Kathmandu :After blaming jailed Indian ganglord Babloo Srivastav for the daylight gunning down of a Nepali media tycoon in Kathmandu exactly a month ago, Nepal police say the underworld don also plotted the murder of another Nepali media owner but failed.
Police say they arrested a 19-year-old boy from Kathmandu Friday after investigations led to him as the person who had disposed of the gun used by two professional killers to fatally shoot Jamim Shah, the controversial owner of Nepali television station Channel Nepal, which had triggered anti-Indian violence in Nepal in 2000.
The arrested teenager, Kishor Khadka, reportedly told police during interrogation that he was part of a network of Indians and Nepalis, including policemen in Nepal, who, following the orders of Babloo had plotted the shooting of Shah in a VIP area of the capital.
Police are claiming that Khadka told them Shah’s killing was planned as a second-string operation.
The original target was Yunus Ansari, son of controversial former Nepali politician Salim Miyan Ansari who is alleged to be an aide of Karachi-based underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Yunus Ansari, who owns a newly started television channel, National Television, was arrested in January in a surprise swoop by police who claim to have first nabbed his bodyguard in the process of collecting a suitcase filled with fake Indian currency worth Rs.2 million. The money, according to police, had been brought by two Pakistani couriers from Karachi.
Jamim Shah was also alleged by the Indian intelligence agencies to have been involved in the fake Indian currency racket spanning Pakistan, Nepal and India on Dawood’s behest.
Khadka reportedly told Nepal police that Babloo had plotted four attempts on Yunus Ansari’s life but none were successful.
One of these reportedly included an audacious plan to shoot Yunus when he was presented in the Kathmandu district court after his arrest.
The arrest of Yunus Ansari followed by the murder of Jamim Shah has opened a can of worms in Nepal with growing fears of an escalated fight between the gang of underground Indian mafia chief, Chhota Rajan, whose key aide is Babloo, and the Dawood group.
While Chhota Rajan is said to be in South Africa, Babloo is currently in Bareilly Jail in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, from where he is suspected of carrying out the activities of the gang with impunity.
The Chhota Rajan gang is at war with the Dawood gang and in 1996, a Nepali politician with links to Dawood, Mirza Dilshad Beg, was gunned down in Kathmandu in almost the same manner as Jamim Shah.
Neither Beg nor Shah’s killers have been arrested though police claim the Shah murder was plotted in Nepal by an aide of Babloo, an Indian of Nepali origin, Babbu Singh alias Deepak Shahi.
A month after the killing, the murder continues to make headlines with Nepal’s junior Home Minister Rizvan Ansari accusing his senior, Bhim Rawal, of inefficiency and nepotism and asking him to resign.
The police investigations have also unearthed links between criminals and Nepal’s police force and demoralised senior officers.
Nepal last month sent a police team secretly to Bareilly to question Babloo but the team returned empty-handed after the Indian authorities refused it permission to meet the jailed don.