A 23-year-old man from Chembur in Mumbai has been arrested by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) in connection with the alleged assassination plot against former Gujarat Home Minister Gordhan Zadafia. A sharpshooter was also nabbed from an Ahmedabad-based hotel in August in this regard.
According to ATS officials, Shivesh Kharade (23), a resident of Chembur in Mumbai, was picked up by the Gujarat ATS four-five days ago and officially arrested at the Ahmedabad office of the ATS. He was booked under the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GUJCTOC) Act in an FIR lodged at Gujarat ATS police station.
Around 2:30 am on August 19, a team of senior officials of the Gujarat ATS raided a room in Hotel Vinus near Lal Darwaza in old city Ahmedabad and nabbed Irfan alias Kalia Shaikh (24), an alleged sharpshooter of Chhota Shakeel gang from Chembur in Mumbai, who was given the contract to assassinate former Gujarat Home Minister during the 2002 Gujarat riots, Gordhan Zadafia.
According to an ATS official, Kharade allegedly provided a nine-millimetre pistol to alleged sharpshooter Shaikh and also arranged for his bus ticket from Mumbai to Ahmedabad.
“Kharade was acting on the instructions of one Haji Shabbir from Pakistan. We are further probing the background of Kharade,” said the ATS official.
As per the ATS, the name of an accused, Haji Shabbir, has come out in the case as the handler/ operator for both Shaikh and Kharade.
So far, a total of seven persons have been picked up by ATS in the matter. Shaikh was held on August 19 and five persons were held from Mumbai, Akola and Mangalore, with Kharade being the seventh arrested.
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