Memon guard in '93 net dies

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  • Published 15.06.07

Mumbai, June 15: Tiger Memon’s bodyguard Ejaz Pathan, sentenced to 10 years in jail in the Bombay blasts case a week back, died at a government hospital today.

Sources said Pathan complained of uneasiness this morning and was rushed to the JJ Hospital, closest to the Arthur Road jail.

He died of a heart attack around 1.30 pm even as doctors were conducting an ECG test on him.

Pathan alias Ejaz Mohammed Sharif alias Sayyed Zakir, in his late 50s, was to undergo a brain surgery on June 26. The cost would have been borne by the government.

Pathan, who is survived by his wife, son and daughter, had been suffering from hypertension, diabetes, neurological disorders and clogged arteries.

Initially absconding, Pathan was based in Dubai till February 2003, when he was deported by the UAE authorities along with Dawood’s younger brother Iqbal Kaskar.

Pathan is the twelfth accused to have died in the course of the 14-year trial. The others passed away even before the verdicts, staggered over eight months, were delivered.

As an undertrial, Pathan spent more time in hospitals than in the jail. On June 7, the day he was sentenced, he came to court with his hand plastered and needed a walking stick.

Convicted under Section 120-B (conspiracy) of the IPC and Sections 3 (3), 5, 6 of Tada, judge Pramod Kode slapped a fine of Rs 2.25 lakh on him, besides giving the life term.

Pathan attended the first conspiracy meeting in Dubai where Dawood and Memon were present, but not the others, Kode said, adding he wasn’t aware of the exact plot.

Pathan did send his men who helped Memon land the cache of arms and explosives on the Raigad coast. But evidence showed that Pathan did not know if his men were to be used for RDX landings, the court said. He was found guilty of possessing three-AK-56 rifles, though.

Crime branch sources said Pathan was a distant relative of Karim Lala, the first Pathan don of Mumbai. Pathan worked with a group run by Alamzeb and Amirzada. In the 1980s, the Pathan gang was locked in a bloody turf war with the Dawood gang, which later bumped off Alamzeb and Amirzada to tighten its grip on Mumbai.

Pathan, who dabbled in smuggling and narcotics, joined Dawood. He survived two attempts on his life, once in 1996 in Karachi and the other in Dubai two years later.

Other than the blasts, Pathan was wanted in the murder of BJP legislator Prem Kumar Sharma, who was shot dead near his south Mumbai house in June 1993.