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Special court rejects Salim Fruit’s bail plea in terror activities case

A special court on Monday rejected the bail application of Mohammed Salim Qureshi alias Salim Fruit, observing that prima facie evidence shows that he has threatened builders and developers to extort money to fund terror activities of the ‘D’ company of gangster Dawood Ibrahim — on the directions of fugitive gangster Chhota Shakeel.

Fruit, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on August 4, 2022, on allegations that he was furthering activities on behalf of the ‘D’ company, has been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Fruit had filed a bail plea, stating that he has been in jail for over a year and there were no criminal antecedents against him. He mentioned in the plea that statements recorded by witnesses do not state about his role in the case.

Know More | Who are arrested accused Salim Fruit and Arif Bhaijaan, who run Dawood’s extortion network in Mumbai?

Special public prosecutor Shekhar Jagtap submitted that Fruit was involved in a deep-rooted conspiracy, and in 2011, he had threatened two persons that he would grab two of their flats worth around Rs 2.70 crore. The flats were then sold, and the money was sent to Chhota Shakeel through the hawala channel.

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According to the NIA, Fruit has been an active member of the ‘D’ company.

Special Judge B D Shelke said that the court, at this stage, needs to consider whether there was prima facie evidence against the accused including statements by a witness, who alleged extortion by Fruit.

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The court said that the evidence showed that Chhota Shakeel and Dawood Ibrahim continued their unlawful activities of terrorism and terror funding through their associates in India, and there were reasonable grounds for believing that the accusation against Fruit — who also has other cases registered against him — was “prima facie true”. If granted bail, there was a possibility he would repeat such criminal activities in the future, said the court.

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