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Will Gulshan Kumar’s killer be extradited?

Daud Merchant is also a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim and was sentenced to life term in India for killing Gulshan Kumar.

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Abdur Rauf Daud Merchant who was awarded life sentence in India for the murder of music baron Gulshan Kumar has been released from jail after a Dhaka court freed him of a case filed under section 54. Daud, a suspected associate of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, went out of Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj around 4:30 pm on Sunday. Daud Merchant was lodged in Bangladesh prison for five years after he trespassed into the country in 2009. The question which arises here is whether Bangladesh will extradite Merchant to India? Home Minister Of Bangladesh Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal failed to clarify whether Daud will be handed over to India where he is to stand trial.

“He (Merchant) has been released after completion of legal procedure. His prison term for illegal trespass into Bangladesh ended some time ago,” said Asaduzzaman Khan.

Merchant was granted bail in December 2014, and was subsequently released from Kashimpur Central Jail in Gazipur. He, however, was rearrested from outside the jail.

Daud was then produced before a Dhaka court, which placed him on a three-day remand in the case filed under section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for suspicious movement. Jail authorities said they were waiting to get the court’s paper before releasing him.

According to Section-54 of the Penal Code maximum detention is one month but Merchant was kept behind bars for much longer without explanation.

On August 12, 1997, Gulshan Kumar was shot while he was coming out of a temple. Merchant, however, filed an appeal against his conviction. Mumbai police said he absconded after being released on parole in April, 2009 to visit his family in Mumbra, a small town about 40 km from Mumbai. Detectives arrested him in the same year from Brahmanbarhia’s Mourail, with two associates, while he was hiding in the residence of one Kamal Mian. He was sentenced to five years jail for illegal trespass.

Merchant was produced in a Dhaka court the next day. He was remanded into police custody in a case filed under Section-54 for suspicious behaviour.

In January, the home minister said Dhaka was working to extradite him.

As per media reports steps to extradite a few Indian nationals, like Merchant, were initiated after the extradition of ULFA leader Anup Chetia from Bangladesh and Narayanganj seven-murder prime suspect Nur Hossain from India.

After a meeting between the home secretaries there were plans to extradite Merchant. The Indian government had demanded the extradition of three members of armed group Asif Reza Commando Force— Maulana Mansur Ali Habibullah, Mufti Obaidullah alias Abu Zafar, Maulana Emdadullah and top Kolkata criminals Zahid Sheikh and Arif Hussain.

On the other hand, Dhaka wanted top criminal Subrata Bain, prime suspect in Gazipur MP Ahsanullah Master’s murder ‘Dipu’, Islami Chhatra Shibir Chittagong chapter leader Sajjad Hossain and extremist leader Mukta Hossain, among others to be extradited.

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