Gangster and Terrorist
- NAME: Abu Salem Abdul Qayoom Ansari
- DATE OF BIRTH: According to Mumbai Police- 1962;
According to CBI- 1969
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Sarai Mir village of Azamgarh district, Uttar Pradesh, India
- PARENTS: Not Known
- SIBLINGS: Brothers- Abu Hatim Aka Chunchun miyan, Abu Jaish, Abu Lais; Sister- Not Known
- SPOUSE: Samira Jumani (m. 1991); Sayed Kausar Bahar (m. 2014)
- CHILDREN: Sons- 2 (from Samira Jumani); Daughter- Not Known
- EDUCATION: A Primary School in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh
- EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION: 12th Standard
- PROFESSION: Terrorist, Gangster
- NET WORTH: 55 billion INR ($0.67 billion)
- CRIMINAL CHARGES: Extortion, Criminal Intimidation; Criminal Conspiracy, Waging War Against Government of India, Murder (1993 Blast) under various sections of the IPC besides offences under TADA, Explosives Act, Explosive Substances Act, Arms Act and Destruction of Public Property Act.
- CRIMINAL STATUS: Arrested
- SENTENCE: Life Imprisonment
- BIOGRAPHY: “My Name is Abu Salem” written by S. Hussain Zaidi; Released on 16 November, 2014
Abu Salem is an Indian terrorist and Gangster, a small-town boy who became India’s most wanted criminal. His first contact with the police was when he assaulted a colleague over monetary issues in 1988.
He is known for extorting money from prominent persons, murder of music mogul Gulshan Kumar and builder Pradeep Jain, the 1993 Mumbai blast case and more than 50 other cases. He was extradited from Portugal in 2005 and convicted by the Court for life imprisonment in Mumbai Blast case (2017) and Pradeep Jain murder (2015).
1993 MUMBAI BLAST CASE
When Salem shifted to Mumbai, a few years later he came into contact with Dawood Ibrahim, a wanted criminal in India. He started working with him by transporting arms and ammunition from one place to another.
In 1993, he played an active role in the bombings planned by Dawood near the Bombay Stock Exchange, a bank and several other locations throughout Mumbai due to which around more than 250 people died and 700 were injured.
Hundreds of people were accused and detained in the jails in this case. After Salem was extradited from Portugal in 2005, charges were framed against him and he was apprehended by the police. The trial went on for almost 20 years and a special CBI Court convicted him and several others. He was awarded life imprisonment in 2017 for his role in the bombings.
PRADEEP JAIN’S MURDER
Salem had a history of extorting prominent persons to give him protection money. Similarly, he used to threaten Pradeep Jain, a wealthy builder, of his and his family’s life. Jain had no option but to give him money from time to time.
In March 1995, he had a spat with Salem over the phone, and a few days later, Jain was shot by him. Salem, and his aides were tried for Jain’s murder and he was awarded life imprisonment and Rs 8, 00,000 fine by a special TADA Court in 2015 for murdering Jain.
GULSHAN KUMAR’S MURDER
Abu Salem is believed to have murdered music baron Gulshan Kumar. In 1997, Salem used to call Gulshan Kumar to promote his brother, Nadeem Akhtar Saifee’s music and compositions.
Despite Gulshan Kumar’s efforts, Nadeem’s music failed in the market for which he blamed Gulshan Kumar. On 12 August 1997, he was shot 16 times outside a temple and died on the same day. After this incident, Salem, who was considered the mastermind behind the murder, fled to Dubai and Nadeem ran off to UK.
Abu Salem and his then girlfriend, Monica Bedi were arrested in Lisbon in 2002 by the Interpol through GPS tracking on his phone. Both of them were kept in a 90-day custody in Portugal, but it was uncertain whether he would be extradited or not because of absence of any extradition treaty between the two countries.
However, in 2005, he was brought back to India by a CBI team on the condition that he shall not be subjected to trial for death or imprisonment for a term exceeding 25 years. They both served prison sentences in Portugal for entering the country on forged documents.
Several other crimes were committed by Salem during his initial years with Dawood and later, after separating from him. Some of them are:
- Assaulting a colleague over some monetary issues in 1988.
- Transportation and supply of arms and ammunitions for Dawood Ibrahim.
- In 1992, he supplied deadly weapons to actor Sanjay Dutt.
- His men shot Ajit Diwani, Personal Secretary of actress Manisha Koirala in January 2001.
- Extortion of money from prominent businessmen and actors.
- His men tried to kill Aamir Khan, Ashutosh Gowarikar and Jhamu Sughand in October 2001.
- He also tried to kill Rajiv Rai, Rakesh Roshan and Manmohan Shetty.
- On 7 June 2018, a Delhi Court convicted him for 7 years imprisonment on charges of extorting Rs. 5 Crore from a businessman, Ashok Gupta in the year 2002.
Abu Salem is currently convicted of murder of builder Pradeep Jain, the 1993 blasts and serving life imprisonment in Taloja Prison in Navi Mumbai.
Although the Indian government had given an assurance to Portugal that he shall not be convicted with death sentence or imprisonment exceeding a term of 25 years, Salem was convicted with life imprisonment by the TADA Court in 2017.
In 2018, he filed for a 40-day parole to get married, but it was denied by the Court. In April 2020, he pleaded in the Lisbon Court that the Indian Government was violating the extradition agreement, but that too was shot down.