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Salem to face extortion trials in Delhi

Delhi Police is expected to move court to seek a production warrant for securing Abu Salem's custody.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2006 19:33 IST

Abu Salem, a key conspirator in the Mumbai serial blasts in 1993, will be brought to Delhi next month to face trial in four cases. Three of them are related to extortion and while the fourth one relates to a criminal conspiracy.

Delhi Police is expected to move a city court to seek a production warrant for securing Salem's custody for interrogation.

Till then, Salem will continue to be in the custody of Mumbai's Anti-Terrorist Squad.

The Government has appointed Additional Solicitor General Vikas Singh as the special public prosecutor in the cases.

"We have to work out how he will be transported from Mumbai and where he will be kept while in Delhi," said a senior official in the Home Ministry.

He is wanted in connection with an extortion case reported in July 2002, in which he had allegedly demanded Rs 10 million from Rajat Nagrath, the owner of Allied Communications in south Delhi.

After a two-month probe, the Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested three men - Ishtaq, Sadiq and Chandu Prakash - for their involvement in that case. During interrogation, they disclosed that they targeted businessmen at the instance of Salem, who was then suspected to be operating from Dubai.

In April 2002, Salem had made an extortion call to Ashok Gupta, another south Delhi-based businessman, and demanded Rs 50 million as protection money. Salem gave three phone numbers, including one of a satellite phone, on which Gupta could contact him.

Five of Salem's accomplices were arrested in connection with this case and later booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

The third case also pertains to an extortion demand involving Romesh Sharma, a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim. Sharma and Salem allegedly extorted Rs 5 million from Vinay Singh of Lucky Exports in 1998.

The fourth case involves a conspiracy that was hatched to eliminate gangster Babloo Srivastava, who is currently in an Uttar Pradesh jail.

First Published: Jan 20, 2006 18:55 IST