His death in 1982 during an encounter with the Mumbai police became known as the city's first recorded encounter killing. However, the spate of encounter killings only increased in the late 1980s and further rose after the 1993 Bombay bombings; a total of 622 alleged criminals were killed in police encounters from 1982 to 2004.
Born in 1944, Surve moved to Mumbai with his mother and stepfather. He was a B.A. graduate from Kirti College and formed a gang of students during his years there, due to the influence of his stepbrother Bhargav Dada. Bhargav was a feared thug from Agar Bazar in Worli. In 1969, Surve was involved in the murder of a man named Dandekar, with his stepbrother, Bhargav and an associate, Manya Podhkar. The trio were soon arrested by Police Inspector E.S. Dabolkar and were subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment.
While incarcerated at the Yerwada jail in Pune, Surve developed a fierce rivalry with another gangster, Suhas Bhatkar a.k.a "Potya". Annoyed of Surve’s terror tactics, the prison authorities had him transferred to Ratnagiri jail. There, he took part in a hunger strike and lost almost 20 kgs, before being shifted to the local civil hospital. Surve utilized this opportunity to successfully evade custody on November 14, 1979, and returned to Mumbai, having served over nine years of his sentence.
After his return to Mumbai, Surve formed a gang of robbers and recruited his two trusted lieutenants, Sheikh Munir from Dharavi and Vishnu Patil from Dombivili. They were soon joined by another hood, Uday Shetty on March, 1980.
The gang's first robbery took place on April 5, 1980, in which they stole an Ambassador car. The vehicle was later used to loot Rs 5,700 from Laxmi Trading Company near Currey Road. On April 15, the gang savagely assaulted and almost killed Sheikh Aziz, an enemy of Sheikh Munir, near Kala Killa in the Dharavi slum. On April 30, they stabbed a police constable when he was escorting gang rival, Vijay Ghadge to a police station in Worli.
Borrowing the plot from a James Hadley Chase novel which he had read in prison, Surve decided to loot money from the government milk scheme in a bid to gain recognition from the leaders of the Mumbai underworld. The gang with the addition of Dayanand Shetty, Parshuram Katkar, Moreshwar Narvekar and Kishore Sawant stole a car near Barkha Bijlee in Mahim and went on to execute a heist of Rs 1.26 lakh near Govandi. The stolen vehicle was later found abandoned near National College in Bandra, exactly as penned in the Chase novel.
Another famous robbery undertaken by Manya Surve's gang included Rs 1.6 lakh from Canara Bank’s branch on Sion-Trombay road and Duke and Sons Company at Deonar. Manya Surve's criminal activities was not only confined to heists and robberies. He was also involved in narcotics trafficking, as he saw that the profits derived from it was considerable.
The gang's various successful heists and robberies brought a tremendous amount of heat on Manya Surve and his gang. As a result, the police were put under great pressure and they launched Operation Manya Surve to capture Surve and curb his gang's activities.
On June 22, 1981, Sheikh Munir was picked up from a chemical company near Kalyan. A few days later, Dayanand Shetty and Parshuram Katkar were arrested at a lodge in Goregoan. Anticipating his capture, Surve slipped into an aide’s hideout in Bhiwandi on November 19, 1981. When police squads finally broke into the apartment, they recovered a hand grenade, a country-made revolver and some live ammunition.
Surve was finished after systematic police operations led to a breakdown of his gang's activities. After the arrest of his cohort Uday Shetty, he was the only remaining member of the gang who was not in prison.
On January 11, 1982, the Mumbai police received a tip off from one of its informers that Manya Surve would be arriving at a beauty parlour near the Ambedkar College junction in Wadala. At around 1.30 pm, eighteen Crime Branch officers split into three crack teams and waited for him to arrive. After twenty minutes, Surve was spotted coming out a taxi to pick up his girlfriend, a widow with two children.
After noticing the squad close in and take positions, Surve took out his Webley and Scott revolver. However, before he could squeeze the trigger, Surve was mortally wounded by two police officers Raja Tambat and Isaque Bagwan, who fired five bullets into his chest and shoulder.
Surve was dragged from the scene and put on an ambulance. While on the way to KEM Hospital, he kept screaming that the police had not given him a fair chance to defend himself. He succumbed to his injuries a few minutes later. This encounter ended over two years of urban dacoity and crime by him. It is generally believed that it was the underworld don Varadarajan Mudaliar who tipped off the police about his whereabouts, after finding his position being challenged by Surve.
