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Lisbon seeks to keep Salem behind bars

New Delhi, March 17: Portuguese authorities are believed to have requested a Lisbon court for extension of the judicial remand of gangster Abu Salem and his wife Monica Bedi, which expires tomorrow.

Authorities in Lisbon will also send a letter rogatory to India, seeking information on the criminal case they have registered against the two for travelling on fake documents.

It is learnt that they are likely to ask details of some phone numbers and briefs on certain people whose involvement Portuguese investigators have come across during their probe.

Sources in the Central Bureau of Investigation said they have been told informally that a request has been made to a Lisbon court for extension of Salem and Bediís remand. This means the two will not be out of Lisbonís custody for another couple of months.

The Portuguese government is expected to take up the matter of Salem's extradition to India once its own cases are settled. CBI sources said Lisbon is still processing Delhiís extradition request.

Salem and Bedi were arrested on September 18 in Lisbon and put behind bars for three months, which was again extended for the same period. Salem is wanted in India for alleged involvement in the 1993 Bombay blasts and the murder of T-Series owner Gulshan Kumar.

The underworld don is alleged to have helped Dawood Ibrahim in distributing ammunition for the 1993 blasts.

He had accompanied co-accused Hanif Kadawala, now dead, and Samir Hingora allegedly to the house of film actor Sunjay Dutt in a car laden with weapons. Dutt had allegedly kept an AK-56 rifle for himself.

Dutt, however, has denied his involvement in the case, but Kadawala and Hingora had maintained that they did hand over the rifle to the actor.

Salem is also alleged to have hatched the conspiracy to murder Gulshan Kumar, to which music director Nadeem was allegedly a party. However, a London court has turned down the request of Mumbai police to extradite Nadeem.

After fleeing India, Salem had worked for the Dawood gang for quite a few years. He eventually separated from his master in the 1990s and was running his own extortion business till he was picked up by Lisbon police.

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