The probe into the activities of alleged gangster Mohammed Nayeemuddin, who was shot dead in an alleged encounter near Hyderabad on August 9, has become one of the biggest operations of Telangana Police, with the Special Investigation Team (SIT) making its 50th arrest in the case Tuesday.
According to SIT officials, 39 of the 50 people, arrested from various parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, are Nayeem’s relatives. They were allegedly involved in extortion, illegal land deals, threatening and intimidation and coercion, and abetment to murder and attempt to murder.
Among those arrested are the slain gangster’s wife Hasina Begum and sister-in-law Saleema Begum, Nayeem’s sister Ayesha Begum and her husband Riazuddin. His sister’s son-in-law Faheem and his wife Sajida Shaheen surrendered at a local court and were sent to judicial custody.
The operation, though, is not yet over, as some key aides of Nayeem are absconding, the official said. The police are now looking for two men they claim were Nayeem’s closest aides: Seshanna and Anil Kumar.
For the police, the biggest catch so far is K Jangaiah, said to be a part-time driver who worked as Nayeem’s key muscleman. The SIT said Jangaiah is involved in extorting Rs 50 lakh on behalf of Nayeem from Nalgonda-based businessman Ganpa Nagendra.
According to a complaint lodged by SIT, Nayeem had initially demanded Rs 2 crore from Nagendra after threatening to kill all his family members. Nagendra agreed to pay Rs 50 lakh, and Nayeem reportedly agreed. After Nayeem was shot dead, the businessman registered a complaint, based on which Jangaiah was arrested.
“A majority of Nayeem’s relatives, including his four brothers-in-law, were hand-in-glove in all his activities. They got a sizeable share of profits and led a luxurious life — they bought properties and SUVs (among other valuables and assets) with ill-gotten money,” an SIT official said. “Others arrested include real estate brokers who arranged for double registrations of land, with the original owner totally unaware.”
Still others arrested are said to be Nayeem’s gang members, collection agents, and personal staff such as drivers, bodyguards, helps, cooks and housekeepers.
The police have registered a case against Nayeem’s mother-in-law Sultana Begum, but are yet to arrest her.
Nasir Shaikh, the municipal councillor of ward 27 of Bhongir, Nayeem’s hometown in Nalgonda district, has also been arrested by the local police on charges of conspiring with Nayeem in extortion and land-grabbing. From his house, the police claim to have recovered an unlicensed imported pistol and documents of several plots of land, allegedly usurped with Nayeem’s help.
The biggest task for the SIT now is decoding thousands of call records from nearly 200 mobile phones and more than 400 SIM cards seized from various houses owned by Nayeem, and from the possession of his alleged accomplices.
Officials said Nayeem lured unemployed youngsters from poor families to carry out his illegal activities by paying them handsomely. The SIT has so far lodged 39 cases against Nayeem and his alleged associates.