BENGALURU: Police said on Wednesday they had arrested a man linked to gangster Chhota Shakeel for allegedly plotting the murder of a Sangh Parivar leader.
The Central Crime Branch of the city police also claimed they had averted communal clashes by arresting him before he could carry out his plans.
Syed Niyamat (28), a resident of Bismillah Nagar, was allegedly hired by Chhota Shakeel to carry out attacks in Bengaluru next week.
M Chandrashekhar, Joint Commissioner, CCB, told reporters, “The police intelligence wing had kept an eye on his movements. During the vigil, we found that he was in constant touch with Chhota Shakeel.”
Niyamat is a history-sheeter: he faces a murder case and seven cases of extortion and assault. He was released on bail last year and had resumed his criminal career, police said.
Niyamat was not just motivated by the lure of money. He was also associated with the Islamist group Popular Front of India, police said.
Niyamat was arrested in 2009 for killing Madaiah, a Hindu in love with a Muslim girl in Tilak Nagar.
The CCB said it had got to know a plan was afoot to create communal disturbances and started looking at suspects. Niyamat’s name came up because of the murder case and his involvement with the PFI. Weapons were coming from northern Karnataka for the attack next week.
“If we had put off the arrest, we could have nabbed a prominent member of Dawood Ibrahim’s company in contact with Niyamat. We had to arrest Niyamat as he was about to execute his plan,” a police source said.
Weapons were coming from northern Karnataka for the attack next week. Niyamat’s contact could have given the police better leads, the source claimed.
“But we did not take the risk because of the threat to law and order. The gangsters also have a network to track police movements,” he said.
Police intelligence suspects the communal riots witnessed in Karnataka since the assassination of eminent writer M M Kalburgi could be a proxy gang war.
“The murder of Prashanth Poojary, associated with a Hindu outfit, is one case. And in jail, Vicky Shetty, who claims to protect Hindu interests, murdered Madur Yusuf, said to be a Chhota Shakeel man. These crimes indicate a war between underworld dons,” the source said.
The names of Dawood and Chhota Shakeel on the one hand and Ravi Poojary on the other are emerging prominently in these cases, he explained.