India: Mumbai gunman's life 'threatened by mafia boss'

Mumbai, 25 March (AKI/Asian Age) - India's Intelligence Bureau has claimed it received a new threat against the life of Ajmal Aamir Qasab, the alleged gunman caught alive during the Mumbai attacks last November. However, this time the threat is from fugitive Indian mafia boss Chhota Rajan, the Intelligence Bureau said.

According to a senior official from the Mumbai police, Rajan has always projected himself as patriotic and in order to prove his patriotism he would try to eliminate Qasab.

"We have been informed by the central agencies that Rajan has hatched a plan to kill Qasab and is making arrangements to execute the plan," an official said.

Although Rajan’s most trusted aide, D.K. Rao, was transferred from Arthur Road jail - Mumbai's oldest prison - to the Taloja prison in early March, other suspected Rajan gang members are being held at Arthur Road.

"We are keeping a close watch on the movements of Rajan’s henchmen, who are either languishing in jail or are outside," an unnamed official said.

A list of Rajan’s associates has been prepared and local police stations have been informed to keep a check on them, according to the official.

Rajan also killed several of suspected terrorist and underworld boss Dawood Ibrahim’s associates, who were allegedly involved in the March 1993 Mumbai bombings.

The 1993 bombings killed 250 people and injured 700 others.

Ibrahim is alleged to have financed and coordinated the March 1993 attacks and is now in hiding. Rajan - once a key aide and lieutenant of Ibrahim - is also at large and thought to be moving between various African countries.

"Until now there was no local connection to the 26 November (2008) Mumbai terror raids, however we have specific inputs that in order to eliminate Qasab, local assistance would be of utmost importance," said a senior official from the Mumbai police.

"Qasab’s security is a major issue and we do not want to take any chance as it may send a wrong signal to other countries," an official said.

The Intelligence Bureau had earlier informed Mumbai police that a team of highly-trained operatives from the banned militant Kashmiri separatist group Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Agency with the help of Ibrahim may try to eliminate Qasab.

Indian authorities have blamed LeT for the Mumbai attacks, which which killed over 170 people and injured hundreds in multiple locations in the financial capital.

Pakistan has admitted the attacks were partly planned inside the country, but it and LeT have denied any involvement.


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