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Abu Salem convicted of builder’s murder

Abu Salem

Mumbai: A special TADA court here today convicted Abu Salem and two others in the murder case of city-based builder Pradeep Jain, the gangster’s first conviction in the country since his deportation from Portugal in 2005.

“Salem along with other accused hatched the conspiracy to create terror in the minds of Jain, his brother Sunil and the builder community to extort money,” TADA court judge G A Sanap said, convicting Salem and Virendra Jhamb and Mehndi Hassan.

Jain was murdered in 1995.

“Abu Salem has been convicted under section 302 (murder) 120 B (conspiracy) of the IPC and other relevant Sections of TADA,” said Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

The court convicted Salem and Hassan under the charges of murder, conspiracy and extortion of the Indian Penal code and relevant sections of TADA while Jhamb was convicted of extortion and conspiracy.

Nikam said this is the first case where a person who hatched a conspiracy outside India has been convicted in the country.

“It is for the first time that a conspirator (Salem) who hatched a criminal conspiracy outside India for an act committed in the country has been held guilty on the charge of murder,” Nikam said.

While pronouncing the verdict, the judge said the prosecution has proved that a conspiracy had been hatched in October 1994 in Dubai by Salem, Khan, Hassan, one Kayyum Ansari and fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Anis Kaskar to pressure and force Jain brothers to surrender rights to two properties.

As the Jain brothers did not succumb to threats, Salem changed his plan and struck a deal with them and asked them to pay him Rs one crore.

“The Jain brothers had already paid a sum of Rs 10 lakh and failed to pay further instalment due to poor financial condition,” the judge said.

He said that after the first instalment had been paid, Salem called up Jain brothers to demand more money when they had heated arguments.

“In the heated arguments, Salem’s ego was hurt and he conspired to eliminate Jain,” the judge said.

Judge Sanap said that even after Pradeep Jain’s killing, his family continued to receive threats from Salem. “The death of Jain did not snap the conspiracy and Salem continued the spell of threats to extort money from his brother Sunil,” he said.

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