The life of Manya Surve inspired and provided the basis for the 1990 Bollywood blockbuster movie, Agneepath. The movie's main character, Vijay Dinanath Chauhan (played by Amitabh Bachchan) was heavily based on Surve, with Bachchan even copying the gangster's voice. The film was a great hit at the box office and earned Amitabh Bachchan a National Award for Best Actor.
Subhash Bhaskar Nair (b.1964 - d.2004) was an infamous gangster and hitman, who was shot dead by the Gujarat Police during an encounter in Valsad on June 2004. He was convicted of multiple murders, including that of the former Daman MP Kalidas Patel on January 6, 2003. For many years, Subhash Nair topped the list of Gujarat's most wanted criminals.
Subhash Nair was born in a Keralite Nair family and joined the Indian Army when he was just 18 years of age. He served in the Indian Army for 10 years, but was discharged in 1993 for bad conduct. After this he turned to criminal activities by robbing a petrol pump in Surat. He became a headache to the Gujarat law enforcement agencies after he murdered two labourers in 1995. In April 2004, he murdered Deepak Patel, a famous bootlegger of Surat. At the time of his death, Subhash Bhaskar Nair was accused in more than 20 cases of murder and attempt to murder. Most well known of his associates were Kartar Singh and Sojan Mathew. Subhash was attacked by gangster Mahalingam Shiva in 2003, but survived the attempt despite severe injuries.
Hitendra Thakur was most recently elected MLA in the Maharashtra state assembly elections, 2004 as an independent candidate, polling 1,61,000 votes versus 94,000 for nearest rival Vivek Pandit of the Shiv Sena who also leads an NGO for tribal and underprivileged groups "Shramjeevi Sanghatana".
An orphan at the age of three, Hitendra Thakur grew up based on his family's meagre income from a small tea stall.
He did not contest the recently contested polls and his party candidate lost the polls to Vivek Pandit.
Nicknames, especially those in the underworld, push even the limits of what’s acceptable as quirky. Here, the weirder the name, the greater the fear factor.
And among the most popular names to lend themselves to a nickname is Salim. Here’s a quick round-up of sleazy Salims.
Salim Haddi: Named ‘Haddi’ or bone because of his large Adam’s Apple. He was close to Abu Salem and named in the murder of builder Mohan Kukreja in Chembur. Was killed in an encounter near Millat Nagar in Jogeshwari.
Salim Kuttanelur alias Salim Kutta: Nicknamed ‘Kutta’ (dog) because of his set of teeth which resembled those of a dog. Shot into the headlines after his role in landing arms and explosives along the Konkan coast before the serial blasts of 1993 was proved. Considered close to smuggler Mohammed Dossa as well as Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim.
Salim Mazgaon: Just because he lived in Mazgaon, along the Central Railway’s Harbour Line. He’s believed to be still holed up somewhere in Dubai.
Salim Tempo: He owned six tempos or small carrier trucks. Was often seen with members of the Young Gang, an outfit floated long ago by Dawood Ibrahim.
Salim Qureshi alias Khan: He was stowed with the title ‘Khan’ for his unusual flair. He wrote film scripts with much panache. Some were even used in Bollywood flicks, under the name of Dawood Ibrahim’s younger brother, Noora.
Incidentally, Salim Mazgaon, Salim Tempo and Salim Qureshi lived in the same building in Mazgaon in the mid-1980s.
Salim Khan alias Passport: Imagine calling your travel agent ‘Passport’. Khan helped Dawood Ibrahim with his travel documents, and the name just stuck. Passport was named as an accused in the serial bomb blasts of 1993 and was later killed in a shootout at Andheri in 1997.
Salim Talwar: He was a booth-capturer in a poll in Dongri in 1985. His chosen weapon to frighten polling officials and voters was a talwar or sword. He was later considered close to Dawood.
Salim Kurla: Like Mazgaon, this Salim got his name from his residence. Started as an employee in Nagpada before joining hands with Dawood’s kid brother Noora.
He soon opened a film company under the banner of Shabnam Arts International. Kurla was accused of sending associates to Pakistan for military training, was charged with the 1993 bomb blasts.
Rubina Siraj Sayyed (37) was best known for her mehendi patterns. But the police saw her underworld designs too.
A top beautician from south Mumbai who got called to all prominent Muslim weddings for her expensive yet elegant beauty treatments, Rubina was recently picked up by Mumbai police for managing Dawood henchman Chhota Shakeel�s activities in the city.
