TWO OF the five persons arrested by the Mumbai police for allegedly plotting to murder Jaya Chheda — who operates one of the biggest matka gambling networks in the country — and her sister Asha, had plans to bump off the sisters on the day Asha’s son was to get married.
The marriage hall at Chembur where the wedding had been planned on December 10 had been recced and the accused reached the spot; however, the plan had to be called off at the last moment, said officers who are part of the probe.
Vinod Bhagat, along with four others, arrested by the Mumbai crime branch in the past few days for plotting to murder the sisters were on Wednesday remanded to police custody till December 28.
During the course of interrogation, the accused told the police that on December 10, two of them — Mohd Javed and Mohd Darzi — had reached the marriage hall in Chembur where Asha’s son was to get married to eliminate the sisters.
“However the main sharpshooter Maqsood Qureshi could not arrive at the designated time. The place was crowded and the duo decided to postpone the plan,” said N Gopale, senior inspector, crime branch (unit IX).
Bhagat who had allegedly given the Rs 60 lakh supari in February this year to Basheer Suleiman alias Mama who is based in the UK soon after Jaya was released on bail from prison, had been getting impatient for the execution to be carried out.
“He had tipped them off about the wedding and suggested it would be the perfect opportunity to gun down the sisters,” an officer said. Prior to this, the accused had also carried out recce in October; however, the plan did not make any progress.
A senior officer said that while Jaya had been initially released on bail for a small time, due to Covid when efforts were made to reduce crowding in prison, she managed to extend her time outside.
“This is when Bhagat thought, he could gun her down. She along with her siblings had been running the Bhagat matka which actually belonged to Vinod’s family. It was the largest running matka in the country. Hence he wanted to eliminate Jaya and her sister Asha who kept financial records of their business,” the officer added.
After Jaya along with five others including her son Hitesh got her husband and matka king Suresh murdered in an ‘accident’ in 2008, Jaya had taken over the business. However after she got arrested, her brother Kiran and sister Asha ran the matka business. An officer said that Kiran is believed to be out of the country and hence was not a target.
Jaya along with five others were convicted for the murder of Suresh in 2013 and awarded life imprisonment. Ever since she had been behind bars before she was released on bail earlier this year that set in motion the plan to bump her off.
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