MUMBAI: Less than a fortnight after his deportation from Dubai, alleged Dawood aide Mohammed Junaid Khatri is a free man.
Accused of threatening actress Mona Singh (Jassi), Khatri was released on bail of Rs 7,500 by the sessions court on Friday. The police fear he may escape to Dubai.
Khatri's release-he is the third deported Dawood aide to be released on bail in the last year-is a setback for the Mumbai police.
The other two are Riyaz Siddique, who was released on a bail of Rs 25,000 in September 2003, and Raju Chikna, who was released in May.
In Siddique's case, the police failed to produce the case papers and witnesses' statements in court while in Chikna's case, they allegedly misplaced five audio tapes of conversations between Chikna and Dawood Ibrahim.
In Khatri's case, the cops booked him as soon as he arrived at the Mumbai international airport on September 28. The cops say that Khatri is a close confidante of Nairobi-based Vicky, who is accused of threatening several Mumbai businessmen, doctors and actress Mona Singh.
The police recently arrested three of Vicky's associates, Saifudin alias Nazir Abdul, Faizal Ismail and Faizal Thakur, in an extortion case of Rs 25 lakh.
Adrul and Ismail were trapped while trying to extort money from a doctor. Thakur was arrested from the Fort area and has been released on a bail of Rs 7,500.
The repeated release of Dawood gangsters has caused embarrassment to the police. Recently, alleged Dawood aide Anil Parab was also discharged in a murder case in which he was accused of killing his wife Neha at Vakola in March 1995.
The crime branch is, however, confident of securing his conviction in two other cases-the murder of matka kingpin Hansraj Matka and the killing of rival gangster Ashok Joshi more than a decade ago.