It was Jagtap’s third attempt on Salem,say police

The attack on Abu Salem at Taloja Central Jail on June 28 by Devendra Jagtap alias JD was his third attempt on the gangster in one-and-half months,said police.

Written by Gautam S Mengle | Mumbai | Published:July 3, 2013 1:36 am

The attack on Abu Salem at Taloja Central Jail on June 28 by Devendra Jagtap alias JD was his third attempt on the gangster in one-and-half months,said police.

JD has allegedly told his interrogators he was asked to kill Salem by gangster Chhota Shakeel.

The country made revolver he used was slipped in after he returned from court two months ago,claimed police.

After his first attempt allegedly failed,he quickly hid the weopon in his sleeve as he spotted a jail officer outside the Salem barrack.

The second time he reached the barrack a few minutes after Salem had left for a court hearing.

Before both attempts,he kept a watch on the Salem barrack from near the cell of Vishwanath Shetty,which was closest to his target.

JD,who was arrested Monday and remanded in police custody till July 6,also allegedly told his interrogators how he concealed the weapon and took it to his cell.

“On the day he returned from court,he was determined,calm and composed. Things happened swiftly and he walked to his cell to pick the weapon,” said an officer.

Police said Jagtap took the contract to kill as he was running out of money. Shakeel allegedly promised to take care of his expenses if the hit was successful.

Navi Mumbai Crime Branch told Taloja Jail authorities late Tuesday evening an inmate had a loaded weapon for one-and-a-half months.

Sources in Navi Mumbai police said Jagtap was in touch with the Shakeel gang for the past two months through a smuggled cellphone. During one such call,a Shakeel aide told him to kill Salem.

“Jagtap needed money for his legal expenses as well as to give his family and readily took the offer when he was told Shakeel would take care of all his expenses. After Bharat Nepali’s killing,Jagtap had no godfather and jumped at the opportunity to win the trust of the Shakeel gang,” said an officer close to the investigation.

An officer part of the interrogating team said Jagtap was now afraid as he has antagonised both the Salem camp in prison as well as the jail staff,five of whom were suspended following the attack.

Meanwhile,he continues to maintain friend Manoj Lamhane gave him the weapon.

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