Mumbai: Amidst reports that gangster Bharat
Nepali was killed in Thailand, city police on Friday said arrested
fugitive don Santosh Shetty claimed to have bumped off Nepali
in November 2010 at Pattaya in Thailand.
There were reports that Bhagwant Singh alias Nepali, who
is a former member of underworld don Chhota Rajan, was killed
in Thailand, but Indian authorities did not confirm it.
"Shetty claimed he had shot dead Nepali in a beach
bungalow in Thailand`s Pattaya with silenced revolver in
November 2010, after he had an argument with him over their
associate Vijay Shetty," Joint Police Commissioner (Crime)
Himanshu Roy said.
"Nepali had told Shetty that Vijay Shetty should be
bumped off, after which, he and Shetty can share the profits
in the business. But Shetty did not agree and started feeling
insecure with Nepali, thinking that he may do a similar
thing with him as well in future," Roy added.
Nepali and Shettys were allegedly involved in the killing
of criminal lawyer Shahid Azmi, who was defending Faheem
Ansari in 2008 Mumbai terror attack. Azmi was gunned down in
his Kurla`s office in February last year and Ansari was
acquitted in the 2008 Mumbai attacks case, police said.
Roy said, "Shetty claimed they killed Azmi because he
was doing anti-national activities."
Nepali, a former army man, who worked as a driver for
Rajan, was wanted by Mumbai Police in around 23 cases of
extortion, assault, murder and extortion.
Crime Branch officials of Mumbai police, in co-ordination
with Thailand police, nabbed Shetty from his hideout in
Bangkok, deported here early this morning before placing him
under arrest in a fake passport case, police said.
The three were also allegedly involved in the murder of
Rajan henchman Farid Tanasha, who was gunned down in Rajan`s
stronghold of Tilak Nagar, Chembur in July last year, police
Nepali had parted ways with Rajan in 2005 to start his
own gang, police said.
Nepali and Shetty`s then started extorting money from
builders and businessmen in the city. Their areas of operation
often clashed with Rajan`s, they added.
Several victims started complaining that they had to pay
extortions to Rajan and Nepali. The hatred snowballed into a
big rivalry, with Nepali hitting the headlines more often than
his rivals, police said.