After two days of intense speculation that dreaded underworld don Abu Salem had been detained and later released following Central Bureau Investigation's failure to provide proof for his extradition, the investigating agency on Saturday quoted Interpol in the United Arab Emirate to say he had not been arrested at all.
"No such arrest or detention had taken place anywhere in any of the emirates within the United Arab Emirate," highly-placed CBI sources said.
The sources said the CBI, which represents Interpol in the country, had got in touch with the Consulate General in Dubai for confirmation of media reports that Salem had been arrested in Sharjah.
"The Consulate General has informed us today that the Interpol's branch in UAE has stated that there was no truth in the reports of his arrest or detention," the sources said.
"There is no basis for the report that any person by the name of Salem has been picked up or arrested anywhere in UAE," a simple note from the Dubai Police, which represents the Interpol in UAE, said.
This sets at rest all speculation doing rounds for the last three days about the arrest of Abu Salem, they said.
Meanwhile, an external affairs spokesperson also said that there has been no confirmation of the 'arrest' or 'detention' of Bombay underworld don Abu Salem in the United Arab Emirate.
"There has been no confirmation to the effect that he was arrested or detained," the spokesperson told reporters in response to questions.
CBI had approached Interpol's branch in the UAE to confirm reports that Salem, prime accused in Gulshan Kumar murder case and a close associate of underworld don Dawood
Ibrahim, was arrested in a Gulf country.
CBI had secured a 'Red Corner' notice against Abu Salem from the Interpol in several cases including his alleged involvement in terrorist activities and other cases of murder and extortion in Bombay.
Earlier this month, a team of CBI and 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 senior members of his gang in connection with the serial bomb blasts 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.
It may be mentioned that Salem had been picked up earlier in the late 90s in one of the emirates of the UAE. India had then sought his extradition, but he was deported to Dubai from where he had come.
Getting Salem extradited may not be easy
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