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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Dead end for gang wives

Married to mobsters but unlike typical gangster molls, they called the shots, writes Haresh Pandya.

india Updated: Jul 30, 2006 15:45 IST
Haresh Pandya
Haresh Pandya

Married to mobsters but unlike typical gangster molls, they called the shots. Rekha Jadeja, daughter-in-law of ‘Godmother’ Santokben Jadeja, and Nita Naik, wife of Mumbai don Ashwin Naik, met the same end – killed by one of their own.

When Rekha was killed at godmother's Rajkot residence in May, a shiver ran through the underworld, no woman had ever been killed in the history of Porbandar's gang wars. On Thursday Santokben's son, Karan, confessed the murder.

Karan lost his heart to the beautiful and intelligent Rekha. After their marriage, Rekha won over Santokben with her tact and discretion. She was entrusted with family responsibilities, including finances. Rekha frowned on his lavish lifestyle and Karan hated her guts. Karan’s continual demands for money triggered the murder. One day, he decided to put Rekha in place – he pumped 11 bullets into her body.

Nita Naik was another intelligent woman whose appetite for love and success proved too costly. Nita headed for a normal life with an aspiring engineer, Ashwin Naik. The only hitch – he was the brother of infamous gangster Amar Naik. Ashwin, however, wanted to have no truck with the underworld until he was caught in a shootout. A bullet fired by a member of the Arun Gawli gang (his brother's rivals) hit his brain and he was strapped to a wheelchair for life. The incident turned Ashwin into a hardcore criminal. After Amar was killed in 1997, the don's mantle fell on Ashwin, who willingly agreed. It then became Nita's job to coordinate the activities of Ashwin's gang, as he was always on the run or behind the bars in Tihar Jail.

Later, politics caught Nita's fancy. Against her husband's wishes, she joined the Shiv Sena and became a municipal councillor. Soon after, love bloomed between Nita and her bodyguard Laxman Jhiman, a former police commando. Nita was all set to walk away from the underworld when the news reached Ashwin's ears, who was in prison. In November 2003, Ashwin shot at Nita.