India loses battle for Jhingada’s extradition

Munna Jhingada

Munna Jhingada

A Thai court has turned down the extradition request filed by India for Sayyed Muzakkir Mudassar Hussain alias Munna Jhingada, a key gunman for the Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar gang, who has been lodged in a Thai prison since 2000.

The Indian government has been embroiled in a legal battle for Jhingada’s extradition since 2012. Recently, Pakistan began contesting India’s claim. Pakistan claimed that the man in question is actually its citizen Mohammed Salim. While India had won the claim over Jhingada’s extradition in a lower court in Thailand in 2018, Jhingada later appealed against the decision in a higher court.

‘Inmate not Jhingada’

Senior Mumbai Police officers confirmed to The Hindu that around 10 days ago, the Thai higher court announced its verdict, ruling that the man in question was not Jhingada.

A source, who was part of the legal process, said, “We had submitted DNA samples taken from Jhingada’s family in Jogeshwari as proof of our claim. We sought that they be compared with his samples. The court, however, stated that such a sample could only be taken with his consent, and when he refused to give his consent, the entire evidence became irrelevant.”

Another source said the DNA samples were the only piece of clinching evidence that India could produce to verify Jhingada’s identity, while Pakistan had produced a passport that its government had issued in the name of Mohammed Salim. “We are still finding out whether there are any more grounds for appeal in this matter,” the source said.

A resident of Jogeshwari, Jhingada was recruited into Kaskar’s gang when he was imprisoned at Arthur Road Jail in a non-gang related murder case in his early 20s. He came into contact with Ismail Malabari, one of Kaskar’s top lieutenants at the time, who inducted him into the gang.

Jhingada went on to become a dreaded hitman for the D-gang, killing several aides and associates of gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli. Kaskar and Gawli were involved in a bitter war for supremacy over the city, with Kaskar calling the shots from Dubai.

Claim to fame

Jhingada’s claim to fame came in 2000, when he and Ismail’s brother Rashid led a hit squad to assassinate Rajendra Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan. The latter had parted ways with Kaskar after the 1993 blasts, claiming that he could not work with someone who had waged war against his nation. Crime Branch officers, however, maintain that Rajan fled in the dead of the night after he became aware of a plot to kill him due to his rising popularity in the gang.

In police net

Jhingada and Rashid were handpicked to lead the squad after Kaskar vowed to kill Rajan. The hit squad almost succeeded and killed Rajan’s top aide Rohit Verma. However, Rajan managed to escape with near fatal injuries.

Jhingada was arrested by the Thai police shortly thereafter. He was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Later, India filed a request for his extradition.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 4:29:52 pm |