She has been booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
Rubina was for the last one year taking instructions from Shakeel aide Fahim Mach Mach and liaising with lawyers, looking after all the needs of Shakeel gangsters who are in jail and handling financial affairs of all gang members between south Mumbai and Jogeshwari.
"At last count, she was looking after 25 families of men affiliated to the Shakeel gang and distributed Rs 1.5 lakh among them every month, apart from making payments to legal luminaries," said deputy commissioner of police, detection, Dhananjay Kamlakar.
Rubina's story is one of overweening ambition. As a leading beautician, she earned more than what her civil contractor husband Siraj Sayyed did and was a regular income-tax payer.
However, she wanted to join politics and become a corporator. Mother of two teenagers, she entered gangland thinking that her position there would help her become a councillor.
Rubina's brother-in-law Obaid Sayed, a Shakeel aide, was arrested in 2002 in the Sharif Tunda murder case and lodged in Arthur Road jail.
When she began visiting Obaid regularly in jail and in the courts, he conveyed some messages to Shakeel through her. At this point, the gang made her an offer she liked.
"She presumed that by working for the gangsters, she would gain clout and power, would be able to contest civic elections and become a corporator," said assistant commissioner of police Sanjay Singh Yenpure.
With her clout grew her affluence. While earlier she had a two-wheeler, she now bought a car for her frequent trips to Arthur Road jail and Thane jail.
Her fair complexion earned her the nickname 'heroine' from Fahim, while those for whom she was boss called her 'Pathan' because of her burly physique and brusque manners.
Though active for over a year, she kept the crime branch at bay. Good with computers and English despite being a college dropout, she even evaded the police's electronic surveillance.
The crime branch got to know of her after one of Shakeel's men, Uday Pawar alias Pankaj, got in touch with her. Since late last year, Pankaj had been demanding Rs 50 lakh from a film distributor and issuing threats to him. When the distributor agreed to pay Rs 10 lakh, Pankaj called Rubina to "report" to her. The police were then listening.
They soon began tracking Rubina's movements and calls. In the last four months, police recorded 26 conversations between Rubina, Fahim and Shakeel.
But unlike the J W Singh and Bharat Shah cases, the crime branch will not make the transcripts the basis of its First Information Report (FIR). After this four-month watch, police picked her up recently.
In 2002, the crime branch had arrested Shamim Mirza alias Mrs Paul, a Shakeel aide. Police had then believed hers to be an isolated case but with Rubina's arrest, they feel Shakeel has more such women working for him.
"We suspect that in Mumbai and Thane alone, there must be four to five such women working for the Shakeel gang and taking instructions from Fahim," joint commissioner of police, crime, Dr Satyapal Singh said.
Chhota Shakeel’s ‘girlfriend’, Rubina Siraj Sayyed, is definitely on the large side—but she’s not at large anymore. Mumbai cops picked up this celebrated beautician for aiding and abetting the Dawood henchman’s operations in the city. The mehendi moll was paying off lawyers and taking care of 25 of Shakeel’s gang members’ families
The underworld today is a clear departure from what it was between the 70s and 90s. From controlling bootlegging, gambling and smuggling, the gangs have now entered businesses like real estate, cinema, sand dredging and waterfront commerce in Mumbai's ports and even the purchase of vegetables and meat (see box). For the common man this means he unknowingly adds to the coffers of gangs...
Worth: Rs 100 crore annually
Fuel is siphoned from ships and sold in the open market at half the price. This industry is dominated by the Dawood Ibrahim gang.
July 29: Chhote Miyan is gunned down outside his residence. Initially, it appeared he was killed because he failed to honour a payment. Now it is suspected that he was killed by Chhota Shakeel's men and that a group of informers orchestrated the murder.
September 13: Cable operator Jing Bhandu Jena is killed in Chembur. The murder is suspected to be the handiwork of the Chhota Rajan gang. The police claim he was killed due to a dispute over distribution of cable lines.
દાઉદ પકડાય તો પણ તે ભારતના નહીં મેક્સિકોના હાથમાં જશે
તા.૧૬ july, 2010.
