One of the key witnesses in the 2011 shootout near the house of Iqbal Kaskar, gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s brother, has allegedly been threatened against deposing in court.
While the witness claims he received threats in January, the Mumbai crime branch registered a case last week after investigating the complaint, sources said.
In 2011, shots were rained outside Kaskar’s house in Pakmodia Street, Kamathipura. While the gangster’s brother was not present at the spot, his driver Arif Sayed Abu Bakr was killed.
Umaid Ishrat Sheikh, a prominent member of the Chhota Rajan gang, has been charged with planning the shootout, while one Abdul Rashad Abdul Rashid Sheikh is a co-accused.
A key witness in the case, who was allegedly asked to keep some arms and ammunition by Rashid Sheikh, has claimed the latter has warned him against naming him in court. The prosecution alleged Sheikh called the witness to meet him in jail, and threatened him. Special public prosecutor Ajay Misar confirmed the development.
According to the statement of the witness, a resident of Pakmodia Street, he knew Rashid Sheikh and had met him before the shootout. The witness claimed Sheikh gave him a packet wrapped in cloth, which contained weapons. He was asked to keep the packet with him.
After some days, Sheikh met him and took the weapons from him, the witness said. Soon after, he heard the sound of gun fire. It was after this he realised Sheikh was involved in the shooting, he said.
During the trial in January this year, the witness requested his deposition be recorded in English as he had received threats from the accused Rashid Sheikh.
Sheikh denied the allegation in court. His advocate Avinash Rasal said the witness’ statement is false and is intended to attack his reputation. The court, however, asked the prosecution to conduct an enquiry, after which the FIR was registered.