Denying that he had any links with gangster Dawood Ibrahim, one of his alleged henchman and an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, Abdul Qayyum Shaikh on Thursday claimed that his was a case of “mistaken identity”.
He told the designated TADA Judge D.U. Mulla that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had mistaken him for one Abdul Qayyum Saini, who according to Shaikh, was the real culprit of the ’93 serial blasts.
Shaikh, who denied most of the charges, informed the court that he had filed a Right to Information (RTI) application to find out the number of cases registered against him in the city. “A reply to my Right to Information application, filed from the jail, revealed that there are total eight criminal cases pending against me, but the Mumbai police keep saying that there are only four cases,” he said.
He added that despite his reminders, the police had failed to arrest him in some of these cases. “I wrote six letters to the MIDC police station (as one case is registered there), but there is no response from them.”
Shaikh, who reportedly handled the Dawood gang’s accounts, had fled to Dubai after the serial bomb blasts rocked the city on March 13, 1993, killing 257 and injuring over 700. The Crime Branch had arrested him on February 13, 2007, after he returned from Dubai.
He is now facing trial along with extradited gangster Abu Salem and two others and is charged for abetting terrorist activities by participating in the unloading of the arms and ammunition smuggled by the Dawood gang.
In September 1992, Shaikh had sold a 9 mm pistol to actor Sanjay Dutt at the instance of Dawood’s brother Anees Ibrahim. This revelation has come from none other than the actor himself.