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How Dawood's brother's driver was murdered

May 19, 2011 12:53 IST
Days after two assailants murdered Iqbal Kaskar's driver-cum-bodyguard Arif Sayyed Abu Bakr on Pakmodia street in Mumbai, a heartland of underworld don Dawood Ibraham, various theories continue to do the rounds. Rediff.com's N Ganesh brings you a blow-by-blow account of the shootout. 

As three teams of the Mumbai police -- the Crime Branch, Pydhonie police station and JJ Marg police station -- are piecing together the shootout on Pakmodia street, new facts are emerging in the murder of Arif Sayyed Abu Bakr, the driver and bodyguard of Iqbal Kaskar, younger brother of underworld don and India's most wanted man Dawood Ibrahim.

The police have now confirmed that the alleged shooters -- Sayyad Billal Mustafa, 29, and Indralal Khatri, 27 -- had been contracted specifically to target Arif and not Kaskar.

Both the shooters had been contracted by a person who calls himself Raju. Four days prior to Tuesday's shootout, Raju had escorted Mustafa to Pakmodia street and identified Arif, who was leaving Kaskar's residence near Delhi Zaika, a restaurant.

Mustafa had been clearly instructed that Arif was the target and he should be bumped off. Khatri was kept out of the reccee, as he being a native of Nepal could easily stand out in the predominantly Muslim neighbourhood.

The shooters were promised Rs 50,000 and were given three weapons -- a 0.38 Webley revolver, 0.45 Webley revovler and a pistol -- to carry out the murder. It is unclear if they were given the money before the shootout.

According to the plan, Mustafa would fire at Arif first from his revolver and Khatri from his pistol. The other revolver was given to the assailants so they could use if need be while escaping from Pakmodia street, a Dawood heartland. Mustafa also had four spare rounds in his pocket.

On Tuesday evening, the duo had arrived on Pakmodia street in a taxi and were waiting near Delhi Zaika restaurant. Minutes before Arif was to appear on the street, Raju called Mustafa on his mobile phone and alerted him that Kaskar's driver would be coming out of the building and approaching his car. Soon after, Arif walked out of the building and as he was heading towards the car, Mustafa pumped five bullets from his .38 revolver at point blank range. Khatri was a little slow to react, but Mustafa who was uncertain if he got Arif, coaxed his partner to also open fire.

Khatri then brandished his pistol, aimed at Arif's head and pulled the trigger. He then tried to shoot again, but the pistol got jammed. The duo then decided to flee from the scene of crime and set out on foot.

From Pakmodia street they headed towards Phydonie police station where two police beat marshals -- constables Suresh More and Anil Mali -- patrolling on their motorcycle spotted them walking briskly. Their suspicions aroused, the policemen, who were not aware of the shootout in their neighbouring police jurisdiction, tried to intercept the assailants for questioning but they broke into a run.

The policemen managed to apprehend the duo, who tried to thwart the attempt by throwing punches and kicks. During the scuffle, Mustafa tried to remove his loaded revolver, but the constables wrestled with them all the while shouting out for help. Hearing the commotion, policemen from the nearby Pydhonie police station rushed to the spot and soon outnumbered the suspects. According to the police, Mustafa and Khatri are petty criminals.   

At the police station, Mustafa reportedly confessed to the crime.

N Ganesh in Mumbai