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Was the AK-56 rifle seized at Mumbai part of the 1993 blast arsenal?

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    Mumbai, July 10: Was the AK-56 rifle seized at Mumbai part of the 1993 arsenal? The Thane Crime Branch seized the rifle along with three magazines from the house of Naeem Fahim Khan at Goregaon in Mumbai's western suburb.

    Was the AK-56 rifle seized at Mumbai part of the 1993 blast arsenal?

    Khan's wife, Yasmeen was arrested in connection with the case. The police have been able to establish the Khan was a Dawood man and was hired by the syndicate in 2015 to carry out the killing of a city based businessman. Khan was arrested in 2016.

    Khan operated as a fleet cab driver by day and this the police say was a cover. Yasmin's interrogation revealed that her husband had delivered guns for the D-syndicate at least twice in the past. Khan would take Yasmeen with him in the cab under the pretext of her being a passenger. Dressed in a burqa and posing as a passenger, Yasmeen along with her husband would deliver guns, investigations have revealed.

    The police learnt that the AK-56 rifle was in Khan's possession for long. In fact when the rifle was discovered, it was wrapped in a newspaper dated 1997. The police feel that this was part of the consignment that had arrived in Mumbai before the 1993 serial blasts.

    Only a part of the consignment was used while the rest of it along with the RDX that was delivered were hidden in various parts of Mumbai and Thane. It may be recalled that one of such rifle was also found in the house of Sanjay Dutt, who was later convicted under the Arms Act.

    Following the Mumbai blasts, the police had seized 71 AK-56 rifles. They were however unable to recover three rifles and now the police feel that the one found on Khan may be one of them. The rifles were hidden at various locations and one of them was given to Khan, the police feel.

    The D-Gang has been using the AKs for long. The Ak-47 rifle was used in the JJ Hospital shootout, when members of the D gang killed a man from the rival Arun Gawli faction. Following the 1993 blasts, there has been no trail of any AKs coming into the city and gangsters often used country made pistols.

    However in 2006, a Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative, Abu Jundal managed to smuggle in 14 Ak-47 rifles and several kilograms of RDX. The investigations revealed that the arsenal was brought in to carry out a wave of terror strikes across the country.

    Jundal however fled the country and his name next surfaced during the investigations into the Mumbai 26/11 attack. He was the Hindi tutor for the ten terrorists who struck in the city. Jundal was later on deported to India from Saudi Arabia. He is currently lodged in jail.

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