Thiruvananthapuram: Mohammad Salih, the prime accused in the Radio Jockey (RJ) Rajesh murder case, was arrested by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by Thiruvananthapuram Rural police on Tuesday. The accused was handed over to the police by immigration officials who detained him when he arrived at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport. A lookout notice had already been issued against him.
The police had made informal arrangements with Salih’s sponsor in Qatar to force him back to Kerala. He arrived here on a Jet Airways flight at 9 a.m. and was masked and taken to Kollam for evidence gathering. An identification parade will be held in the coming days. As per police officials, Salih, a gymnasium instructor, confessed that had given a word to his client Abdul Sathar, an NRI businessman, that he will eliminate Rajesh. The slain Rajesh was allegedly involved in a relation with Sathar’s wife, a dance teacher. He would lament frequently about Rajesh destroying his family life and had wanted to finish him.
Salih had reportedly flown down to Kerala and assembled a hit squad which killed Rajesh at Madavoor last month. Meanwhile, the police also recorded the arrest of one more member of the hit squad. The accused was identified as Tansir, 26, of Karunagappally. The SIT is trying to arrest Appunni and Abdul Sathar who gave the contract for murder. The police were also attempting to summon the woman linked to Rajesh. She had recently given interviews to a media organisation in Qatar claiming that she had divorced Sathar. She used to monetarily help Rajesh who had lost his job at a radio station in Qatar, she said. She was reportedly talking to Rajesh over phone when he was hacked to death. She also attempted to call some of his friends and alert them about the attack.
Cops convinced sponsor to send back accused
The informal operations of the state police helped in swiftly securing the extradition of the key accused in the murder of radio jockey Rajesh from Qatar, even though India has no extradition treaty with Qatar. According to police sources, the extradition of Mohammed Salih (alias Salih Bin Jalala and Ali Bhai) could be made possible by putting pressure on his foreign sponsor through Interpol.
“We informed the Arab sponsor of Salih through Interpol about Salih’s involvement in the murder case. Supporting evidence also had to be provided to convince Interpol officials. Subsequently, the sponsor cancelled his visa and hence he was forced to leave the country,” said a police official. Though the police tried a similar operation to bring Qatar-based businessman Abdul Sathar, who was suspected to have given the quotation for the murder, it was yet to work as there was a travel ban on him in Qatar. Police sources said that even in case of countries with which India had an extradition treaty, the police used to adopt such informal modus operandi to extradite accused in order to avoid delay.
“Extraditing the accused through proper channels involves lot of paperwork and formalities. It would take considerable time. The latest instance of formal extradition initiated by the state police was that of the Romanian accused in the ATM scam. Ianut Alexander Marino was extradited from Nicaragua and the formalities took several months,” police sources said. According to the police, the Arab sponsors or foreign police agencies would be cooperating with such informal extradition operations only in cases like murder. India has formal extradition treaties with 37 countries and extradition arrangements with eight countries.