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Abu salem
Born 1968
Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh, India
Occupation underworld don
Spouse(s) Monica Bedi

Abu Salem (born 1968) is an underworld don originally from Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh, India. He is convicted for the 1993 Bombay serial blasts case and killing of India's music baron Gulshan Kumar 1997.

Contents

Biography

Abu Salem was born in a lower middle class family in Sarai Mir village of Azamgarh district. At present, Azamgarh is known for wrong reasons because of people like Haji Mastan, Abu Salem and Dawood Ibrahim who all are related to Azamgarh.[1] Abu's father was an advocate by profession. Abu could not complete his education after his father died in a road accident. Initially Abu started a small mechanic shop in his home town to support his family. But soon after he moved to Delhi, the capital city of India. In Delhi he worked as a taxi driver. After some time Abu shifted base to Bombay, the financial capital of India. In Bombay he worked again as a driver. It was in Bombay that he met Dawood, the underworld don, and joined his mafia. Abu Salem split from the Dawood gang in 1998.[2]

He has unsuccessfully attempted to kill Bollywood film directors Rajiv Rai and Rakesh Roshan.[1] At one time was a close associate of Dawood Ibrahim. Before becoming a professional criminal, he worked as a driver and hawker in Mumbai. He is also wanted in India for various murder and extortion cases.

On September 20, 2002, he and his girl-friend-companion Monica Bedi were arrested by Interpol in Lisbon, Portugal. His satellite phone was tracked using GPS technology. He has been accused in the 1993 bomb blasts as well as killing of Bollywood producer Gulshan Kumar, Indian actress Manisha Koirala's secretary, a builder and more than 50 other cases.

In February 2004, a Portugal court cleared his extradition to India to face trial in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case. In November 2005, Portuguese authorities handed him over along with Monica Bedi to Indian authorities on the assurance by then India's Home Minister L.K. Advani that death penalty would not be meted either on him or his partner Monica Bedi.

In March 2006, a special TADA court filed eight charges against him and his alleged associate Riaz Siddiqui for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. He stands accused of ferrying and distributing weapons.

Abu Salem is currently in high-security Arthur Jail in Mumbai.

Personal life

He married his first wife Samira Jumani (then a college girl and a minor - 17 years old who was allegedly forcefully married by Salem[3]) in 1991 from whom he has one or two sons. They later divorced.[4] Sameera currently lives in Duluth, Georgia, United States. The name she used in a fake passport, Sabina Azmi, is the name she has retained till now. But Sameera Jumani is her maiden name.[5] Samira Jumani aka Neha Asif Jafri is also, thus, wanted by the CBI and Interpol in a passport forgery case.[6][7]

Salem later allegedly married his second wife, Bollywood actress Monica Bedi, and is yet to receive a divorce from her.

His brother Abu Hatim, a.k.a. Chunchun miyan, who still lives in Azamgarh and owns a shop called Alamat Tatari, says: "We have no contacts with our brother and even the police know that. He left us after completing his inter-college and never came back." Locals say Abu Salem went to Bombay to study further, hoping to go to the Gulf later for better opportunities. But he somehow got trapped in gangster Dawood Ibrahim's circle, they claim.[8]

The residents of his native village allegedly don't love him. “I don’t know why he is given such attention. We have no affection for him. Salem left the village after completing his inter college and never came back,” says Tariq Mian, an elderly man who is preparing for his namaz. “His elder brother Abu Hatim, or Chunchun miyan as we call him, still owns a shop here,” he says.[9]

Association with D-Company

Ten years ago, the man who later became Bollywood’s biggest real-life baddie was still conning buyers with cheap electronic goods outside Andheri station. Then his association with Dawood’s brother Anees paid off and he took charge of the D-Company’s Bollywood deals. Salem first worked under Chhota Shakeel but later split and took to threatening film personalities for extortion sums. He’s now cooling his heels in Portugal, in custody for travelling on fake passports with wife and failed Bollywood starlet Monica Bedi. Common belief is that Shakeel tipped off the cops—juicy revenge for Salem’s unprofessional ways and out-of-control style.[10]

First arrest

It was in 1991 when Aftab Ahmed Khan, then additional commissioner of police (north west Mumbai) who was also behind the 1991 Lokhandwala Complex shootout, heard of a thug trying to extort money from small time businessmen. "I sent two men to go pick him up. When he was presented before me, he appeared to be an ordinary scared miserable chap who thought we were going to bump him off. He was so small time. There was nothing impressive about him." Salem was released soon but the routine fingerprint record that was taken would come to haunt him. When Salem was in Lisbon fighting India's extradition attempt, the only proof that he was indeed Salem was provided by the fingerprint and photographs taken after his arrest by A A Khan. This characterisation of Khan of a petrified lad is very different from the perception of Abu Salem by his victims. After being released from jail for his petty extortion attempt, his ascent in the underworld was spectacular. He rose very quickly to become an integral part of the don's inner circle with a specialty in extorting from the Hindi film industry, channeling illicit money into film production, forcibly getting the dates of stars, and usurping overseas rights. He continued more aggressively on this path after his estrangement with Dawood Ibrahim who had by then evolved into being some sort of a paid protector of filmdom. His friction with Shakeel and Dawood's favouring of Shakeel is said to be the reason behind Salem's split from the D-Company.[11]

Rise in Underworld

Abu Salem drove taxi in Delhi before becoming the second-in-command of crime lord Dawood Ibrahim. A petty criminal who rose in status in Mumbai’s underworld to be India’s most-wanted man.

Mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, Abu Salem shot to fame with the killings of music baron Gulshan Kumar, actress Manisha Koirala’s secretary Ajit Dewan and builder Omprakash Kukreja. The don also allegedly attempted to kill cine figures such as Rajeev Rai, Rakesh Roshan and Manmohan Shetty. In the early ’90s Nineties, Salem stayed with his cousin Akthar, a small-time criminal working with gangster Sayyed Topi in Mumbai. Salem later shifted to Santacruze and started a travel agency. He got in touch with one J K Ibrahim, who was working for Dawood. Through him, Salem came under the wings of Dawood.[12]

How he rose[13]

Charming yet intimidating, Salem could unnerve people. The D-gang needed just someone like him to make threatening calls to people. Salem was given a free hand to extort money from Bollywood bigwigs. In the meantime, he also started staging shows in Dubai, where he invited big actors to impress his boss. Salem plotted the murder of Gulshan Kumar on August 12, 1997. The operation angered Dawood no end. Salem fled Dubai, fearing Dawood’s wrath.

His modus operandi[14]

Salem always used his own men to carry out operations for Dawood. These men hailed from UP and worked for a small fee. Salem used different people for different tasks — one to deliver the weapon (usually, a woman), another to locate the target and a third one to finish the job. The same weapon was used for many killings, so that in case it was detected the police thought the same person was behind all the attacks.

Arrest

A special team, formed under the leadership of then additional commissioner of police A A Khan, arrested him in the early nineties from his travel agency in Santacruz, northwest Mumbai. He was handed over to the D N Nagar police station in Andheri, northwest Mumbai, where Salem's in-laws had registered a case against him (mSalem had married a college girl against her parents' wishes. His in-laws filed a case of abduction against him at the D N Nagar police station). But after spending two days in jail, he was released.[15]

Behaviour

While in the United States, his first wife, Samira Jumani, gave some interviews. Salem “was a violent "psychotic man" according to her.”[16] She also said[17]:

- Salem is a cowardly person

- He almost killed me

- Salem beat up Monica (Bedi) as well

- Dawood apologized for Anis' (Anees Ibrahim) bad behavior

“He was never a family person. I never led a life I would say I was married,” she maintains.[18]

However, Pramod Mahajan's brother, Pravin, who shared time in prison with Abu Salem, said that "Abu Salem is polite."[19]

Subhash Ghai, in an interview with this reporter a few years ago said while admitting that Salem had called him up asking for overseas rights of Pardes (film), "He actually started the conversation this way, "Sir, I want the rights for Pardes. Don't mistake me. I have been your fan ever since I saw Karz." When Ghai told Salem that the matter of overseas rights was already settled, Salem very respectfully asked for a print of the film so that he could pirate it. He is known to have made such polite requests to several film-makers. Struggling actors in his vigil have found jobs after he made pleasant calls.[20]

Net worth

Abu Salem is said to be a billionaire gangster worth Rs. 4000 crores ($1 billion).[21] The man's cash and property have been valued at least Rs 1,000 crore, which is divided between him and his two wives, Samira Jumani and Monica Bedi. While Salem stakes a claim to Rs 200 crore, his wives jointly possess Rs 800 crore in cash and property. Salem's investments in Bollywood and hawala rackets are estimated to be at least another Rs 3,000 crore. The CBI arrived at the figures on the basis of one-years transactions (2000-2001), and are said to be a conservative estimate.[22]

How he did it

Salem possessed a non-immigrant work visa in the US, where he was employed as a maintenance manager for a marine engineering company. As he operated under different names, he could buy property worth crores, despite his employment background. Preliminary calculations by the CBI officials reveal transactions worth Rs 200 crore were carried out by Salem in the year 2000 itself. Details of his earlier transactions were not known as his whereabouts are not known. Police sources say that his benami but legal businesses in the Middle East are run by his close associates.[23]

Timeline

An article about him in The Times of India mentioned[24]:

Name  : Abu Salem Abdul Qayoom Ansari

Aliases : Aqil Ahmed Azmi, Captain and Abu Samaan, among others

Born : 1969 (according to the CBI, although the Mumbai police says 1962), in Mir Sarai, District Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, the second son in a lower middle-class family. Though some reports maintain that he was the eldest of four brothers. His father, an advocate, was killed in a road accident. Studied in a primary school. Fair complexion, height 5'4, medium built, speaks Urdu, Hindi, Marathi. Reportedly has 12 passports.


