Dossa denies assaulting Salem

Both inmates shifted to different jails
Last Updated 28 July 2010, 19:21 IST

However, Dossa denied the charge. Both Dossa and Salem are accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. They were held in custody in the Arthur Road Prison, which witnessed a scuffle between them on Saturday last.

Following the incident, Salem has been shifted to the Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai and Dossa to the Thane Prison.

After a TADA court order, Dossa and his accomplice Abdul Qayyum Sheikh were taken into custody on the charge of assaulting Salem. The two were produced before Metropolitan Magistrate P Bhambarde, who remanded them to police custody till August 7.

The police sought their custody by stating that they want to find out whether the attack on Salem was carried out at the behest of any other person and the sequence of events leading to the attack. They also want   to record the statements of eyewitnesses in the jail. The incident assumes significance as Dossa is suspected to be close to fugitive ganglord Dawood Ibrahim. And the assault is seen as an attempt by Dawood to eliminate Abu Salem, who had fallen out of the ganglord last decade.

Dossa claimed before the magistrate that he had not attacked Salem and the injuries sustained by the latter were self inflicted. Dossa then alleged that Salem has plans to purchase a property at Lonawala and he was in need of money which led him to extort Rs 30 crore from the accused.

Since he refused to give money, Salem, with the help of his aides Manish Thakur and Usman Mehndi, caused injuries to himself and framed him, Dossa alleged. The 42-year-old Salem was allegedly assaulted inside the Arthur Road Jail by Dossa and Qayyum with a sharp spoon on Saturday outside their barrack after a heated argument.

Dossa's lawyer Rizwan Merchant argued that framing him in the crime was a ploy by Salem, who wanted to return to Portugal from where he was extradited to India. “Any security lapse would allow him to make an application in a court in Portugal seeking return to that country on the ground that he is not safe in India,” Rizwan said.

Moreover, when the police reached the spot they found that Salem was thrashing Dossa, who is a cardiac patient, Rizwan said. The injuries sustained by Salem were very minor, he said and wondered why Dossa was slapped with attempt to murder charge.

Meanwhile, Salem, who was taken to Bhopal in connection with an alleged fake passport case on Monday, returned to the city on Wednesday. He is now lodged in the Taloja Jail.

(Published 28 July 2010, 19:21 IST)

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