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Bangladesh releases Dawood Ibrahim’s top aide from jail

Bangladesh on Monday freed a top aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim on the expiry of his jail term for cross-border intrusion, sparking speculations about his extradition to India where he was convicted for killing Bollywood music baron Gulshan Kumar in 1997.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said Daud Merchant was released as his jail term expired but did not clarify whether he was handed over to India, where he is to stand trial.

“He (Merchant) has been released. His prison term for illegal trespass into Bangladesh ended some time ago,” he said. Merchant walked out of the Dhaka Central Jail in the afternoon.

Known to be close to Mumbai mafia don Dawood Ibrahim, Merchant was jailed by a Bangladeshi court for five years which expired in December 2014. He was briefly released, but was immediately rearrested and prison official said he was detained under a law meant for people accused of “suspicious movement” for the past three years. Allegedly a contract killer, he was sentenced to life term in India in 2002 for killing Kumar who headed the music company T-Series in 1997. 
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