The crime branch arrested three persons on Thursday for killing Maulana Akhtar Hussain Ansari, 71, last month. On February 14, Ansari was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne assailants near the Dockyard Road junction, around 10.30 pm when he was returning home after offering the night prayers.
Joint commissioner of police, crime, Himanshu Roy said that a developer from Mumbra had given the contract to eliminate Ansari over a property dispute. The developer, Mohammad Farooq Siddiqui, 38, has been detained along with two others, Mohammad Hussain, 35, a contract killer from UP and Zamzan Sheikh, 49, a civil contractor. Roy said the police are on the lookout for another shooter and the weapon that was used in the shootout.
According to Roy, Ansari owned a plot admeasuring 9,000 sq ft in Kausa. In 2007, Ansari had entered into an agreement with Siddiqui to develop 4,500 sq ft of the same plot. As per the agreement, Farooq had given 30% of this plot to Ansari (approximately 7 flats) which Ansari had rented out for Rs 2,000 per flat.
Ansari allegedly approached Farooq to develop the remaining 4,500 sq ft land.
This time, there was no written agreement. Verbally, Farooq allegedly agreed to claim 76% after developing the property, while Ansari agreed to stake his claim for the rest 24%.
However, Roy said, Ansari did not respect the agreement and threatened to lodge a complaint with the civic authorities. Deceived, Farooq, whose younger brother Ishaq is a known associate of underworld kingpin Dawood Ibrahim approached civil contractor Ramzan, who roped in two shooters. Farooq paid Rs3.2 lakh supari to kill Ansari.