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Contract Killings


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Cops nab contract killer, hope to crack jail nexus

With the arrest of incarcerated gangster Subhash Thakur's aide from Kandivli for the murder of a Rabale-based builder, police aim to expose Thakur's jail-run operations

The Kandivli police yesterday arrested an accomplice of gangster Subhash Singh Thakur who is wanted for the murder of a Navi Mumbai-based builder.

Thakur, a former Chhota Rajan aide suspected to have been operating from within the Nasik jail where he is lodged, had reportedly taken the contract for the killing.

His aide, identified as Raju Chauhan alias Vijay Sawant (32), was nabbed at the KD Compound in Kandivli West. With the arrest, police hope to get an insight into the network of gangsters operating from behind bars.

The Kandivli police received a tip-off that Sawant, a contract killer, would come to KD Compound on Sunday to kill a builder who resides there. They laid a trap and nabbed Sawant, andn recovered a country-made revolver and two bullets from him.

During the course of his interrogation, officers learnt that a month ago Sawant had allegedly killed a Rabale-based builder Shivraj Jadhav and was wanted by the police. Sawant also revealed that he was attached to the Thakur gang, cops said.

"Sawant had killed the builder on June 23, just two days after he had been acquitted in another murder case. There are four murder cases pending in Rabale, Kalva and Kasturbha for which Sawant is wanted," said API LG Shinde, from Kandivli police station.

Prison pals
Sawant had been a contract killer since 1996 when he first met Thakur at the Arthur Road jail where the two were lodged. Thakur, who is doing time for two murders, had been operating from the jail, sources said. "Thakur is now in Nashik jail where he is serving life imprisonment for the two murders," added Shinde.

Officers investigating the case further said that Thakur, at one time, was a close aide of Rajan when the latter was working for Dawood Ibrahim. After splitting from Rajan, he joined forces with the Chhota Shakeel gang. In the 1990s, Thakur floated his own band of mobsters, notorious in Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai.

"During the real estate boom in New Mumbai, Thakur began extorting money from the builders there," said a Crime Branch officer on condition of anonymity. Thakur was named in many gang wars.
Eventually, he was arrested after Rajan tipped off the police. But the underworld don uses Thakur's men to do his bidding now.

A Crime Branch officer said Thakur is active even now and has been operating from the jail. "Thakur recruits new inmates for his gang by helping them monetarily. He accepts contracts from other gangsters and orders his men to kill the targets and receives the kickback through the hawala network.
Gangsters like Shakeel and Rajan order Thakur's men to do their work and if they are caught, the trail goes cold as the killers only name Thakur," said the officer. Of late, Thakur has been in ill health, cops said.

The Kandivli police would now question Sawant about the builder he was hired to kill and find out who had recruited him for the crime. "We had presented Sawant in the Bandra Holiday court where he was remanded to police custody till Monday," added the officer.


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