Mumbai: The 1993 Bombay blasts accused and gangster Abu Salem was treated in JJ Hospital after he was attacked in Taloja Central Jail in Mumbai on Thursday night. There are questions about whether the attack was possibly ordered by the notorious D-Company after an unconfirmed media report said that underworld don Chhota Shakeel has claimed responsibility for it.
Salem, who was attacked second time in prison in the last three years, was shot at, but got away with a minor injury on his right hand. Extradited from Portugal in November 2005, Salem was lodged in cell number 4 of the jail.
At 8:30 pm on Thursday, 32-year-old inmate Devendra Jagtap fired two rounds at him from a country-made pistol. Jagtap is a history-sheeter facing trial in the murder case of 26/11 defence lawyer, Shahid Azmi.
A case of attempt to murder has been registered against Devender Baburao Jagtap who shot Salem twice in the jail. The police will seek Salem's custody on Friday. Initial probe suggests the country-made pistol with which Jagtap attacked Salem could have been smuggled into jail a few days before the incident.
In July 2010, Salem was attacked inside Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's aide Mustafa Dosa. "Abu Salem was in his cell and he was shot from outside (his cell)," confirmed AK Sharma, Commissioner of Police, Navi Mumbai. An embarrassed prison administration is now probing how the pistol was smuggled into the jail and on whose behest the gangster was attacked.
A Dawood aide turned foe, Salem was extradited from Portugal with his girlfriend, Bollywood starlet, Monica Bedi. At the time, India had assured Portugal that Salem would not be given the death sentence.
However, repeated attempts on his life are a big embarrassment and will affect the ongoing legal tussle between the two countries over cancellation of the gangster's extradition.