Two people have been arrested by the city crime branch for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to bump off two trusted Chhota Rajan aides, including DK Rao, during a court hearing. The accused have admitted that a supari was given to them. The murder was reportedly ordered by rivals Chhota Shakeel and Fahim Machmach.
The arrested duo has been identified as Mohammad Mahir Ashraf Kalbe Siddiqui, 30, a resident of Mumbra in Thane, and Akhtar Jamal Khan, 35, a resident of Dharavi. Khan has four assault cases registered against him at Shahu Nagar police station.
As per police sources, Shakeel, who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan, was instructing Siddiqui and Khan to eliminate Rao and one more associate of Rajan's gang.
The city crime branch received two mobile numbers that were believed to have been used by those planning the murder. "While one number turned out to be that of a Mumbra-based woman Saira Haseen, the other was that of Akhtar Khan, from Dharavi. The users of both numbers were in contact with each other and also with Shakeel, via messages," said a crime branch source.
The police also learned that Rao had a hearing on Thursday and that an attempt could be made on his life. "We searched the entire Mumbra and Dharavi area to trace the suspects. They were finally nabbed around 2 pm near Mahim fatak in Dharavi on Wednesday. The duo told us that they were about to discuss how and when to conducing firing on Rao on Thursday," said the source.
Upon inquiry, the duo told the police that Shakeel had given supari and they had also received money. The two were arrested in a joint operation carried out by Anti-Extortion Cell and Crime Intelligence Unit of the crime branch.
"Accordingly, cash and firearms were provided to the arrested. The two were in the final stage of executing the plan. We have seized one .32 bore revolver, four live cartridges and some incriminating articles from them," said joint commissioner of police, crime, Sadanand Date.
A case has been registered against them at Shahu Nagar police station. The duo was produced before a court on Thursday, which remanded them to police custody till September 9.
"Siddiqui is a Shakeel gang member. In 2010, he was arrested by the UP Special Task Force in a fake passport case, along with a few others. He was released from jail in February this year and has been in Mumbai since then," said additional commissioner, KMM Prasanna.