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‘Himesh, don had buried hatchet’

The four members of the gang were on their way to meet the don when they landed in the dragnet of UP STF, reports Bhupendra Pandey.
Hindustan Times | By Bhupendra Pandey, Lucknow
UPDATED ON JUL 27, 2007 04:08 AM IST

The four members of the Ejaz Lakdawala gang were on their way to Nepal to meet the don when they landed in the dragnet of the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) on Tuesday. The revelation was made during interrogation of the arrested gangsters and by sources in Mumbai Police.

Sources said that Lakdawala was arriving in Nepal next week for a business deal and that the Mumbai-based aides were called for a formal introduction with the don’s links in the Himalayan kingdom. The foursome had instructions from Lakdawala to travel by road and hire the vehicle from a travel agency to conceal their identity.

Lakdawala’s point man in Mumbai, Anees, revealed to the STF sleuths that the don was in regular touch with his jailed counterpart Abu Salem. Anees also revealed that Salem and Lakdawala have a strong hold on the film industry and that both get a ‘cut’ from several production companies in Mumbai.

There is contradictory information on whether the gang members were planning to kill singer Himesh Reshammiya and director-producer Raj Kumar Santoshi. Sources in Mumbai Police’s crime branch claimed that the matter between Lakdawala and Reshammiya had in fact been recently resolved. A top executive from a music company had played mediator between the don and Reshammiya, the sources revealed.

However, information retrieved from Anees revealed that after denial for extortion money by Reshammiya and two other unnamed film producers, Lakdawala had given a contract to UP’s most wanted don, Munna Bajrangi, to kill them. Bajrangi was asked to plan the attack on the music director and the producers.

Anees himself was in contact with Bajrangi who had arranged four shooters from Varanasi. The shooters were to arrive in Mumbai in August to carry out the killing.

Following Anees’ revelations, the UP sleuths are now probing Lakdawala’s links with don Babloo Srivastava, currently jailed in Lucknow.

A Mumbai Police team was expected to be arriving to take remand of the arrested Lakadwala gang members, Deputy Superintendent of Police of the STF, S. Anand revealed on Thursday.

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