Crime Branch to probe old case against Lakdawala aides

In the trap: Ejaz Lakdawala’s aides Tariq Parveen (right) and Salim Maharaj were booked for assaulting a woman.

In the trap: Ejaz Lakdawala’s aides Tariq Parveen (right) and Salim Maharaj were booked for assaulting a woman.  

Transfer of case may open can of worms for several police officers

An old case against Tariq Parveen and Salim Maharaj, both alleged to be top aides of gangster Ejaz Lakdawala, was transferred to the Mumbai Police Crime Branch late on Friday.

Apart from charges of assault and criminal intimidation, the Crime Branch will also be probing allegations of wilful laxity on part of the police to shield Mr. Maharaj, who is said to have been an informant for some senior officers in the force.

Mr. Lakdawala was arrested in January this year by the Crime Branch’s Anti Extortion Cell (AEC) after spending over 20 years on the run. The AEC went on to arrest Mr. Maharaj and Mr. Parveen for allegedly aiding Mr. Lakdawala by providing information on targets.

Crime Branch officials said the case in question dates back to 2017, when both the gangsters were booked by the Pydhonie police. Interestingly, two hours after the case was registered, it was transferred to the MRA Marg police station, which not only has no jurisdiction over the area but also falls under a different zone headed by a different Deputy Commissioner of Police.

“The duo had been involved in gold smuggling for several years and suspected that one of their couriers, a woman staying in Pydhonie, had kept some of the smuggled gold for herself instead of handing it over to them. Enraged, they barged into her residence and severely assaulted her and her brother, and also held them at gunpoint,” an officer said.

The officer added that three years after the case was transferred, there has been no progress whatsoever, despite both the accused being in the country.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Santosh Rastogi confirmed that the case had been transferred to the Crime Branch for further investigation.

Sources said the case will now be probed by the Unit I under the direct supervision of senior officers. The Unit I will seek custody of Mr. Parveen and Mr. Maharaj for interrogation, and has already sought details about the transfer of the case and the reasons behind it.

Statements will be recorded from concerned officers from both police stations in this regard and action regarding superior officers will be deferred to top policemen, a source said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:25:42 AM |

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