1993 Mumbai blast accused’s murder: Chhota Rajan acquitted
A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Thursday acquitted underworld don Chhota Rajan and his aide Jagannath Jaiswal in the Hanif Kadawala murder case. Rajan and Jaiswal were acquitted for want of cogent evidence.
Kadawala, an accused in the March 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case, was shot dead by three men on February 7, 2001, in his office.
As per the prosecution case, Kadawala was booked for helping actor Sanjay Dutt hide the AK-47 and the consignment of weapons that were used in the blasts, at the actor’s garage. The weapons were delivered to him by gangster Abu Salem, who was a part of the Dawood Ibrahim gang. Kadawala was arrested by the police under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) in April 1993 for transporting weapons from the Gujarat coast to Mumbai under gangster Tiger Memon directions.
CBI had alleged that Rajan had ordered Kadawala’s killing, as part of a “nationalist” drive to kill those accused in the bombings. Prior to the assault on Kadawala, Rajan’s men had allegedly carried out attacks on some others accused in the bomb blasts case. CBI had claimed that after the series of blasts, Rajan parted ways with Dawood Ibrahim, a key conspirator behind the bombings. Rajan initiated killings of people involved in the blasts to gain the public sympathy,” the agency claimed.
However, during the trial, Kadawala’s son had claimed that his father was killed over property dispute and the contract was given by his uncle.
Rajan’s lawyer, advocate Tushar Khandare, said, “There was no evidence against Rajan. In fact, it has come on record that the contract of killing Kadawala was given by the Guru Satam and Ravi Pujari gangs. Rajan’s name was mentioned in this case only to misguide the investigating agency.”
Jaiswal’s lawyer DS Manerkar said Kadawala’s employee had only seen his client going inside Kadawala’s office.
“But there were lots of discrepancies in the statement of the witness as first he said only Jaiswal entered the office and later claimed there were three men. Also, he had not seen who fired at Kadawala,” said Manerkar.