The Bangalore police said on Friday that Chhota Shakeel sought to hire the four men, arrested in Hyderabad a few days ago, on instructions from Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The Bangalore police arrested two men who had sent the four to Chhota Shakeel's aide Altaf.
Talking to presspersons, Bangalore city Police Commissioner Shankar M. Bidari said the arrests clearly pointed to ISI's links with Dawood Ibrahim and his aide Chhota Shakeel. “The ISI has engaged Dawood Ibrahim — and through his aide Chhota Shakeel — to select Maoists who will conduct terrorist and subversive acts in India,” Mr. Bidari said.
The Bangalore police, tipped off by intelligence agencies, arrested Vinay Kumar (30) of Hassan and P. Subaiah Devaiah (33) from south Coorg. The two were trying to send Pasham Sridhar (27), Koyi Saratchandra (39) Darshanam Pradeep Kumar (29) and Gaddam Pavan Kumar (38) to Dubai, where they were to meet Altaf, a native Baseri Kattemane, near Mangalore. The four were arrested by the Hyderabad police.
Though Mr. Bidari claimed that the four were Maoist leaders, the Hyderabad police ruled out any such links.
The four already got their visas and Altaf had sent their air tickets booked through Uranus Travel and Tours, Dubai. “They were supposed to leave from Hyderabad on August 4,” Mr. Bidari said.
Altaf had paid Vinay Kumar Rs. 25 lakh — Rs. 15 lakh through hawala network on July 13 and the remaining in person in Hyderabad on July 14. “Of this, Vinay Kumar has paid the four accused Rs. 4 lakh and purchased a high-end car. The remaining Rs. 10 lakh is with another accomplice: we're looking for him,” Mr. Bidari said.
Altaf was running a bar on Residency Road in Bangalore between 2004 and 2006, where Vinay Kumar worked as a bouncer. Later, the two came in contact with Devaiah, who was a private detective.
Altaf and Vinay Kumar were arrested by the Kerala police in 2007 in Mallapuram in connection with kidnapping of Razak, a businessman, who was rescued by the police from a coffee estate in Chickmagalur.
The same year, Altaf was arrested by the Banaswadi police here for allegedly demanding Rs. 2 crore from land developer Govardhan Murthy, an accused in the sensational murder of up-and-coming actor Vinod Kumar in 2008. He is also an accused in a case registered at the Mulki police station for extorting about Rs. 1 crore from Shekabba, another businessman.
The jurisdictional courts have issued non-bailable warrants against Altaf for his failure to appear before it. “We plan to issue a red corner notice against him,” he said.