Abu Salem sentenced to life in Pradeep Jain murder case

Abu Salem sentenced to life in Pradeep Jain murder case

Abu Salem sentenced to life in Pradeep Jain murder case

Underworld don Abu Salem, who was extradited from Portugal in a top secret operation around 10 years ago, was on Wednesday given life term for murdering a Mumbai-based builder in 1995.

Salem, 46, was brought to India on November 11, 2005, along with his companion and Bollywood actor Monica Bedi, for trial in nine cases including three in Mumbai. This is the first conviction for Salem, once a close aide of Pakistan-based underworld don and terrorist Dawood Ibrahim.

On February 16, a special court set up under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (Tada), had convicted Salem and two others Mehndi Hassan and Virandra Jhamb for murder of Jain, who was shot dead outside his Juhu residence-cum-office on March 7, 1995. “Abu Salem is sentenced to life imprisonment for the offences of murder and criminal conspiracy,” observed Additional Sessions Judge G A Sanap while reading out the verdict, in the Mumbai sessions court.

The court also handed out life imprisonment to Salem’s driver Mehndi Hassan while another accused Virendra Jhamb’s sentence was set off against the period of detention undergone by him in prison during the various stages of investigation in the case. The 86-year-old Jhamb was in jail for nearly nine months after his arrest in 2005 in connection with the murder of Jain.

Jain was shot dead by assailants outside his Juhu bungalow after he refused to part with his huge property to Salem. Since then, Salem, Jhamb and Hassan were facing trial in the case. While accused Naeem Khan turned approver, another accused Riyaz Siddiqui, who had also become approver, later turned hostile in the court. The trial of Siddiqui was later separated.

“This was a very important case for us because the accused (Salem) was extradited from Portugal. Moreover, the murder was brutal and even after that he displayed cruelty. On the 13th day rituals of the victim, he spoke to his wife and laughed,” Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said.

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