on the basis of that passport, Merchant was set to fly to Dubai, where another ‘task’ was supposedly waiting for him.

But before he could do that, the local police caught him. He got arrested for possessing a fake passport and was slapped with a five-year jail term and let out in 2014. Then, he was re-arrested for suspected terror links in the same year and out back in jail for two more years. When he finally got out of jail this year, Indian agencies got wind of his presence.

Tricked into coming home
Acting on this information, an Indian intelligence agent posed as a member of the D-Company and assured Merchant that he would help him cross the border and return to India. But when Merchant crossed over to the Indian side, the Border Security Force (BSF) caught hold of him and arrested him. Later, BSF informed the Mumbai Police who then took him into custody. Merchant has currently been lodged in Arthur Road jail while the crime branch is trying to ascertain what task Dawood summoned him for.

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