The Mumbai police crime branch on Friday claimed to have solved mystery behind the murder of top Chhota Rajan aide, Farid Tanasha, with the arrest of nine members of the rival Bharat Nepali gang.
Tanasha was shot dead at his Tilak Nagar home on June 2. The crime branch claimed that Nepali, a former friend of Tanasha’s, had ordered the killing to establish his sway over his erstwhile mentor, extortion empire. Tanasha was the only obstacle in his path.
The plot was hatched early this year. “Nepali felt his position was in jeopardy and his life under threat,” Police Commissioner Sanjeev Dayal said.
Dayal said Thane-based builder, Dattatreya Bhakre, paid Rs 9 lakh for the “supari” (contract) killing. A former Rajan aide, who was involved in the gunning down of police informer Amjad Khan outside the sessions court in December 2006, executed the plot.
Dayal said four of the killers — Zafarali Razi Aslam Khan alias Abbas (30), Mohammad Saquib Alam Khan (23), Raviprakash Singh alias Twinkle (27) and Pankaj Singh (30) — were arrested on Wednesday.
Randhir Singh alias Nikhil (25), Mohammad Samad Sheikh (27), Dattatreya Bhakre (45), Ravindra Varekar (44) and Vishwanath Shetty (47) were arrested on Thursday. All nine accused have been remanded in police custody until July 15.
The police have recovered three 7.65 mm pistols, a .32 revolver, 28 live rounds and two magazines. These weapons were used in the murder. The police also recovered 12 mobile SIM cards from the group, Dayal said.
Nepali’s close aide, Vijay Shetty, got in touch with Rajesh Yadav, his associate in Uttar Pradesh. Abbas was also roped in and he brought in the other accused.
The four came to Mumbai and stayed at Bhandup. They tried to kill Tanasha thrice but did not succeed because he was always surrounded by bodyguards.
They then involved Rafiq, who runs a mobile phone shop close to Tanasha’s house. Rafiq’s tip-off helped the accused strike successfully.
Ravindra Varekar, who had alerted Nepali of Tanasha’s intentions and Vishwanath Shetty, Nepali’s man in Tilak Nagar, were arrested later with Bhakre and Nikhil.