Chhota Shakeel, who is believed to be the right-hand man of the Mumbai blasts accused gangster Dawood Ibrahim, has made a tall claim that their gang was never in the business of killing anybody. He was speaking to a television news channel where he denied also the claim of former Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria that their gang had taken a ‘supari‘ (contract) to kill 26/11 attacker Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab (Kasab).
Maria in his book Let Me Say It Now wrote that there was a conspiracy to kill Qasab and pass him off as a Hindu terrorist.
Chhota Shakeel said in a conversation with the news channel, “All this is nonsense. All this is happening to sell the book. Be it Qasab or anybody else, we are not in the business to kill. Who does not lie in India? Everybody is lying.”
Chhota Shakeel was challenging this passage from Maria’s book: “Specific Intelligence inputs had been received from Central Intelligence agencies that Pakistan was intent on killing Kasab and the Dawood Ibrahim gang had been entrusted with the task. The reputation of the Mumbai police, not just my job, was at stake if anything were to happen to him.”
Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who played a key role in convicting Qasab and getting him sentenced with a death penalty, said that there was no mention in the charge sheet of Mumbai Police that Pakistani intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lashkar-e-Taiba or Dawood Ibrahim had taken a contract to kill Ajmal Qasab.
Convicted for the Mumbai attacks, Qasab was hanged on 21 November 2012 at the Yerwada Jail in Pune.
Maria has claimed further in his book that Mumbai Police did not want to release Qasab’s photograph.
The former police commissioner claimed that the police had tried their best to ensure that the terrorist’s details were not leaked to the media. Furthermore, Maria has claimed that gangster Dawood Ibrahim was given a contract to kill Qasab.
Maria wrote in his autobiography, “As the Joint CP in charge of the Crime Branch, Kasab was now my most esteemed guest. Keeping this enemy alive was my number one priority. Anger and hostility towards Kasab were perceptible. The way the men and officers were reacting to him, I had to personally choose his guards for the entire period he would be with us.”
The book claimed further that Pakistani intelligence agency ISI had tried to make the 26/11 attack look like an instance of Hindu terrorism. In order to prove the 10 terrorists to be Hindus, fake identity cards bearing Hindu names were sent with them. Qasab had a similar identity card on which his name was written as Sameer Chaudhary.