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Mumbai underworld

topics Updated: May 24, 2016 16:37 IST

An organised underworld in Mumbai took shape with the rise and rise Haji Mastan, a dockyard coolie-turned-don who ruled the city during the 1950s-1970s. Before retirement, he appointed Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, India’s most wanted terrorist and prime accused in the 1993 serial blasts, as his successor. Son of a police constable, Dawood tightened his grip on Mumbai as bloody gang wars rocked the city in the 1980s and the 1990s. Around the same time, ruthless and brash mob bosses replaced the old dons and their ‘work ethics’ of mutual respect. One of the most infamous chapters of this period stems from the strained ties between Dawood and his former accomplice, Chhota Rajan, who parted ways citing the 1993 blasts as an excuse. Things changed in 2000. Instead of contract killings and extortion, gangsters got involved in the corporate sector, especially real estate, and toned down their activities. In the new ‘corporate underworld’, the focus is on keeping guns in the drawer and earning money through investments.