મોસ્ટ વોન્ટેડ ડોન દાઉદ ઇબ્રાહિમને પકડીને ભારત લાવવાની કામગીરી ભારતીય સુરક્ષા એજન્સીઓ માટે હવે મુશ્કેલ નહીં પણ અશક્ય સમાન બની ચૂકી છે,કેમ કે છેલ્લાં ૧૮ વર્ષથી પાકિસ્તાનમાં લપાઇ રહેલા દાઉદે મેક્સિકોનો પાસપોર્ટ મેળવી લીધો છે. ખૂંખાર આતંકવાદી જાહેર થયેલા દાઉદે ચાલાકીપૂર્વક એવી ગોઠવણ કરી રાખી છે કે, જો તે ભવિષ્યમાં પકડાઇ જાય તો પણ ભારત સરકારને બદલે મેક્સિકોના હાથમાં જશે, તેવી માહિતી મુંબઇ ક્રાઇમ બ્રાન્ચના એક વરિષ્ઠ અધિકારીએ આપી હતી.
દાઉદ ઇબ્રાહિમ અલગ અલગ નામે કુલ ૧૨ પાસપોર્ટ ધરાવતો હોવાની માહિતી અગાઉ ભારતીય સુરક્ષા એજન્સીઓને સાંપડી હતી. જોકે, તેમાં નેપાળ અને પાકિસ્તાનના પાસપોર્ટ્સનો સમાવેશ થતો હતો પરંતુ તાજેતરમાં મળેલી માહિતી મુજબ, દાઉદે મેક્સિકોનું નાગરિકત્વ પણ મેળવી લીધું છે.
હવે તેની પાસે મેક્સિકોનો પાસપોર્ટ પણ છે. તેણે પોતાનું નામ પણ બદલી નાંખ્યું છે. તેના મેક્સિકન પાસપોર્ટ મુજબ, તેનું નવું નામ મોહંમદ ઇકબાલ છે. મુંબઇ પરના હુમલા બાદ અમેરિકાએ પાકિસ્તાન પર વધારેલા દબાણને કારણે દાઉદે પાકિસ્તાન છોડવાનો નિર્ણય લીધો હોવાનું સૂત્રોએ જણાવ્યું હતું.
દાઉદ પકડાઇ જાય તો પણ ભારતીય સુરક્ષા એજન્સીઓ પાસે દાઉદની ઓળખ માટે નક્કર પુરાવા નથી. દાઉદ બેથી વધુ વખત પ્લાસ્ટિક સર્જરી કરાવી પોતાનો દેખાવ પણ બદલી ચૂક્યો છે. આવા સંજોગોમાં તેનો ડીએનએ ટેસ્ટ કરાવીને જ તેની ઓળખ પાકી કરી શકાય તેમ છે. દાઉદની ઓળખ પુરવાર કરવા માટે ભારતીય સત્તાધીશોએ વૈજ્ઞાાનિક પુરાવા રજૂ કરવા પડે તેમ છે અને જો કદાચ આ કામમાં ભારતીય સત્તાધીશો સફળ થઇ જાય તો પણ પાકિસ્તાનના સત્તાધીશો દાઉદને ભારતના નહીં પણ મેક્સિકોના હવાલે કરશે. આ ઉપરાંત દાઉદનો જમણો હાથ ગણાતો છોટા શકીલ પણ આઇએસઆઇની સખત નજર હેઠળ છે. શકીલ પાકિસ્તાનમાં નહીં પણ જિદ્દાહમાં કોઇ અજાણ્યા સ્થળે લપાયો છે અને ત્યાંથી તે ગેંગ ઓપરેટ કરી રહ્યો છે. તેમ છતાં આઇએસઆઇના અધિકારીઓએ તેને નજરકેદમાં રાખ્યો હોવાનું પણ સૂત્રોએ જણાવ્યું હતું.
THE BLASTS CONSPIRACY: REVENGE FOR BABRI
“Dawood Ibrahim exhorted us to rise in rebellion against Hindus... He said that Muslims were being butchered and women being dishonoured by Hindus in connivance with the police… He asked us to get ready to take revenge and told us that for this purpose he would send us to train in handling arms and explosives in Pakistan... to teach the Hindus a lesson by killing them and also by killing Indian leaders and senior police officers,” said Salim Mira Shaikh, alias Kutta, a gang member, in his confession before the police, narrating a meeting he and over a dozen other Muslim youths from Bombay had with Dawood in Dubai in February 1993.
Dawood smuggled hundreds of assault rifles, hand grenades, pistols, and hundreds of tonnes of rdx into India through January and February 1993. The first landing was on January 9, 1993, at Dighi jetty in Mahsla in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. Two more landings happened in Maharashtra — on the intervening night of February 2 and 3, and on February 9 at the Shekhadi coast in Mahsla. The consignment that finally reached the Dutt residence landed in Dighi.
