India upholds #deathpenalty over 1993 Mumbai blasts, SanjayDutt gets 5 years in Jail

March 21, 2013 1By Ammu Kannampilly

Agence France Presse
In this photograph taken on July 31, 2007, Indian Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt (L) is frisked by a policeman as he arrives for sentencing at the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) - TADA court in Mumbai. AFP PHOTO/Sajjad HUSSAIN/FILES
In this photograph taken on July 31, 2007, Indian Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt (L) is frisked by a policeman as he arrives for sentencing at the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) – TADA court in Mumbai. AFP PHOTO/Sajjad HUSSAIN/FILES
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NEW DELHI: India‘s top court upheld the death penalty on Thursday for a mastermind of the country’s deadliest series of attacks and ruled a Bollywood star who bought weapons from the bombers must return to jail.

Yakub Memon, brother of the alleged main plotter and fugitive Tiger Memon, was the only one of 11 convicts to see his death sentence upheld by the Supreme Court for his role in the 1993 blasts which killed 257 people in Mumbai.

The judges also handed down a five-year term for the actor Sanjay Dutt for possessing illegal weapons bought from gangsters accused of orchestrating the bombings. Dutt has already served 18 months but is currently out on bail.

Announcing the sentences, Supreme Court judge P. Sathashivam said the Memon brothers and another suspect, Dawood Ibrahim, who is said to be living in Pakistan, “were archers and rest of the appellants were arrows in their hands”.

“They were the architects of the blasts,” Sathashivam, one of two judges presiding over the case, said.

The remaining convicts who had appealed against the death penalty saw their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

The attacks on March 12, 1993, were believed to have been staged by Mumbai’s Muslim-dominated underworld in retaliation for anti-Muslim violence that left more than 1,000 dead in the city a few months earlier.

Yakub, an accountant by profession, his brothers Essa and Yusuf and sister-in-law Rubina were all convicted for their involvement in the serial blasts at 13 different locations.

The Bombay Stock Exchange, the offices of the national carrier Air India and the luxury Sea Rock hotel were among the targets.

Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim, the other alleged masterminds of the attacks, have been on the run since 1993. Indian investigators say they were helped by Pakistan’s intelligence service, a charge denied by Islamabad.

Executions are only carried out for “the rarest of rare” cases in India but President Pranab Mukherjee has rejected a number of mercy pleas in the last few months, ending an unofficial eight-year moratorium.

A Kashmiri separatist convicted of involvement in a deadly 2001 attack on the Indian parliament was executed in New Delhi last month while the lone surviving gunman from the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks was hanged last November.

Dutt, who was appealing against an original six-year term, spent 18 months behind bars before being bailed in 2007.

During a police raid, investigators uncovered a pistol and an AK-56 rifle which were part of the consignment of weapons and explosives said to have been brought to India from Pakistan and then used in the attacks.

Dutt, a one-time heavy drug user who has a reputation as one of Bollywood’s bad boys, had admitted buying the weapons but insisted they were only meant to protect his family.

The 53-year-old was not in court while his sister Priya Dutt, who is a member of parliament, looked visibly upset when the verdict was pronounced.

His lawyer Satish Maneshinde said he has spoken to the actor who has four weeks to hand himself in to the authorities.

“He has accepted the judgement,” said Maneshinde. “He will go through the verdict and will consider all the legal recourses available to him”.

The actor shot to fame in the mid-1980s in a string of action movies in which he performed his own stunts, earning him the nickname “Deadly Dutt”.

He is best known for playing a mobster with a heart of gold in the popular “Munnabhai” series.

Dutt’s first wife died of cancer while his second marriage, to a model, ended in divorce. He married for a third time in 2008.

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Millat residents in fear of D-company after activist murder in #Mumbai #Dawood

Published: Monday, Dec 24, 2012, 9:30 IST
By Dilnaz Boga | Place: Mumbai


After RTI activist Aijaz Ahmed Khan was gunned down on December 15 near Jogger’s Park in Andheri, residents of Millat Nagar feel they have lost their pillar of support and are afraid that they will lose their homes to the underworld in the name of ‘development’.

“Members of the Dawood Ibrahim gang are trying to grab our property by forging paperwork. Khan, who was against them, had been threatened,” said a resident, on the condition of anonymity.
Residents said that in the last few months, gang members and their families have bought homes in the society and are threatening them to agree to the redevelopment plan.

A member of the Millat Nagar Core Committee for Deemed Conveyance said, “There are 15 buildings and 1,300 flats on the 17-acre plot and is estimated to cost Rs6,500 crore. Gang members who have moved in threaten us with weapons. We’ve been told that two more people will face the same fate as Khan.”

The residents have lodged complaints with the police in the past about some gang members selling cocaine in the premises. However, no action has been taken by authorities. “After Khan was shot dead, some gang members were seen hobnobbing with officers from Oshiwara police station at the scene of the crime,” said a resident. The group is thinking of holding a meeting with the police commissioner and minister of state for the home department RR Patil.
The police have arrested two persons in connection with the shoot-out and are on the lookout for another shooter Abrar Khan, who is said to have links in Dubai.

