Dawood's role in extortion racket run by Iqbal Kaskar being probed
Thane (Maharashtra):After arresting Iqbal Ibrahim Kaskar for running an extortion racket, the police on Tuesday said they are probing the direct or indirect involvement of his brother, absconding mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, in the racket and could make him an accused in the case.
Iqbal Kaskar was taken into custody from his home in south Mumbai late on Monday night in a high security operation involving multiple police agencies. According to police, he was watching the "Kaun Banega Crorepati" TV show and eating biryani when they picked him up from the home of his deceased sister, Haseena Parker in Nagpada south Mumbai.
Kaskar and a close relative, Mumtaz Eijaz Shaikh and another associate Israr Al-Jamil Sayyad - were arrested by a crack team of Thane Police Anti-Extortion Cell led by former encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma.
The three have been nabbed for allegedly running an extortion racket since 2013. Three others have been detained for detailed questioning.
Iqbal Kaskar was on Tuesday afternoon produced before Thane Judicial Magistrate R.T. Ingle, who sent him to eight days police custody.
Now, the police are probing the direct or indirect involvement of Dawood Kaskar, believed to be hiding in Pakistan, in the extortion racket and following the investigations will decide whether to make him an accused in the case, Police Commissioner Parambir Singh said.
"Iqbal Kaskar had demanded four flats and Rs 30 lakh as ransom from a builder. The names of some other builders and politicians have also emerged in the investigations," Thane Police Commissioner Parambir Singh told the media here.
The police are now examining whether the dreaded Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) can be applied to Iqbal Kaskar and his brother Dawood.
The police action on Kaskar is expected to nip in the bud certain organized crime activities that have surfaced again after a lull.
The police chief said Kaskar has threatened and made extortion calls to several builders in Thane, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.
The extortion calls were made in the name of Dawood, and occasionally hired gunmen were brought from outside Maharashtra, mainly Bihar, to threaten and make the occupants forcibly evacuate prime properties.
The complainant in the present case - a realtor, who had suffered huge debts after demonetization, decided to approach Kasarvadavali Police after he could not comply with the exorbitant extortion demands.
Singh said that Iqbal Kaskar and his men had demanded four flats worth Rs five crore each in a posh locality of Thane and cash of Rs three million from the complainant.
Iqbal Kaskar, who was deported from the United Arab Emirates in 2003, had been handling his fugitive brother (Dawood)'s lucrative realty businesses in Mumbai.
Earlier, he was implicated in a murder case and also the illegal constructions in the Sara-Sahara shopping centre in south Mumbai but was later acquitted in both the matters around a decade ago.