The Dighi consignment contained AK-56 rifles, hand grenades, magazines and ammunition. While Mohammad Dosa and his brother Mustafa coordinated the landing at Dighi, Tiger Memon handled the two landings at Shekhadi. Salim Shaikh participated in the landing at Dighi. After the Gujarat Police arrested him in 1995, Shaikh gave the police a graphic description of the landing at Dighi.
Around 300 silver ingots, 20 military-colour canvas bags, 30 wooden boxes (each about three feet long, two feet wide and one foot deep) were unloaded from a launch at Dighi on the night of January 9, Shaikh said in his confession. Each canvas bag had four tin boxes, which had ammunition for assault rifles. Each wooden box had four AK-56 rifles and 12 empty magazines. A couple of boxes had hand grenades while their pins were in separate boxes. The goods were loaded in a truck and a tempo, and the vehicles proceeded toward a forested area. A police party intercepted the vehicles and allowed them to go only after mortgaging seven silver ingots against a promise of being paid Rs 8 lakh in cash. The vehicles then went into a jungle where two trucks with hidden cavities were already waiting. Silver was put in one truck while arms and ammunition were loaded into the other, whose registration number was mrl 1051. “Abdul Qayyum Sajjani, Amir Jadia alias Mota and Babu Madrasi took the truck mrl 1051 and left for Gujarat,” Shaikh told the police. A few remaining boxes of arms and explosives and silver ingots were put into a tempo and taken to the nearby Agarwaad village, where they were kept in the house of a gang member called Shabbir Qadri. The Mumbai Police later recovered the weapons from Qadri.
It was only after Salem’s extradition in 2005 that the CBI examined three witnesses who were involved in transporting that truck to Gujarat, storing the arms in Bharuch and subsequently distributing them to Salem and others. All this evidence has been made part of the Abu Salem chargesheet. Sajjani — a member of the Dawood gang, identified as Code No. 11 in the CBI chargesheet — says, “In January 1993, Mohammad Dosa told me to go to Raigad as some goods were supposed to land. I reached Bhiwandi with a few other of Dosa’s men. There we were given a truck which we took to the Goa road and from there to a jungle in Mahsla. While I waited in the jungle, the others left for the landing of the goods at Dighi jetty. Around midnight, Shabbir Qadri and others came with a few vehicles; silver, arms and explosives were unloaded from them. Boxes of arms and ammunition were hidden in my truck and I was told to leave for Nasik. On reaching Nasik, I called Mustafa Dosa at his Dubai number. He told me to proceed towards the Gujarat road. On reaching a hotel called Narmada in Bharuch, I called up Dosa again. He told me to wait for his man, Hazi Rafiq Kapadia of Bharuch. After some time, Kapadia came and we went to his village, Sansrod. There we packed 56 AK-56 rifles, over 200 hand grenades and boxes of cartridges and magazines into around 30 gunny bags, and then stored all the bags in Kapadia’s godown. I sent the truck back to Bombay and the next day I took the Gujarat express train back to Bombay.”
Kapadia, arrested by the Gujarat Police in 1995 and identified by the CBI as Code No. 4, says in his statement, “A day after I stored the arms in my godown, Mustafa Dosa called me from Dubai at around 11 or 12 in the morning and told me to go to Super guesthouse in Ankleshwar and meet some people. He gave me the number of a 100-rupee note. On reaching the guesthouse, a few people came to me and gave me a 100-rupee note with the same number. I took the keys of a Swaraj Mazda they had brought with them and took it to my village. There I loaded 46 AK-56 rifles, over 100 grenades, some boxes of cartridges and magazines into the vehicle. I handed over the vehicle to Dosa’s men who then left for Ahmedabad. A few days later, Dosa called me again and gave me a local telephone number in Bharuch. I called up that number and told the person who spoke to me to meet me at Hotel Nyayamandir on nh-8 at around 3 o’clock. Four men, all in the age group of 25-30, came in a white Maruti van with a Gujarat number. From there, we went to Hotel Safari. A fair man, whom the others addressed as Salem Bhai, asked two men to get off. Then the man named Salem Bhai, an accomplice of his whose name I do not know and I went to Sansrod village. We placed nine AK-56 rifles, over 100 grenades and some boxes of cartridges and magazines in hidden cavities in the flooring and four sides of the van.
