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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 February, 2003, 15:33 GMT
Bombay 'gangsters' in court
One of two alleged associates of Dawood Ibrahim arrive at Mumbai airport
The two arrived in Bombay amid tight security
Two men suspected of being key figures in organised crime have appeared in court in India, after being extradited from the United Arab Emirates.

Ejaz Pathan, an alleged aide to Bombay crime boss Dawood Ibrahim, and Iqbal Kaskar, the gang leader's younger brother, have been remanded in police custody.

Police in Bombay, also called Mumbai, have linked the two men to a series of bomb blasts in the city in 1993, in which hundreds of people died.

Meanwhile, Portugal has agreed to hand over another major Indian underworld figure, Delhi says.

Abu Salem was arrested in Lisbon last autumn and is also accused of a leading role in the 1993 blasts.

Death penalty

Dawood Ibrahim is one of the Bombay underworld's most wanted leaders.

The state government in Maharashtra, of which Bombay is the capital, says it may charge his alleged accomplices under new anti-terrorism laws.

These two were not only a problem for Bombay but for the people of the entire nation
Maharashtra chief minister Chaggan Bhujbal
The two men have also been linked to a number of cases of murder, kidnap and extortion.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chaggan Bhujbal said securing their deportation had been "a big achievement".

"These two were not only a problem for Bombay but for the people of the entire nation," he told AFP news agency.

If the two suspects are found guilty under the planned charges they could face the death penalty.

They were both detained by authorities in Dubai earlier this month and were deported following a request from the Indian home ministry.

Karachi

Dawood Ibrahim is currently believed to be operating from Karachi in Pakistan.

A car blown out after th 1993 blast in Bombay
The bombs in 1993 caused massive damage
Bombay police commissioner RS Sharma said: "We have got two small fish. The big fish [Dawood Ibrahim] will also come. Efforts are on in that direction."

Under a recent agreement, Dubai has begun extraditing suspects to India.

The first person to be deported was Aftab Ansari, who is accused of involvement in a shoot-out at the American Centre in Calcutta last year.

The extradition of two other men allegedly involved in a deadly Bombay blast last December has also been secured.

Iqbal Ibrahim Kaskar was arrested by the Dubai police on two earlier occasions - but released for lack of evidence.





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SEE ALSO:
Bombay gangster arrested in Dubai
09 Dec 02 |  South Asia
Gunmen attack US centre in Calcutta
22 Jan 02 |  South Asia


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