Started off as a motor mechanic in Azamgarh after his father died before moving to Delhi where he reportedly worked as a taxi driver.


1985 : Came to Mumbai to earn a livelihood.

1986: Worked as a bread delivery boy between Bandra and Andheri; later worked at a garment shop in Andheri (W).

1987 : Became a real estate broker, operated from Arasa Market in Andheri (W).

1988: Assaulted a colleague over a monetary issue and the first case against him was registered at Andheri police station.

In the meantime, married Samira Jumani, a girl from Jogeshwari, now in the US. Has two sons from her. Salem's passion for movies reportedly extends to naming his sons after his favourite stars.

1989 : Handled a few land deals for Dawood gang, came in contact with Anees Ibrahim, Dawood's younger brother, over telephone. Anees offered him a job and he worked as a driver and transported arms. His proficiency at delivering goods at the right time and place earned him the nickname Abu Samaan

1990 : Recruited to oversee Dawood Ibrahim gang's (D-Company) Mumbai operations.

1992 : Allegedly supplied weapons to film actor Sanjay Dutt.

March 1993: Played an active role in serial bomb blasts which killed over 250 people, left 700 injured and damaged property worth Rs 27 crore.

1993: Conspired to kill builder Omprakash Kukreja. Left the country when the police started rounding up suspects in serial blasts case.

1994-97 : Dawood's overseas pointsman for extorting money from film personalities and builders. Was closest to Dawood after Chhota Shakeel.

Moved to Dubai where he had a business establishment called Kings of Car Trading. Organised stage shows where he invited actors. Was introduced to Monica Bedi who had gone with producer Mukesh Duggal for a show.

1997: Masterminded the killing of music baron Gulshan Kumar. In mid-1997, reportedly went to Pakistan to make arrangements for the marriage of Dawood's brother Humayun.

1998 : Parted ways with Dawood after being sidelined

2000 : Planned kidnapping of Milton Plastics owner for ransom of Rs 3 crore.

January, 2001 : His men shot Ajit Diwani, personal secretary to film actress Manisha Koirala.

October, 2001: Four members of Salem gang shot down in Bandra before they could target film personalities Aamir Khan, Ashutosh Gowarikar and Jhamu Sughand.

July 2002 : Two shooters of Salem gang opened fire on film director Lawrence D'souza who survived.

September 18, 2002: Salem and second wife Monica Bedi intercepted in Portugal for carrying forged documents. Along with Bedi sentenced to five years' jail term.

See also

References

  1. ^ t present, Azamgarh is known for wrong reasons because of people like Haji Mastan, Abu Salem and Dawood Ibrahim who are related to this place.
  2. ^ BBC NEWS | South Asia | Profile: India's dreaded gangster
  3. ^ http://www.telegraphindia.com/1051119/asp/frontpage/story_5495967.asp
  4. ^ http://locitv01.indiantelevision.co.in/release/y2k5/nov/novrel37.htm
  5. ^ http://www.billwarnerpi.com/2008/05/terror-don-runs-kings-of-cars-in-dubai.html
  6. ^ http://cbi.nic.in/rnotice/samira.htm
  7. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1370096.cms
  8. ^ http://www.rediff.com/election/1999/sep/28azam.htm
  9. ^ http://www.indianexpress.com/news/beyond-abu/352496/0
  10. ^ http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=91939
  11. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1292864,prtpage-1.cms
  12. ^ http://archive.deccanherald.com/Deccanherald/nov122005/national21263520051111.asp
  13. ^ http://archive.deccanherald.com/Deccanherald/nov122005/national21263520051111.asp
  14. ^ http://archive.deccanherald.com/Deccanherald/nov122005/national21263520051111.asp
  15. ^ http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/feb/22spec3.htm
  16. ^ http://locitv01.indiantelevision.co.in/release/y2k5/nov/novrel37.htm
  17. ^ http://locitv01.indiantelevision.co.in/release/y2k5/nov/novrel37.htm
  18. ^ http://www.telegraphindia.com/1051119/asp/frontpage/story_5495967.asp
  19. ^ http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_i-did-not-kill-pramod-mahajan-it-happened-in-15-minutes_1318587-2
  20. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1292864,prtpage-1.cms
  21. ^ http://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=3&ved=0CAwQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cinesouth.com%2Fmasala%2Fhotnews%2Fnew%2F20122005-4.shtml&rct=j&q=abu+salem+4000+crore&ei=oCYcS__DKI3c7APo7cHUDw&usg=AFQjCNEwX-wBmq4lB-2ChWN3VgI8eBba4Q
  22. ^ http://www.mid-day.com/news/2005/dec/126175.htm
  23. ^ http://www.mid-day.com/news/2005/dec/126175.htm
  24. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1292864,prtpage-1.cms

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