Crime branch may invoke MCOCA on Salem attackers

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 07 Juli 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The Navi Mumbai crime branch probing the attack on gangster Abu Salem inside the Taloja jail are legally examining to invoke the stringent act of Maharashtra Control of Organized crime Act (MCOCA). Sources said that police will have to fulfill all the ingredients of the MCOCA else they will have to revoke the act later like the Mumbai police did in murder of Advocate Shahid Azmi.

"In Azmi case the act was revoked after the defence challenged the act as they failed to establish the pecuniary gain which is an important ingredients of the act. Police could establish that Azmi's killing was a pecuniary gain of JD and others but failed to establish the pecuniary gain of fugitive Bharat Nepali who hatched the criminal conspiracy from a foreign country.

"At present we are legally examining whether the act can be invoked in the case and we should not get backfire." Said a senior IPS officer from the state police. He said that MCOCA is important as it will send a strong message or Salem's lawyer will again raise the issue with the Portugal government to get him back. Salem is being tried for his role in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts besides cases of murder and dozen extortion cases. Salem was extradited from Portugal in 2005 after the Indian government gave an executive assurance that he would not be awarded the death penalty or charged with any section of the law which entailed jail for more than 25 years.

In this case they have already established the motive behind the killing was JD's monetary benefits (contract money of Rs 5 lakhs) he received from Shakeel gang on various installments and Shakeel wanted to eliminate Salem due to their previous enmity.

JD's friend Manoj Lahmane doesnot have any criminal records and Shakeel and Fahim Machmach will be shown as wanted accused.

Police said if this act is invoke, the benefits police get more custody and the accused cannot avail bail easily and court will run the case on priority basis.

Interestingly in 2011, police had booked JD and his associates under the stringent act for killing advocate Shahid Azmi however later it was revoked as ingredients presented by police did not stand. However Azmi was killed in 2010 by JD on behest of his slain mentor Bharat Nepali who had split away from Chhota Rajan gang and had joined formed a new alliance with deported Santosh Shetty and Vijay Shetty. Later Nepali himself was killed by Shettys in Malaysia.

Last week JD fired three rounds on Salem inside the Taloja jail. While one bullet missed Salem, second bullet hit Salem on his hand and third bullet could not fired as the trigger of the countrymade revolver got jammed. Navi Mumbai police said that Salem escaped because of the three feet cardboard the jail authorities had put on on the gates of each cell. "It is learnt that the cardboard was put to prevent cats and mouse entering the cells." said Shrikant Pathak deputy commissioner of police.

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