The Central Crime Branch police in Bengaluru have arrested a man linked to underworld fugitive Chhota Shakeel on charges of plotting to kill right wing Hindutva leaders to disturb communal harmony.
Syed Niyamath alias Rehman, 28, a resident of Bismillahnagar, has seven cases of murder and attempted murder against him, including a 2009 communal murder in Bengaluru’s Tilaknagar area. He was put under surveillance following reports that he attempted to extort money from a jeweller in Gujarat. Police sources said Niyamath was targeting a leader of Sri Rama Sena in Karnataka as part of a communal plot.
“We are not in a position to reveal the name of the leader who was the target. We are sure that weapons were being readied for the murder. We carried out the arrest just when the accused was set to receive the weapons,” said R Ramesh, DCP (Crime).
Niyamath was earlier linked to a radical Muslim outfit in Karnataka, which went on to merge with outfits in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. He is reported to have come in contact with Chhota Shakeel through absconding Shakeel aide and sharpshooter Rashid Malabari, police sources said.
DCP Ramesh said Niyamath formed a team to eliminate a prominent political leader in Bengaluru as per Chhota Shakeel’s directions. “We have detained three more persons from Niyamath’s gang and have enough proof about their contact with the underworld fugitive,” he said.
Investigations have revealed that Niyamath was providing instructions and updates about developments in India to Shakeel. Niyamath and his men would allegedly threaten businessmen and jewellers across the country.