We then went back to Hotel Safari and there Salem picked up his two other men and they left for Bombay. One AK-56, a few hand grenades and cartridges were still left with me and I dumped them in a street in Anklov after the serial blasts. I telephoned Gujarat Samachar about these abandoned weapons. The police came and seized them.”
Salem’s associate who accompanied him and Kapadia to Sansrod was Aziz Bilakhia, another Anees Ibrahim henchman in Bombay. Bilakhia, an accused in the serial blasts case, is still absconding. The CBI has also recorded the statement of a witness it has identified as Code No. 7, who was the owner of the godown in Bharuch where the arms and explosives were stored. Code No. 7 had let out his godown to Kapadia.
Sajjani, Kapadia and Code No. 7 were never made witnesses in the Bombay blasts case. The part of the story relating to the transportation of arms from Dighi to Bharuch, from where they were sent to Ahmedabad and Bombay, is missing from the case papers and the chargesheet of the Bombay blasts case. Judge Kode has given Sanjay the benefit of the same missing link in the chain. MN Singh questions the delinking of the trials on the excuse that it would have delayed the judgement. “I would have pushed for a joint trial,” he says, “because I think the case had already been delayed for far too long.” His argument is not without merit for the court would only have had to examine and cross-examine a total of 15 witnesses, which would have taken just another two to three months.
Salem’s testimony was crucial because he was the one who had been instructed by Anees to deliver the arms to Sanjay Dutt. The others — Samir Hingora and Baba Mussa Chauhan — who accompanied Salem to Sanjay’s house on the morning of January 16, 1993 — corroborate this fact. In his confession before the TADA court, Hingora, in fact, says, “On 15th of January 1993, two persons by the name of Baba Chauhan and Salem met me in my office and gave me the message that they had been directed by Anees Bhai to see me regarding handing some weapons to Sanjay Dutt. After about five minutes, Anees Bhai telephoned me from Dubai and told me that Baba Chauhan and Salem were his men.” When they reached Sanjay’s house, Hingora says he found him talking to Anees on the telephone and asking him when he was sending the weapons (samaan). Apart from shedding light on Sanjay’s proximity to Anees, Salem’s statement also proves that Sanjay was aware of the fact that arms and ammunition were being smuggled into the country. According to Hingora, Sanjay also asked Salem if the arms had arrived. The weapons were hidden in the cavities of the same van Salem brought from Bharuch.
JANUARY 16: THE WEAPONS ARE DELIVERED TO SANJAY
On the evening of January 18, Hanif Kadawala, Abu Salem and his friend Manzoor Ahmed went to Sanjay’s house where he returned two AK-56s, hand grenades and ammunition to Salem. The arms and ammunition were returned in a black bag and a small carton. Kadawala left separately in his car, while Salem and Manzoor took the bag and the carton away in Manzoor’s blue Maruti 1000. They then drove to Zaibunissa Kazi’s house in Bandra and left the arms there.
The crucial point of this entire sequence centres around the undeniable fact that Sanjay had also kept hand grenades. The fact — corroborated by Hingora, Chauhan, Salem and Kadawala but omitted by Sanjay in his own confession — has not been accounted for in court. On the day of the verbal order on November 28 last year, the judge said that he accepted Sanjay’s admission that he had kept the AK-56 for self-protection because he was getting threatening calls during the Bombay riots. But the mere possession of a prohibited weapon in a notified area like Bombay is an offence under Section 5 of TADA. Besides, stocking hand grenades and an assault rifle for self-protection defies logic. Says MN Singh, “Really speaking, that explanation doesn’t convince me. It doesn’t cut any ice. One doesn’t go running for help to gangsters for self-protection. There are governmental agencies to fall back on.” Singh has a point, for Sanjay already had three licenced weapons before he called Anees for the AK-56s. Besides, it is not difficult for the son of an eminent mp to seek help from governmental agencies.
Lawyers are already questioning the “benign judicial eye” cast on Sanjay Dutt — and they are not the only ones. The families of the co-accused have also protested outside the TADA court, asking that their relatives be treated the same way as Sanjay. Acutely conscious of the disparity is Maneshinde himself — he says he will have no answer to give to the Supreme Court if he is asked why Sanjay received such different treatment from the others.
Answers are difficult because on the Black Friday of March 12, 1993, India suffered what was then its worst terrorist attack. Within a few hours, 257 people were reduced to a heap of mangled limbs and charred torsos. Meanwhile, justice is still awaited.
Mar 24 , 2007