India is planning to formally seek evidence from Pakistan in connection with the murder of two BJP leaders in Gujarat in November after a probe suggested they may have been killed at the behest of gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s key henchman, Javed Chikna.
Javed Chikna is already wanted in India as an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts that killed 257 people.
“We intend to send a judicial request to Pakistan for assistance in the probe in the case as Javed Chikna is emerging as a main conspirator in the probe. He seems to be based in Karachi along with other henchmen of Dawood Ibrahim who fled there after the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts,” said a senior National Investigation Agency official.
The case was initially probed by Gujarat Police but was handed over to the NIA due to the case’s international ramifications.
Javed Chikna’s brother Abid Patel has already been arrested in the case earlier this month. Patel was picked up at Indo-Nepal border, in a joint operation conducted by the security forces of the two countries.
On November 2, masked men shot dead two BJP leaders — Shirish Bangali, former BJP president in Bharuch, and Pragnesh Mistry, the city’s youth wing general secretary.
“The probe has revealed that besides arranging a hit on Bangali and Mistry, the accused wanted to kill other local BJP leaders. One of the arrested, accused Inayat Sheikh, was allegedly promised by Chikna and his bosses in the Dawood gang that he will be made responsible for all gambling dens in Gujarat for his cooperation in the operation. It was Abid who had introduced Inayat to his brother Chikna,” said a senior investigator.
Though, Dawood fled from India to Dubai in the mid 80s, but after the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, he is operating from Karachi in Pakistan where he has vast business interests. Pakistan has always denied presence of Dawood Ibrahim on its soil.