It was around 10.30 am on August 12, 1997 when Gulshan Kumar, owner of T-Series, reached a temple at Jeet Nagar slums in his red Opel car. The music baron was not accompanied by his carbine wielding bodyguard, provided by the Uttar Pradesh government.
It was the perfect opportunity for two teams of contract killers, who had been scouting the area and waiting for the right opportunity to kill Kumar.
Earlier, Kumar had refused to pay Rs10 crore to gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
In fact, little is known about the direct involvement of Dawood in the murder. However, investigating officials pointed fingers at his brother Anees Ibrahim, Qayyum and now estranged henchman Abu Salem.
According to the police, the plot to kill Gulshan Kumar was hatched at Anees’ office in Dubai in May 1997. Those present in the office included now convicted Abdul Rauf alias Daud Merchant, Abu Salem, Qayyum and Bollywood music composer Nadeem Saifee. Salem had promised Rauf money, men, arms and vehicles to carry out the killing, the police said. But the killing was carried out only after the D-gang had exhausted all its options to get the extortion money.
Despite receiving two threatening calls, on August 5 and August 8, 1997, Kumar refused to budge and his fearlessness further irked the killers.
Rauf was made to swear by the holy scriptures to kill Kumar. He and his friend Adil Mohammed Ali Khan would scout the area each morning at Jeet Nagar slums in Andheri (West) from 6am onwards.
The two gangs of hired killers, which included Rauf and Abdul Rashid, conducted reconnaissance for a month. However, they could not find an opportune time because of Kumar’s bodyguard armed with a carbine.
But August 12, 1997 was going to be different as Kumar stepped out alone. Adil walked up to Kumar, asked him to pray in heaven and pulled the trigger from close range. Rauf fired in the air to disperse the crowd. His accomplices pumped 16 bullets into a rather helpless Kumar.
The music baron was declared dead on admission. While his killers had silently escaped from the area, Rauf first went to Uttar Pradesh to hide, returned to Mumbai and escaped to Dubai via Bangladesh.
He was arrested in 2001 from Kolkata and was the only person to be convicted of the 19 arrested. He escaped once again only to be deported back to India from Bangladesh on Thursday.