Bangla Court releases Dawood’s top aide; India awaits his extradition

Bangladesh Jail authority freed a top aide of underworld don Dawood Ibhrahim’s – Abdur Rauf Daud Merchant who was convicted in on the expiry of his jail term for cross-border intrusion and was also a convicted killer of Indian music baron Gulshan Kumar.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said Daud Merchant was released as his jail term expired but did not clarify whether he was handed over to India, where he is to stand trial. “He (Merchant) has been released. His prison term for illegal trespass into Bangladesh ended some time ago,” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told PTI.

The alleged aide of Dubai-based Indian mafia boss Daud Ibrahim has been released from Dhaka Central Jail, seven years after illegally entering Bangladesh having absconded from jail in India.

He has been acquitted under section 54 of the penal code which allows police the right to arrest anyone under suspicion.

Known as a close aide of Mumbai mafia boss Dawood Ibrahim, he was released on bail under Section-54 of the Penal code by Dhaka’s Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court on November 3. Jail authority took the initiative to release him after the court order reached the jail.

Maximum detention under Section-54 of the Penal Code is one month but Merchant’s term was extended without an explanation. Speaking to the press,  Home Minister Assaduzzaman Khan Kamal said process to send Daud back to India has already begun.

Killed Gulshan Kumar:

Abdur Rauf Daud Merchant alias Rauf Raja an alleged hitman, was sentenced to a life term with 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment and rejected the prosecution plea for death row to the accused following his conviction for gunning down the music baron, Gulshan Kumar, August 12, 1997. Daud later appealed against the verdict. Mumbai police said he absconded after being released on parole in April, 2009 to visit his family in Mumbra, a small town about 40 km from Mumbai.

Life around Bangladesh Jails:

In the same year when he absconded from Mumbai, detectives arrested him from Brahmanbarhia’s Mourail, with two associates. The Indian criminal was then sentenced to five years in prison for illegal trespass.

On Dec 2, 2014, he was arrested again from the jail gate at Dhaka Central Prison-2 at Kashimpur.

The next day he was produced in a Dhaka court which remanded him in police custody in a case filed under Section-54 for suspicious behaviour. The remand plea read that interrogating him was necessary to find out if he had any links to terrorists.

Indian Government on Extradition:

As per media reports steps to extradite a few Indian nationals, like Daud Merchant, were initiated after the extradition of ULFA leader Anup Chetia from Bangladesh and Narayanganj seven-murder prime suspect Nur Hossain from India. After a meeting between the home secretaries there were plans to extradite Merchant. But the issue got stuck under layers of bureaucracy.

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