Talk about the dreaded gangsters of the country, and you can’t have a conversation bereft of Abu Salem. From terrorizing other real estate brokers to terrorizing almost the whole of 90s Bollywood, Abu Salem’s journey from a kid from middle class house to an imprisoned criminal with a net-worth of 55 billion INR sure is one of those horrifying stories we all are eager to devour. Here’s looking at the life and times of one of the most terrifying men to have ever lived-
1969- Abu Salem Abdul Qayoom Ansari is born to a lower middle class family in the district of Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh.
Between 1969 and 1985 – Worked in a mechanic shop. Completed primary education in the village itself. Left the village soon after the completion of inter college.
1985- Arrived in Mumbai looking to earn a livelihood. Worked as a taxi driver, and then worked in a garment shop.
1987- Got into real estate as a broker at the time.
1989- First encounter with the police as a case is registered against him for attacking a fellow real estate broker over a monetary issue.
1989- This was the turning point in his life. He got in contact with one of Dawood’s aides, J K Ibrahim, which earned him various outside jobs of the gangs like transporter of arms and driver. He even had a telephonic conversation with Dawood’s brother, Anees Ibrahim at this time about the same.
1990- He soon became one of the trusted members of the gang and was recruited to work for D Company, the Dawood Ibrahim gang to look after all the Mubai operations.
1991- Married Samira Jumani, a young girl from Jogeshwari. He had two sons with her later, before ultimately divorcing her.
1992- He is known to have supplied weapons to Bollywood actor, Sanjay Dutt.
1993- The Mumbai serial bomb blasts take place on 12 March, 1993. Abu Salem played a crucial and active role during these blasts. Police start a search for all the suspects of the blasts. Abu Salem flees to Dubai.
1993- In Dubai, he was known to have started his own business establishment, namely the Kings of Car Trading.
1994 – He maintained a low profile during this time. Yet, was known to have recruited many unemployed youths from his hometown when the sharp shooters from D- Company were all being killed.
1995- His men shot dead Pradeep Jain, a city-based builder outside his own Juhu bunglow.
1996- Because of his clever ways, he soon won the trust of Anees Ibrahim and rose to power within the gang. As a result, he was given the responsibility of overseeing D-Company’s Bollywood deals and film financing.
1997- He stopped working under Chota Shakeel and took to extorting money from famous film personalities, often by threatening them. This was when his reign caused fear among the people within the industry and outside.
Mid- 1997- He murdered music baron Gulshan Kumar on 12 August, 1997. Since this deed was done without the consent of Dawood, Abu Salem had to flee to Dubai for his own safety.
1998- His own friction with Chota Shakeel, who Dawood himself was in support of, and his ways of operating against Dawood’s wishes led him to part ways from D-Company.
1998- He introduced himself as a businessman to his later girlfriend, Monica Bedi at a show in Dubai. Soon, they developed a relationship and stayed together till their arrest in Portugal.
2000- He was known to have planned the kidnapping of the owner of Milton Plastics for a ransom of 30 million INR.
2001- The Salem gang members shot and killed Ajit Diwani, the personal secretary of actress Manisha Koirala.
2001- In the same year in October, he decided to target film personalities like Aamir Khan and Ashutosh Gowariker when his men opened a fire but were shot down before they could do much harm.
2002- In July, members of his gang attempted to open a fire to kill film director, Lawrence D’Souza. The latter survived.
2002- In the month of September, Abu Salem and his girlfriend Monica Bedi were arrested in Lisbon, Portugal.
2004- In 2004, the Portuguese officials decided to clear his extradition to India since he was convicted of the Mumbai serial bomb blasts.
2005- He was handed over by the Portuguese officials to the Indian authorities on a condition that death sentence would not be given to him.
2006- Around the month of March, he was pressed with charges of distributing and ferrying weapons during the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts.
2013 – He was shot by Devendra Jagtap in the premises of the Taloja Central Jail. He sustained injuries to the hand.
2014- He married a 27 year-old woman on a train to Lucknow while a Qazi conducted the ‘nikah’ over the phone, all this while being taken for a court hearing.
2015- On 16 February, 2015, he was convicted of the Pradeep Jain murder case.
As of 2017- Abu Salem is kept imprisoned under high security in Arthur Jail, convicted for the Mumbai serial blasts of 1993, the murders of Bollywood music baron Gulshan Kumar, and actress Koirala’s secretary, Pradeep Jain murder case and more than 50 other cases.
Sources: www.wikipedia.com, www.topyaps.com, www.scroll.in