26/11 lawyer Azmi`s killers made calls via VOIP from Bangkok
Conspirators who planned the murder of defence lawyer Shahid Azmi from Bangkok made calls to the killers through VOIP, besides opening an e-mail account to upload the victim`s photo to target him.
Mumbai: Conspirators who planned the murder
of defence lawyer Shahid Azmi from Bangkok made calls to the
killers through VOIP, besides opening an e-mail account to
upload the victim`s photo to target him.
The modus operandi to adopt latest technology to execute
Azmi has been revealed by police in a 1,200-page chargesheet
filed in a special court yesterday.
Azmi, who was defending accused Faheem Ansari in the
26/11 trial, was shot dead by members of the Bharat Nepali
gang in his office here on February 11. Of the ten
conspirators, four had executed the killing of Azmi, according
to the chargesheet.
The killers of Azmi, who were in Mumbai, were in touch
with the conspirators in Bangkok through VOIP (voice over
Internet protocol), a facility first used by conspirators in
The conspirators also used an e-mail account to
familiarise the killers with Azmi`s photographs so that they
could easily target him.
"The Nepali gang members had opened an email account in
Bangkok and uploaded two photographs of Azmi, but did not
forward them to the sharp shooters in Mumbai. Instead they had
saved the snaps in draft column," a police officer said.
"Subsequently, the user name and password details were
passed on to accused Devendra Babu and Hasmukh Solanki. The
duo visited a cyber cafe in suburban Mulund where they opened
the account and saw the snaps of their target," the officer
"During the probe we came across this modus operandi
adopted by the gang. The accused did not want to take risk by
opening an e-mail account and getting Azmi`s photographs in
their own account," he said.
Use of VOIP makes it difficult for the investigating
agencies to track down the culprits. Hence, the method is
gaining popularity in the criminal activities, Joint
Commissioner of Police (Crime), Himanshu Roy said.
At least 50 calls, some of them through VOIP, were made
by the conspirators from the Thai capital to killers in Mumbai
in a fortnight - before and after Azmi`s murder, police said.
According to police, the conspiracy to kill the lawyer
was hatched by fugitive gangster Bharat Nepali as he believed
that Azmi was defending those who betrayed the country. Ansari
was later acquitted by the special 26/11 court.
Police yesterday filed the chargesheet against 10 members
of the Nepali gang in the MCOCA Court. Of the ten accused,
police have arrested four - Devendra Babu Jagtap alias JD,
Pintoo Deoram Dagale, Vinod Yashwant Vichare and Hasmukh
Solanki. Six others, including Nepali, are absconding.
The accused have been booked under various sections of
IPC, Arms Act and MCOCA, police said.