The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested two persons and recovered a cache of arms that the agency claims was to be used to revive the Chhota Shakeel-Dawood Ibrahim network in Mumbai.
Additional Director-General of Police Rakesh Maria said that, in a joint operation of the ATS’ Vikhroli and Juhu units, Nasir Shaikh (35) and Ali Qureshi (64) were arrested with twelve weapons, including a carbine.
“We laid a trap and arrested Shaikh near Shreyas Cinema in Ghatkopar after being tipped off about an arms deal. We seized seven pistols, a carbine and 74 cartridges,” Maria said.
He said it was Shaikh that told them about Qureshi, after which an ATS team raided his house in Jogeshwari.
They recovered four pistols and 29 cartridges.
Maria said several cases are registered against Qureshi. “The cases were registered between 1973 and 2008, and include attempt to murder, kidnapping and rioting,” said Maria.
He added that Qureshi was booked under the National Security Act in 1984 and 1986.
He said Shaikh, a rickshaw driver, did not have any previous offences registered against him.
A police source said that though there is no technical intelligence to support it, they had information that Qureshi was in touch with Shakeel.
“They were trying to recruit men for the gang,” Maria said.
Maria said the Anti-Terrorism Squad is trying to find out who was supposed to collect the arms from Shaikh.
He credited the team of Police Inspector Ravindra Doiphode, Sunil Mane, Vijay Kadam, Mahesh Desai and Assistant Police Inspector Bhushan Belnekar for the operation.
The duo was remanded in police custody till June 28.