The Uttar Pradesh police on Wednesday arrested four members of Mumbai underworld don Ejaz Lakadwala’s gang for allegedly planning to kill singer Himesh Reshammiya and film producer-director Raj Kumar Santoshi over extortion demands.
Director General of Police Vikram Singh said the four were arrested from Dewa Road in Barabanki district on a tip-off from the Mumbai police. They had also planned to kidnap a gutkha trader in Lucknow, Singh said.
Reshammiya gained popularity with songs like Aaja aaja and Aashiq banaya, and went on to act in a movie he produced himself, Aap Ka Suroor.
The Special Task Force team that tracked down the gang near Harohari village on Dewa Road also recovered two pistols and two revolvers. The gang, comprising Anis Radiowala, Mohammed Rahim Khan, Ishrat Warsi and Namdeo, was moving in a Qualis (MH04-BQ-5429). All four are from Mumbai. “The task force is trying to track down the weapon supplier,” Singh said.
Anis, who was produced before the media, said he had come to collect weapons and was paid Rs 50,000 for this purpose.
“I get around Rs 30,000 a month from Ejaz,” he said, adding that Ejaz was in Australia. “Namdeo had already identified shooters in Mumbai who were to undertake the job.”
He said Ejaz had earlier hatched a conspiracy against Reshammiya by sending a young man to a Zee TV music contest but he could not be selected and the plan failed.
In Mumbai, Police Commissioner DN Jadhav said: “We are considering providing security to Reshammiya. Two armed guards each have already been provided to Santoshi and Sajid Nadiadwala by the Juhu police.”
The Juhu police in June had arrested six Lakdawala gangsters, including two shooters, who allegedly confessed to having made preparations to kill Santoshi and Nadiadwala.
Lakdawala had apparently instructed him to terrorise or kill Reshammiya for extortion money, said senior police inspector Pradeep Shinde.