Jan 7, 2009

Gangs of Mumbai - underworld players

Once upon a time, Dawood Ibrahim controlled entire Mumbai. Now with Chhota Shakil, Chhota Rajan, Arun Gawli, and Ashwin Naik claiming their share on the city, the underworld is decidedly communal with Hindus against Muslims. 

The battle has essentially narrowed between Rajan and Shakil with others supporting one of them. Ashwin Naik supports Shakil from London. Rajan has support from Gawli. Here's a current map of Mumbai with the names of the controlling gangsters.

Chota Rajan used to work with Dawood before the 1993 blasts in Mumbai. However, after the blasts Rajan blamed Dawood for being anti-Hindu and anti-national and vowed to kill all 180 considered guilty. Rajan formed his own gang.

In 2000, Dawood tracked down Rajan in Bangkok. Shakil led the hit. In a typical Bollywood style, Shakil's men posed as pizza delivery men. Rajan made a daring escape by running away over the top of Bangkok rooftops. He was shot, but recovered and evaded capture by the authorities.

For a while, the Hindu political parties were supporting the Hindu gangsters. Current relationship is not as overt. State intelligence agencies, however, may be using links with these underworld individuals. Recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai (11/26/08) have brought the relationship between Pakistan's ISI and Dawood to forefront.