The probe into how Devendra Jagtap alias JD got the weapon into Taloja jail to fire on gangster Abu Salem has pointed to the role of jail guards.
Investigators now believe the weapon was made available to JD inside his cell through one of the guards who are called ‘taxi’ in underworld parlance.
Taxis are assigned to each gang, and cater to the needs of the gangsters within the jail.
A special taxi is assigned to high-profile gangsters like DK Rao, Abu Salem and Mustafa Dossa in any of the jails they are lodged in, said police sources.
The jail guards also act as the medium of communication between fugitive gangsters like Chhota Shakeel and Chhota Rajan and their henchmen or lieutenants in the jail.
The role of the guards has come under scrutiny after the arrest of JD’s aide Manoj Lahamane who told investigators that he threw the gun over the prison wall.
Crime branch sources said the weapon was retrieved by one of the jail guards who works for Shakeel’s gang, and was passed on to JD.
The gun was then probably concealed in a manner similar to one used by Rajan’s henchman Kalia Rajan in Arthur Road jail.
Kalia Rajan had made a cavity between his cell’s washbasin pipe and the wall, said police sources.
“The facilitation of underworld activities within the jail is carried out by these taxis, who are on a monthly payroll of the gangsters,” said a senior crime branch official.
The taxi also ensures the gangsters get everything they want, from cigarettes, drugs, mobile phones to even a weapon.