The shoot-out at Pakmodia Street last week seems to have ascertained not just the rivalry between fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and aide-turned-foe Chhota Rajan, but also that between the Mumbai crime branch and Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS).
The rift between the two law enforcement agencies was out in the open when ATS officials, who had detained four men in connection with the shoot-out, sought to hand over the suspects to the crime branch.
But crime branch officials refused to even accept the involvement of the four accused in the shoot-out, said sources.
On May 17, Indra Khatri, 27, and Sayyed Billal Mustafa, 29, allegedly opened fire outside Dawood’s brother Iqbal Kaskar's house in Dambarwal building near JJ hospital. Kaskar’s driver Arif Sayyed Zaveri, 44, died in the shoot-out.
Based on specific inputs, the ATS had detained Qayoom Sheikh, Ahmed Munshi, Sajid Parvar Khan and Adnan Idayat Sayyed for allegedly providing the shooters with the weapons.
Sayyed, according to the ATS, is the cousin of Umaid Ishrat Sheikh, a gangster owing allegiance to Rajan.
According to the ATS, the four accused, under direction from Umaid, had assisted the two shooters in executing the attack.
Crime branch officials took custody of the four men only after ATS chief Rakesh Maria asked Mumbai commissioner of police Arup Patnaik to intervene in the matter, said sources. But, on Wednesday, the crime branch arrested only Adnan. Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime), said: “We are interrogating the other three men to ascertain their complicity.”