Almost 24 years after Mumbai was shocked by multiple blasts that left some 257 innocent citizens dead, a special TADA Court recently awarded death sentence to two accused Tahir Merchant and Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan while extradited gangster Abu Salem was handed over life imprisonment.
The 50-year-old Salem was spared the gallows because of an extradition treaty with Portugal, where he was hiding before being brought to India. There was a time when entire Bollywood was trembling with the name of Abu Salem. He threatened or killed many celebrities over not giving money. Let’s have a look about the stars who became victims of this don…
Abu Salem, lieutenant of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, and believed to be behind Gulshan Kumar’s murder, spoke to Associate Editor V. Shankar Aiyar over the phone from Dubai. Gulshan Kumar, owner of T-Series, is shot dead when coming out of a temple at Jeet Nagar in Juhu. Three assailants had pumped in 16 bullets, killing him on the spot. The whole country mourned the death of Gulshan Kumar.
2. Rakesh Roshan
Jaan Usman Khan alias Reenu, Abu Salem’s alleged sharp shooter who was arrested by the Delhi police reportedly confessed that he was among the assailants who shot at Rakesh Roshan following orders from Salem in 2001, an English daily reports. Roshan was shot by two armed men outside his Santacruz office in 2001. He was rushed to the hospital by his driver thereby saving his life.
3. Rajiv Rai
Salen’s gang members also attempted to shoot at Bollywood film directors, Rajiv Rai when he refused to succumb to his extortion demands. Rajiv escaped but Abu Salem’s goons threatened him strongly. The Rais left and never came back to live in India again. After a four-year hiatus from the Bollywood industry, he returned to directing with his comeback venture “Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat” (2001). The film failed at the box office and Rai returned to the action genre with his next film “Asambhav” (2004) which also failed to do well. He has not been active in the film industry since 2004.
4. Manmohan Shetty
Bollywood producer Manmohan Shetty, who is also the owner of the Adlabs chain of multiplexes was also attempted to kill by Abu Salem. The attempt on Shetty’s life was seen as one of Salem’s desperate attempts to terrorise Bollywood, after the killing of music baron Gulshan Kumar in 1997. Shetty had refused to pay Salem extortion money.
5. Manisha Koirala
First Abu Salem threatened Manisha Koirala’s secretary Ajit Dewani and asked for money. After this matter when the matter came to light, Salem had killed Manisha’s secretary. Dewani was killed in the Mumbai suburb of Oshiwara in June 2001 and Salem had confessed in an earlier statement in February 2006 that he was involved in this murder. Dewani was killed because Koirala had refused to pay the extortion money to Salem and, therefore, he targeted her secretary.
6. Monica Bedi