NEW DELHI: An alleged aide of gangster Chhota Shakeel, arrested in Delhi on Friday, reportedly wanted to become a top gangster like underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, India’s most wanted. 21-year-old Junaid Chaudhary was allegedly planning to kill Pakistan-born Canadian writer Tarek Fatah; he was arrested late on Wednesday night from Wazirabad in northeast Delhi.
According to police sources, Junaid thought that assassinating Mr Fatah would land him in Delhi’s Tihar Jail where he could then kill Chhota Rajan – once Dawood Ibrahim’s right-hand and now his arch rival – who is lodged in a high-security ward there.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) PS Kushwah said Junaid was planning to target the writer, known for his controversial remarks criticising hardliners and strongly opposing terrorism. Junaid was enraged with Fatah’s remarks and wanted to kill him, Mr Kushwah said.
“Mr Fatah was not in Delhi, Junaid was here to carry out a recce,” he said.
Sources claimed that Junaid has said that he won’t be deterred by the arrest and will continue with his mission after his release.
Junaid is the son of a milkman from Bhagirathi Vihar in Gokalpuri area in northeast Delhi.
Police say Junaid had allegedly received Rs. 1.5 lakh as the first installment from unknown sources and had arranged for weapons from western Uttar Pradesh to kill Chhota Rajan. He had also hired some men to carry out his plan. The police recovered a pistol and four live cartridges from him.
Junaid was arrested in June last year along with Roger Robinson, Yunus and Manish with arms and hawala money sent by Shakeel, but was released on bail within four months. They had been planning to kill Hindu Mahasabha chief Swami Chakrapani and Chhota Rajan at that time.
According to police, a close aide of Shakeel had first contacted Junaid, who later roped in others to kill Rajan. They were promised Rs. 10 lakh for the assignment.
The Delhi Police zeroed in on the four through telephone intercepts as the accused were in constant touch with Shakeel. Once identified, the four were picked up from their homes in Delhi-NCR, the senior official said.
Rajan, 55, who was on a run for around 27 years, was arrested from Bali in Indonesia, based on a tip-off from Australian Federal Police, and brought to India in November, 2015.