In a shocking disclosure aired on Monday by two private television channels, it was alleged that music composer Nadeem Saifi of the Nadeem-Shravan duo may be under the protection of absconding mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar. The revelation reportedly came in some intercepted phone calls of Dawood and his aides which were aired by private news channels India Today TV and Aaj Tak TV on Monday evening. The telephonic conversations purportedly between Dawood and his henchmen in Dubai and London suggest that Nadeem, currently in self-exile in the United Kingdom, may be enjoying protection from the don. The authenticity of the clips aired on TV could not be independently verified. An associate of Dawood, who called up, used code-words like “Ustad”, “London Friend” etc, which apparently referred to Nadeem and the three intercepted calls were made in early 2015, according to the channels. 

Nadeem is wanted for the August 12, 1997, killing of New Delhi-based fruit juice vendor-turned-music baron and founder of the T-Series of Super Cassettes Industries Ltd Gulshan Kumar. The then 46-year-old music industry mogul was brutally gunned down by three unidentified assailants outside a Shiva Temple in Andheri. Nadeem is one of the suspects in this case. Earlier, the Indian government had lost a plea seeking his extradition to India before the British courts and Nadeem continues to live there since the past 20 years. It was alleged that the late Gulshan Kumar had some personal disputes with Nadeem besides his refusal to pay extortion monies reportedly demanded by the don’s gang. Later in 2001, a person named Abdul Rauf Merchant confessed to Kumar’s killing and was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment.

The TV channels said that Dawood’s voice in the audio clips of the telephonic conversations have been confirmed by police, intelligence sources and others. Now, the channels have said they plan to hand over the audio tapes to Mumbai’s Thane police which arrested Dawood’s younger brother Iqbal Ibrahim Kaskar in connection with several extortion cases filed against him. During his interrogation by the Thane police Anti-Extortion Cell, Iqbal has, among other things, revealed that Dawood — wanted for several major crimes in India, including the March 12, 1993, Mumbai serial bomb blasts — is hale and hearty and living in Pakistan.