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Home > News > Report

Secrecy shrouds probe into gutkha kings' case

Vijay Singh in Mumbai | January 18, 2005 10:18 IST

The Mumbai police want the investigation into the underworld links of two gutkha kings -- Rashiklal Dhariwal, owner of Manikchand group, and J M Joshi of Goa group-- to be steeped in secrecy.

In fact, the non-bailable arrest warrants obtained by the police against the two were also supposed to be a secret. But the news was leaked to the media.

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A Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court had issued the warrants on December 30, 2004.

Everyone in the department seems reticent to divulge details on the progress of the investigation.

Commissioner A N Roy only said, "I don't have anything new to tell you. The investigation is on. During investigation we will take whatever necessary action required against anyone."

When this correspondent sought details from the investigation officer, Senior Inspector Vijay Salaskar, he was directed to Assistant Commissioner of Police Suresh Walishetty. And Walishetty directed him to Deputy commissioner of Police (Crime) Dhananjay Kamlakar.

There was allegation that Roy and and Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Meera Borwankar were working under pressure in the case. But they deny any such thing.

Now with the warrants issued against Dhariwal and Joshi, the question is how will the inquiry proceed.

The two have been absconding ever since they have been accused of helping Karachi-based gangster Dawood Ibrahim's brother Anis set up a gutkha manufacturing company in Karachi. Dawood is said to be generating a huge income from the company.

Legal experts are of the opinion that the police should act tough with the two if they don't cooperate.

The police should not delay filing the charge sheet, as it will indirectly help the accused, they said.

Advocate and solicitor Dipesh Mehta said, "Now that the non-bailable warrants have been obtained against them, if they are not ready to come to the country and cooperate with the police then the police can seize their property and, with the help of Interpol, get a red-corner notice issued against them. If they are in Dubai, the police can easily bring them to justice, because we have an extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates."

Sources in the Crime Branch said, "We have enough evidence against Dhariwal and Joshi. They can stay out of the country giving various excuses. But evidence is so strong that whenever they will come to India they will surely face police action."

The police want to interrogate Dhariwal and Joshi in connection with an extortion case in which one Jamruddin, alias Jumbo (36), and Rajubhai Panchariya, alias Rajesh (33), are the main accused.

Jamruddin and Panchariya had allegedly obtained five gutkha packaging machines by threatening businessmen in Mumbai. They then sent the machines to Dubai. From Dubai, Anis's associate Farukh Mansuri had the machines despatched to Pakistan.

All through this transfer, Jamruddin and Panchariya were in touch with Anis through mobile phones.

The police arrested Jamruddin and Panchariya on October 10, 2004.

The police had also questioned Dawood's father-in-law Salim Kashmiri in connection with the case.

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