It was Anees Ibrahim (Dawood Ibrahim’s brother) who decided to kill builder Pradeep Jain in 1995, Abu Salem had said in his confessional statement, which he later retracted.
Salem said after Anees’ order, he sent two of his henchmen to kill Jain at the builder’s bungalow in Juhu.
Although Salem retracted his confession, the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (Tada) court took into consideration his confessional statement and handed him a life sentence.
In the last week of February 1995, Salem had confessed to making a phone call to Jain’s residence, which was attended by Jyoti Jain, the builder’s wife. Salem then asked for Ashok Jain, the builder’s brother. But as he was not home, Pradeep took the call.
Salem said Pradeep started abusing him, after which the gangster threatened him and handed over
the phone to Anees.
When Pradeep abused Anees too, they cut the call and hatched a plan to kill the builder. They were at Anees’ Dubai office.
“Anees and I decided to eliminate Pradeep at that very moment, to create terror among builders and Bollywood personalities. This would have helped our extortion business to flourish,” Salem had said in his statement.
In the first week of March, Salem sent a pager message to Rehan R (name changed), who has been
made an approver in the case, asking him who Pradeep was. “Rehan told me he is Ashok Jain’s
younger brother,” said Salem.
“I sent a pager message to Mehendi Hassan, who called me from Kohlapur. I asked him to rush to Mumbai, and call me once he meets Salim Haddi (shooter). The next day, I told Salim to kill Pradeep,” Salem had confessed.
Salem got into underworld activities around 1990 when he started doing odd jobs for Aziz Bilkiya, a resident of Mahim, who used to smuggle gold. Salem befriended him, and started selling gold with him.
Aziz used to work for Anees, and also used to visit Dubai on a regular basis. During this period, Salem was introduced to Hassan at a transit camp at Jogeshwari.
In 1992, Salem was arrested on charges of kidnapping, after he eloped with and married Sameera Jumani, a minor.
‘After the 1993 bomb blasts, Aziz called me and asked me to leave the city,” Salem had said. After that, Salem went to his village, and later to Lucknow. In November 1993, Salem went to Dubai with his wife. In Dubai, Salem met Anees for the first time.
Initially, Salem was given the job to make phone calls and threaten people. Later, he used his connections with Anees to create a gang of henchmen.
“Salim Haddi, Salim Tukaram, Uday Pawar, Rajesh Igwe, Sanjay Kadam, Shekhar Kadam, Subhash Bind, Sunil Nair, Rajab Ali, Brijesh Kumar aka Tiger, Pappu, Nizam and many others used to work for me,” Salem said. “After a threat call, if someone didn’t pay up, I used to instruct my men to shoot them,” Salem had confessed.