Pakistan’s loss is India’s gain? Chhota Shakeel aide may be extradited soon

In a major boost to the Mumbai crime branch’s efforts to seek custody of fugitive sharpshooter and key Chhota Shakeel aide Muzakkir Muddassar Sayed alias Munna Jhingada, 48, a court in Thailand has reportedly rejected the evidence submitted by Pakistan, claiming he was their citizen.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2018 04:42 IST
Debasish Panigrahi
Debasish Panigrahi
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Chhota Shakeel,Munna Jhingada,Pakistan
On Chhota Shakeel’s instruction, Munna Jhingada led a team that attacked Chhota Rajan (pictured). (Reuters/File Photo)

In a major boost to the Mumbai crime branch’s efforts to seek custody of fugitive sharpshooter and key Chhota Shakeel aide Muzakkir Muddassar Sayed alias Munna Jhingada, 48, a court in Thailand has reportedly rejected the evidence submitted by Pakistan, claiming he was their citizen.

The Thai court’s ruling may end the protracted custody battle between India and Pakistan for Jhingada’s extradition, brightening India’s chances. Jhingada has been accused of masterminding the attack on Chhota Rajan in Bangkok in 2000, and faces trial in six other serious offences in the city.

A senior crime branch officer on Wednesday said they have been intimated about the developments in the Thai court ‘informally”, and the “official” communication is awaited. “The court is likely to issue a notice to the rightful claimant (country) to take custody of the fugitive soon,” the officer said.

Jhingada had fled to Dubai after coming out on bail in a murder case in 1997. He was involved in three more murders and a couple of attempted murder cases prior to that. From Dubai, he moved to Karachi to join his mentor Chhota Shakeel. An Interpol red corner notice (RCN) was issued against him in 1999.

On Shakeel’s instruction, he led a team that attacked Rajan. Though Rajan escaped with a serious injury, his trusted aide Rohit Verma and two more people were killed in the attack. Jhingada and five more from his team were arrested by the Bangkok police and subsequently a court sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment. However, before his release, the Mumbai police (through Interpol) applied for his extradition in 2012, but the claim was contested by Pakistan.

Crime branch officials said Pakistan produced Jhingada’s fake identity and wedding documents to prove their contention. The Mumbai police responded with evidence such as Jhingada’s fingerprints (taken during his four arrests), testimony of witness during identification parade and school/college admission forms (with photos). However, the DNA profiling proof of his parents is said to have played a decisive role in establishing his Indian lineage.

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 04:42 IST