India has been seeking the extradition of dreaded underworld gangster Sayyad Muzzakkir Muddasar Hussain for the past four years. Hussain roamed the by-lanes of Mumbai using the assumed name Munna Jhingada and executing orders from his mafia boss Chotta Shakeel. Last week, a team of the Mumbai crime branch returned to Mumbai empty-handed once more, after submitting details to the Thailand authorities.
Pakistan derailed the efforts of the Mumbai crime branch after stating that Jhingada was not an Indian, but a Pakistani national whose name was supposedly Mohammed Salim. A long-drawn tussle ensued between the two countries, delaying the extradition.
Mumbai police officials last heard of Jhingada — who left India in 1997 — when he attacked Dawood Ibrahim’s arch enemy Chhota Rajan at Bangkok in 2000. Jhingada, who had accepted Rs4 crore to execute Rajan, planned the operation meticulously with a core team of Shakeel’s trusted men, including Rashid Malabari. The team consisted of four Pakistani men. They were first taken to Kathmandu, where the Indian Standards Institute (ISI) helped them get forged Pakistani passports.
After trailing Rajan and his lieutenant Rohit Verma for nearly a month, Jhingada and his team decided to carry out the operation on September 15, 2000 at 9 pm. It was a partial success. Verma was killed, while Rajan sustained life-threatening injuries.
Jhingada escaped. He was arrested in Thailand and sentenced to eight years in prison, which was to end in 2011, the same time Pakistani authorities said Jhingada was a citizen of their country. However, those in the Mumbai crime branch who interrogated Jhingada are convinced of the gangster’s identity.
HT talked to various crime branch officials and accessed Jhingada’s last interrogation report, which stated that Jhingada lived with his parents, brother and sister at Janata colony in Jogeshwari (East). He studied at Ismail Yusuf College. When Jhingada was in his second year of pursuing a Bachelor in Arts, a local bully named Wazir started fighting with his friends, Wahab and Mustafa.
Jhingada removed the chopper that Wazir had hooked on to his trousers, and stabbed Wazir in his chest. Wazir succumbed to his injuries. Jhingada went straight to the Jogeshwari police station and surrendered.
He was released on bail on November 20, 1991, and started helping his father run his plumbing business.
However, when Jhingada was returning home on March 31, 1994, Wazir’s brother, Nazir, and his associates attacked him with hockey sticks and a chopper to avenge Wazir’s death. Jhingada retaliated and hit Nazir on his head. Jhingada then confessed before the Meghwadi police station.
Nazir attacked Jhingada and his friends once more at Vile Parle. This time, Jhingada and his friends surrendered before the Juhu police station.
When Nazir was murdered in August 1995, Jhingada’s name was dragged into the case. He escaped to his native home in Uttar Pradesh, and started practising with country-made revolvers.
When he returned to Mumbai on March 24, 1996, the Oshiwara police arrested him and handed him to the Meghwadi police for Nazir’s murder. Jhingada was then sent to Arthur Road Jail, where he met Rashid Malabari’s elder brother, gangster Ismail. Malabari helped him secure bail and asked him to call Shakeel’s number, for which he was paid Rs10,000 in cash and given a mobile. Five days later, Shakeel asked him to pick weapons to kill Arun Gawli. Jhingada chose an AK-56 rifle, 65 rounds, two blank magazines, two pistols and two magazines and 16 live rounds. Shakeel asked Jhingada to kill Gawli the next day at a rally in South Mumbai. Jhingada could not execute the hit as Gawli was guarded by his men.
On August 5, 1997, Shakeel asked Jhingada to gather details about Prakash Naik, for which he was paid Rs35,000. Jhingada passed on the details to Bada Raju and Salim Chikna. They killed Naik near Laxmi Industrial estate in Andheri (West).
Jhingada also killed Kushan Jain, a money lender who was believed to be Chhota Rajan’s financier. Jain was killed at Kapad Bazaar in Mahim with a star pistol. Jhingada also murdered Kallu Ansari using the same weapon on September 17, 1997. He also killed Dabholkar on October 4, 1997, and Akbar Sardar at Dongri on October 31, 1997.