The murder of 18-year-old Maqbool Alam, alias Bachcha Kalu, on Sheriff Lane — backwaters of the Park Street underworld — has brought out in the open the gang war between jailed crimelord Rashid Alam, alias Gabbar, and his rival Jali Munna, according to the police.
Underworld sources said Gabbar had engineered Maqbool’s murder on Thursday night to avenge his mother’s “humiliation” by Jali Munna recently. “He (Jali Munna) had threatened Gabbar’s mother with dire consequences last week when she approached him for money to fund Gabbar’s court cases,’’ they said.
Taltala and Park Street police officers admitted on Friday that they have got the names of suspects known to be Gabbar’s henchmen. Gabbar is currently in jail, facing a life term on several murder and extortion charges. Police said Munna, too, was arrested in the past and is currently out on bail.
Maqbool was a close associate of Munna and was arrested on four occasions on charges of extortion of traders and builders, police said.
Deputy commissioner of police, central, Zulfiquar Hasan, quoting from initial investigation reports, said two youths had accosted Maqbool in the dingy narrow lane and shot him in the head from point-blank range. “He died on the spot,’’ Hasan said. Munna’s wife told Taltala thana on Thursday night after the murder that Maqbool was on her husband’s payroll.
Sources said Maqbool was with Munna when he warned Gabbar’s mother and “misbehaved” with her. “There were five to six youths with Munna and Maqbool, along with others, when he shouted at Gabbar’s mother, pointing a revolver at her,’’ they added.
An hour before Maqbool’s killing, the same youths shot at Munna’s brother in the Taltala area, but the bullets narrowly missed the mark, swinging the needle of suspicion to Gabbar. Taltala police said Munna has fled the area after the murder.
Detectives said the area is notorious for drug and hooch dens and Gabbar collected hefty sums from all. “The two biggest drug-dealers of the area, Murtaza and Rafique, were initially on Gabbar’s payroll, but switched allegiance to Munna after the former was jailed,’’ a senior police officer said.
Collections from drug dens in the area ran into several lakhs a month, sparking the ferocious turf war between Munna and Gabbar, the officer added.