New Delhi, March 25:
A 30-year-old Uttar Pradesh-based gangster was arrested here for hiring sharpshooters to kill three top industrialists, police said Wednesday.
Mohammad Yusuf was arrested from the Alipur area of north Delhi on March 18 following which he was put in five-day police custody.
According to the police, Yusuf was on Wednesday presented before the chief judicial magistrate, who sent him to 14 days’ judicial custody.
Police said Yusuf is a former aide of Ejaj Lakdawala, who himself was a former member of the Dawood Ibrahim gang.
“Yusuf gave the contract to eliminate two businessmen of Mumbai and one from the national capital region. He hired Punjab-based shooters for the job. He himself was going to Punjab to meet one of the sharpshooters,” said a police officer.
With his arrest, the Delhi Police claim to have busted a pan-India network of Mumbai underworld don Lakdawala.
Police said that Yusuf was Lakdawala’s main handler operating from western Uttar Pradesh, while the sharpshooters were sourced from Punjab.
A resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district, Yusuf started his criminal career in 2005 as a drug trafficker and a gun runner, and later came in contact with Lakdawala in 2014.
He remained in contact with Lakdawala, who is probably at present somewhere in North America though he keeps shifting bases, through voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) calling and several international numbers of different countries spread over nearly all continents.
Lakdawala initially asked him to arrange for sharpshooters.
Since Yusuf was in close contact with criminal elements in Punjab, he roped in Sonu, an active criminal for carrying out the tasks.
In 2014, Lakdawala tasked Yusuf to arrange for sharpshooters to go to Mumbai and target the owner of a very famous sweet shop there.
“Yusuf gave the contract to Sonu who along with his associates Swarn and Binder, all residents of Jalandhar in Punjab, proceeded to Mumbai but they failed to shoot because their gun misfired. They then fled,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch), Ravindra Yadav.
Subsequently, Lakdawala tasked Yusuf with targeting a top builder of Borivali in Mumbai.
The official said that Sonu was again tasked by Yusuf for this act and he along with his associate Mandeep proceeded to Mumbai.
But, the official further said, Sonu once again failed to execute the task as he could not get a clear opportunity to target the builder. Sonu then returned to Punjab with his associate.
Lakdawala later asked Yusuf to kill a Delhi-based industrialist.
Yusuf again contacted Sonu to execute the plan.
“Sonu along with his associate Nikka recced the residence and the factory of the businessman.
“They were waiting for instructions to act, when Sonu was arrested by Punjab police in a case of drug trafficking. Sonu is presently lodged in Kapurthala jail in Punjab. Due to the arrest of the main shooter, the tasks that were assigned were put on hold,” said the official.
Lakdawala, an earlier associate of Dawood Ibrahim, parted ways with Chota Rajan and set up his own underworld network. He targeted the Bollywood film industry and other businessman for extortion. IANS