Joint commissioner of police Himanshu Roy said, “The investigation is in progress and it would be premature for me to comment. We are on the lookout for the prime accused and we’ll know more when we get him.

ACP Vasant Dhoble: Safety cop or hoodlum in a uniform?

Jun 21, 2012



Republished from Mumbai Boss

If you ever chance upon a diminutive figure in Bandra who is talking to herself while reading a newspaper, that would be me. To preserve what little I know of the English language, I’d abandoned reading newspapers a couple of years ago. I’ve recently restarted and these days, I try to read between three to four dailies. I’ve found the only way to make it through all of them is by pushing myself towards dissociative identity disorder; that is, by talking myself through the process of reading the reports. It’s a bit like being both the horse and Robert Redford in The Horse Whisperer. I get stared at a lot as a result, but there is the occasional silver lining. For example, this week, thanks to Vasant Dhoble and Mumbai’s middle classes, I won a bet against myself.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble heads the Social Service Branch of the Mumbai Police. For those who were unaware of the SS Branch till Dhoble entendres filled their virtual world, it is one of the most coveted departments as far as the city’s policemen are concerned. Its official responsibility is to prevent the city from sinking into moral turpitude, which translates to the possibility of bribes from a wide range of citizens, from street side sellers of pirated DVDs to owners of swanky nightclubs. Not that Dhoble sir, whose preferred weapon is a hockey stick, is looking for a bribe. Consider Dhoble’s fine career record for a moment. In the past, he’s been booked for a custodial death, “kept out of active posting” for his violent behaviour and in 2008, when Dhoble was working for the Crime Branch, he managed to lose 12 files that had information on Dawood Ibrahim’s gang. Isn’t this just the kind of guy who makes you feel warm and fuzzy and safe when you’re on Mumbai’s roads?

Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble heads up the Social Service Branch of the Mumbai Police. IBN-Live Screengrab

At present, Dhoble is in the news not for his earlier feats but because he’s been labelled as the murderer of Mumbai nightlife. His mission to harass both drinking establishments as well as those who frequent them has infuriated sections of the middle classes who figure that as citizens of a democracy, they have the right to go to a bar without being labelled pimp or prostitute.

While Dhoble has shown up at various places in recent times, hockey stick and video camera in hand, his actions became front-page material once again last week when it was reported that he made Café Zoe pay a fine because it was violating a law from 1960 that is supposed to prevent overcrowding. The newspapers and the Internet were awash with outrage (even the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna got into the act). Reading the articles, most of which were examples of how not to report a story, I asked myself, “What’s the bet that in a couple of days, there’ll be pro-Dhoble campaigns?” Myself replied, “What nonsense.” I had the last laugh.


The support came from unexpected quarters. Journalist Samar Halarnkar on Twitter may have been the inspiration: “So, bombay [sic] is outraging over Vasant #dhoble. Except he’s only enforcing foolish laws.” Soon enough, columnist Harini Calamur suggested Dhoble was just “a cop doing his job” and enforcing laws that were meant for our safety. The H-West Federation, which represents residents of Bandra, Khar and Santacruz (West), passed a resolution in support of Dhoble. “He is only doing his duty,” said the chairperson of the Federation. Blogger Gayatri Vishwanathan wrote, “If everything is ‘right’… no mai kaa lal can accuse you of doing anything ‘wrong’.”

The fact that the justification for Dhoble’s actions and attitudes is the law is something by which I’m both appalled and amused. Because when you roam around Mumbai, the only laws you see being broken are the ones about overcrowding and the possession of alcohol permits, of course. And how cutely naïve is Vishwanathan’s faith in the system!

The city’s cops have never had a reputation of being clean. It’s perhaps naïve to expect those who must work with and against politicians, the underworld and terrorists to preserve a secure status quo to also be upstanding citizens. But to justify their behaviour by describing them as law-abiding is ironic, to say the least. It’s as though Dhoble is a remote-control cop, with the controls being in the hands of The Law. As though the police never, ever do anything that’s illegal.

Arun Ferreira, one of the more articulate victims of police brutality, must be making things up when he says the police tortured and arrested him despite there being no evidence that Ferreira was a Naxalite. They went to the extent of lying in court in order to justify their custodial treatment of Ferreira. So much for being bound by law and doing one’s job.

Frankly, being of a vaguely anti-social disposition, whether or not Mumbai’s nightlife gets murdered is of little consequence to me. As long as the state doesn’t go dry, I’ll be nursing my drink and my multiple personalities at home, thank you very much. However, Dhoble’s brazen behaviour is alarming, regardless of whether or not you’re a party animal. He makes obvious a truth that the more affluent middle classes are usually shielded from: that the police are not necessarily your go-to guys in times of need. Whether your watering hole is a club in Lower Parel or a dive in Bhayander, the odds are now even and if the police pick your spot as their playing field, you’re no longer safe. In Dhoble’s actions lies the message that the police won’t shy away from flexing their muscles. They’ll just be enforcing the law; not vicitimising people or framing innocents.

This article republished from Mumbai Boss was written by Deepanjana Pal


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