A special TADA court in Mumbai on Monday convicted Abu Salem and two of his associates in connection with the 1995-murder of city-based builder Pradeep Jain.
The verdict is the first one against the extradited gangster under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) (TADA) act where the court observed that he along with the other accused hatched the conspiracy to ‘create terror in the minds of Jain brothers and builder community to extort money.’
Calling it a terror act, special TADA judge GA Sanap while convicting three accused, Salem, Mehendi Hassan Shaikh, and Virendrakumar Jhamb, observed, “As per the evidence produced before the court, the prosecution has proved that a conspiracy was hatched in October 1994 by Salem, Mahendi Hassan, Kayyum Ansari, Naeem Khan and wanted accused Anees Kaskar in Dubai to pressurise and force Jain brothers to surrender rights of the property located in Dongri, Andheri.”
According to the police, Jain was shot dead on March 7, 1995 outside his Juhu bungalow. The family had alleged that they were receiving threats from the underworld demanding extortion money and their property.
The court has held that the conspiracy was initially to threaten the brothers and that the accused had also agreed to kill one of them in case they do not agree to their demands. The court held that the purpose for the threats was to pressurise them to transfer the property which the accused intended to han d over to other developer for huge profit.
Later as the brothers did not succumb to the threats, ‘Salem had moulded his plan and struck a deal with them to pay him Rs 1 crore’. It was also held that the Jain brothers had already paid a sum of Rs 10 lakhs. Pradeep Jain was then killed. The court held that even after the murder, the family continued to receive threats from Salem.