Gangster Obed Radiowala, accused of firing at Mahesh Bhatt, deported from the US
Obed Radiowala, gangster Ravi Pujari’s aide who is a key accused in the 2014 firings on film-makers Mahesh Bhatt and Karim Morani, was deported to India from the United States (US) on Tuesday. At the time of going to press, he had landed at the Delhi airport.
Hindustan Times had on Thursday reported that the 46-year-old was in the custody of a US federal agency and will soon be brought back to India. Crime branch officials said Radiowala has been living illegally in the US for at least a decade, and they had issued a red-corner notice against him in 2015. He will now stand trial in the two cases in the MCOCA court.
During its drive against illegal migrants in September 2017, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took Radiowala in their custody and kept him at a detention centre in New Jersey. On April 1, a New Jersey immigration court issued an order to deport Radiowala, after which the ICE officials alerted the Indian authorities.
“This individual’s long list of criminal charges in his home country, including attempted murder, show that he was a danger to the community here in the US,” said John Tsoukaris, field office director, Enforcement and Renewal Operations, Newark.
Radiowala allegedly gave the contracts to kill Bhatt and Morani from the US, at the behest of Pujari. Last year, the court found 10 men, including Radiowala’s brother Anees, guilty in the Bhatt case and sentenced them to five years imprisonment. The trial in the Morani case is on.
In his confession, one of the convicts had said, “On November 14, Hasnat told me that Pujari has given a contract to Anees and Ishrat through their brother Obed Radiowala to fire at Mahesh Bhatt. On November 15, Ishrat said we have to fire at Bhatt.”