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Gulshan Kumar Murder: Crime Branch begins talks with Bangla cops to bring back convict

Abdul Rauf Merchant fled the country when he was out on furlough.

Written by Gautam Sandip Mengle | Mumbai | Published: August 4, 2015 2:17:04 am

The Mumbai Police Crime Branch has initiated talks with the Bangladesh police to bring Abdul Rauf Merchant, a convict in the 1997 Gulshan Kumar murder case, to Mumbai. Merchant, who fled the country after being released on furlough in 2009, was arrested by the Bangladesh police in a forged passport case and is currently serving a sentence there.

According to Crime Branch sources, Merchant’s jail sentence ends in two months. “We started talks with the police in Bangladesh last month so that we can bring Merchant to India the moment his jail term ends there. The process is a complicated one and is still under way,” said a senior Crime Branch officer.

Kumar, the founder of TSeries music company, was shot dead while exiting a temple in Andheri in August 1997. Merchant, along with 18 others, were booked in the case. However, only Merchant was convicted in 2002, while the others were acquitted due to the lack of evidence. “Merchant was released in 2009 on a 14-day furlough on the condition that he would report to the Mumbra police every day. He reported to the police station for about a week, after which he failed to show up. In the same year, he was arrested in Bangladesh for possessing a forged passport in the name of Sheikh Abdur Rehman. He was then convicted,” the officer said.

Officials said they had been keeping track of his status since his arrest. In the beginning of July, when they realised that his sentence would end in three months, the officials started efforts to bring him to India. “The process is a lengthy one and requires consent from governments of both the countries, as well as a lot of paperwork. We are currently laying down the groundwork for the process and will soon start obtaining necessary permission from the courts concerned,” said another officer.

gautam.mengle@expressindia.com

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