Cyber Journal 24, March 31, 2016
Aslam Shaikh alias Bunty Jahagirdar is a man of many hats. His criminal record looks like something straight out of a spy film. The former ‘NCP activist’ helped Pakistani spy with critical information, allegedly leaked military secrets, sold weapons to bomb blast accused, funded Pune’s JM Road blast, but has still managed to stay out of jail.
From illegal sand lifting to helping Pakistani spy and funding bomb blast suspects
Police records from Shrirampur (Nagar district) suggest that Aslam started his journey in crime world with illegal sand lifting. Then, he did not look back, and started selling arms as well as guns.
Aslam alias Bunty
This notorious criminal made it in headlines during 2002 for involvement in Bhiwandi Bajrang Dal President-Ravindra Jain’s murder. He was also arrested for killing Bhiwandi’s gram panchayat member.
Aslam made a big splash in national newspapers for the first time in 2006 when he was arrested for helping Pakistani spy-Arif Lakhani with maps, CDs, floppies, and classified documents. According to the report published by Pune Mirror, Police had recovered all the articles from Aslam’s position. These were good enough to threaten national security. Somehow, he managed to get a clean chit from Congress-NCP to walk free but was arrested once again in 2009 by Malegaon police for leaking military secrets.
The hooligan also targeted his party’s political opponents and is accused of planning an attack on BJP Nagar district vice-president-Prakash Chitte.
Reports suggest that at one point he had planned to attack Samantha Hindu Agadhi chief, anti-cow slaughter activist-Milind Ekbote.
Besides murder and terrorism-related cases, Aslam’s jaw-dropping criminal record also consists of pick-pocketing, smuggling, kidnapping, and chain snatching cases against him at Shrirampur Crime Branch. Cops do not hesitate to tell journalists that Aslam roams around wielding a pistol in broad daylight while in his hometown.
Overall, there are 12 (plus) cases registered against him in various parts of Maharashtra as per information revealed by the ATS. Because of the 41-year-old young man’s crime record, police had even externed him from Nagar district on five different occasions for a specific period of time. (If 46-year-old Rahul can be referred as young in India, why can’t someone who is 41?)
Managed to walk free, again in October 2015
Aslam Shabbir Shaikh was arrested in Pune’s JM Road blast case during January 2013. Besides supplying weapons and arms, Aslam had also provided financial support to JM Road blast accused Irfan Landge according to the ATS. Money was transferred using gold smuggling channel.
The ferocious criminal’s bail plea was initially rejected by Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) court. However, in October last year, the Bombay HC granted bail to Shaikh. According to reports published in reputed newspapers, Justice Revati Mohite-Dhere granted bail and made several observations. She pointed out that Aslam supplied cartridges, weapons, and arms to other accused in this case, but he did not plant explosives at the concerned location himself.
Crime and the NCP
Now, you might wonder how this history-sheeter managed to continue his crime spree even after he was caught helping Pakistani spy? He probably did that with his political connections. Bunty’s mother is Shrirampur’s corporator (popular NCP leader)-Raziya Jahagirdar (Shaikh).
This is not difficult. As Prithwis Mukerjee wrote in his Swarajya column-Tracking Crime In Digital India, police reports often end up in dark and dusty rooms. Such documents are retrieved from dark rooms very rarely, mostly in case of pressure from courts or politicians. But criminals using alias name, and those associated with ruling party need not have to worry.
NCP was controlling the state home ministry during their rule in Maharashtra from 1999 to 2014. This probably helped Bunty to remain free bird and get clean chits with the help of state machinery.
“Bunty gets clean chit every time”
Shrirampur’s former Congress MLA Bhanudas Murkute interacted with reporters and shared his opinion about Aslam. He said-“Bunty has managed to get a clean chit for some of the past cases, I hope that he gets a clean chit in bomb blast case too.”
After Aslam’s arrest in Pune blast case, NCP leader Ajit Pawar did declare his intention to take action against Shaikh mother and son duo. However, there was no formal action announced later.
Anyway, why would they? Marathi news channels did not even highlight this case and Bunty’s role properly. Editors of English ones may not even have any idea about the existence of this super notorious criminal. So, there is no question about NCP facing pressure from the public. The party managed to bury this case, just like they buried case details that showed their minister Fauzia Khan’s links with LeT operative (26/11 handler) Abu Jundal.
Did Maharashtra ATS indirectly help Aslam in getting bail and later opposed it just as a formality?
While allowing Aslam to go out on bail with certain restrictions, the judge also hit out at the ATS by suggesting that that Maharashtra ATS did not implicate the culprit under Arms Act.
On being asked about ATS’s failure in presenting the case in the court, ATS chief Vivek Phansalkar had declined to give any explanation to journalists.
One ATS officer interacted with reporters on condition of anonymity and pointed out that out of all the accused, only Aslam has managed to get bail. He also highlighted the point that cops from various districts are waiting for Aslam’s custody to investigate other cases involving him.
The truth is out there
Maharashtra ATS claims to work in coordination with RAW, IB, and other similar agencies from various states. The team deserves credit for solving several blasts and terrorism cases.
No doubt that they can access ample resources and country’s best lawyers, including Ujjwal Nikam. Then why did this agency allow Aslam alias Bunty to walk free several times in spite of his involvement in multiple anti-national activities, and murders?
What’s significant about his record is that he is clearly associated with terrorism cases (involving loss of life) and cases involving treason against the country.
Why didn’t the ATS take help from the NIA, IB, or central home ministry? Was there any political pressure that stopped them from acting against Shaikh? Why didn’t any special public prosecutor, activists like Teesta Setalwad, journalists, or the ATS team itself approach the SC against Aslam’s bail?
There are many criminals associated with secular parties who are out on bail. What is worrisome is the fact that there are several organizations, political parties, and individuals who work with an aim to get Muslim terror accused out on bail. Check the list of terror accused individuals defended by Jamiat Ulema Hind (Maharashtra)’s lawyers in court to put more light on this trend.
Hope state’s CM Devendra Fadanvis and central home minister Rajnath Singh asks this question to Maharashtra’s ATS chief about why the agency is not able to present strong cases in courts.
What is it that you can do as citizen of this country?
Even if you are not legal expert, you can simply write email or letter to the following individuals demanding fresh probe for all the cases involving this criminal.
1> Ranjeet Patil
Minister of State, Maharashtra
Departments: Minister of State for Home (Urban), Urban Development, General Administration, Law & Justice, Parliamentary Affairs, Maharashtra
5th Floor, 540, Extension Building,
Dr. Madam Cama Road,
Office Ph: 022-22875930, 22876342
2> Shri K. P. Bakshi, IAS
Additional Chief Secretary, Home
Email ID: email@example.com
3> Shri Devendra Fadnavis
Chief Minister, Maharashtra
Chief Minister, Home Affairs, General Administration, Urban Development, Law & Judiciary, Ports, Tourism, Information and Public Relations, Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare, Employment & Self-employment
6th Floor, Main Building,
Dr. Madam Cama Road,
Office Ph:022-22025151, 22025222,22793340, Fax: 22029294
Nitten is a consultant journalist, and has worked with renowned newspapers, news agency in India. If you are looking for desktop journalist, writer, you can email Nitten- firstname.lastname@example.org
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