MCOCA court refuses bail to Chhota Shakeel’s henchman Papa Pathan | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

MCOCA court refuses bail to Chhota Shakeel’s henchman Papa Pathan

May 26, 2024 05:44 AM IST

Special MCOCA court denies bail to suspected henchman of Chhota Shakeel involved in extortion case, citing strong evidence of his involvement in the crime.

MUMBAI: A special MCOCA court recently denied the bail plea of a suspected henchman of Chhota Shakeel. He was arrested along with Mohammad Salim Iqbal Qureshi, also known as Salim Fruit, for allegedly threatening a city businessman and extorting 62 lakh from him.

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“The statements of witnesses relied on by the prosecution revealed the involvement of the applicant in the conspiracy and his connection with co-accused persons,” said special judge Rajesh Katariya while rejecting the bail plea of Javed Shabuddin Khan, also known as Papa Pathan.

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The court noted that he had benefited in terms of a share of the extortion money and there was “ample material to show prima facie involvement of the applicant in the commission of the crime.” The extortion case was originally registered by the Versova police station on September 26, 2022. The complainant, a caterer who also trades in gold, told the police he met Riyaz Bhati, a suspected member of the Dawood Ibrahim gang. In February 2021, Bhati introduced him to Mohammed Salim Iqbal Qureshi, also known as Salim Fruit, a close relative of gangster Chhota Shakeel.

The complainant stated that he used to play cards at a club in Matunga run by Shekhar Shetty, also known as Shekhar Anna, where Salim Fruit also played. He claimed that in 2022 after Fruit won a card game, he began demanding an exorbitant sum of 62 lakh from him.

A week later, he said, Fruit started threatening the complainant for the payment and eventually forced him to part with his Range Rover, adjusting an amount of 30 lakh for the SUV. As he continued to threaten the complainant with dire consequences, the complainant paid an additional amount of 7 lakh to Fruit by transferring the amount to a bank account given by him. Besides, he was also forced to foot a hotel bill of 5.43 lakh incurred for Bhati’s birthday celebrations.

The case was transferred to the Crime Branch for investigation. Apart from Bhati, Fruit, and others, the Crime Branch also arrested Papa Pathan, claiming that he was involved in the conspiracy to extort money from the caterer and had received a share of the extortion money from the complainant. The Crime Branch later invoked stringent sections of the MCOCA in the case.

Pathan applied for bail to the special MCOCA court, claiming he was falsely implicated in the case and there was no material to suggest his links with the co-accused or that he was part of the extortion conspiracy. The special court, however, rejected his plea, stating that prima facie there was enough material to show his involvement in the crime. “The social media (Facebook) account snapshots filed with the charge sheet prima facie show the connection between the applicant and co-accused persons,” the court said.

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