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October 25, 2001
1220 IST
Updated at 1504 IST

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Bombay cops to leave for Sharjah with Salem's fingerprints

A team of Bombay police would leave for Sharjah with fingerprints of notorious gangster Abu Salem, who was arrested on Wednesday by the United Arab Emirates police on an Interpol request, top police sources said on Thursday.

The Sharjah police had arrested Salem on a tip-off by the Interpol, which has now sought the help of Bombay police to establish his identity.

The sources said that the team would leave for the Gulf country as early as possible to establish the identity of the person arrested.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation has also approached Interpol's branch in the UAE to confirm reports that Salem, prime accused in the Gulshan Kumar murder case and a close associate of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, was arrested in a Gulf country.

The CBI, which is the representative of Interpol in the country, sent a message seeking confirmation about the arrest and other related details, agency sources said in Delhi on Thursday.

The move comes amidst claims by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal that the state home department had received information about Salem's arrest but official confirmation was awaited.

CBI had secured a 'Red Corner' notice against Abu Salem from the Interpol in several cases, including is alleged involvement in terrorist activities and other cases of murder and extortion in Bombay.

Earlier in October, a team of CBI and the Bombay police led by Additional Director of CBI Vijay Shankar had visited Gulf countries to take up the issue of extradition of wanted criminals, including Dawood Ibrahim and Abu Salem.

CBI has sent an extradition request to Dubai authorities for Dawood and other members of his gang in connection with the serial bomb blast in Bombay in March 1993.

Dawood and other members of his gang are also wanted in connection with several criminal cases, including murder and kidnapping, in Maharashtra.

The Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi on Thursday said it was in touch with Sharjah police on the reported arrest of Abu Salem, Indian ambassador to the UAE K C Singh said.

India and UAE are signatories to an extradition treaty.

Once a close lieutenant of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Abu Salem left the former to form a separate gang in 1998. Since then the gangster had operated independently from Nairobi.

Salem had also helped Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon in executing the 1993 serial explosions in Bombay and thereafter fled to Dubai. Since then he had not returned to India.

PTI

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