The Dirty Dozen: A glimpse at the thrilling lives of notorious hitmen

Book : The Dirty Dozen: Hitmen of the Mumbai Underworld
Author – Gabriel Khan
Genre – Non-Fiction/Crime
Publishers – Westland Publications Ltd

‘Jiski Nazar Game Se Hati, Samjho Woh Game Se Hata’ – lines from movie ‘Company’

Crime novels are toast of town. Out of 100% readers, seventy percent opt for meaty, racy and action-packed non-fiction crime thrillers based on real events. Author S.Hussain Zaidi is the most loved author of every reader who craves for crime genre.

After ‘Black Friday’, his books on crime world – Dongri to Dubai, Byculla to Bangkok, Mafia Queens of Mumbai and My Name is Abu Salem were instant best-sellers. Now Zaidi is proud to present his co-writer and senior colleague’s book – The Dirty Dozen: Hitmen of the Mumbai Underworld to readers of crime genre. Zaidi has backed this book by taking the responsibility of editing this non-fiction crime thriller.

After co-authoring ‘Mumbai Avengers’, writer Gabriel Khan gives you an inner glimpse at the racy stories of infamous hitmen of Mumbai Mafia who terrorized the city with their guns and ruthlessness. The money, fame behind the underworld has always captivated the petty youngsters. They would kill for living and live for killing on the orders of their boss. Compared to today’s times, there were less job prospects for youngsters except working in Mill companies. The shutting down of mill companies in 80’s reduced the mill workers to poverty and hunger. The flaming hunger in jobless youngsters’ stomach provoked them to enter crime world as henchmen or sharp shooters. Local gangsters and top notch mafias took advantage of these youngsters’ conditions and utilized them as per their benefit. It was no wonder that the Mumbai’s crime lords were more lethal than the Sicilian Mafias.

Read any chapter about these local hitmen in this book and it will remind you of several Bollywood crime movies like Satya, Company, Vaastav, Hathyar, Daddy and Once upon a time in Mumbai. This book is result of rigorous research gone behind penning the infamous stories of trigger-happy hitmen. These hitmen were public enemies of city. I like to salute the Mumbai Cops for eliminating the terror of these ruthless henchmen. The first official shootout took place in Wadala when the braveheart Mumbai cops gunned down the dreaded gangster Manya Surve in 80’s. The encounter of Manya Surve was a game changer in history of Mumbai Police.

In one of the chapters in this book you will read how encounter specialists – Daya Nayak and Pradeep Sharma along with an elite police team hunted down the infamous gangster Saadiq Kalia and ended his terror by shooting him down at Dadar’s flower market. Saadiq was so dangerous that he killed his own brother-in-law to enlist himself in a gang. Maya Dolas was one gangster whose encounter made headlines in all news channels in 90’s. The shootout at Swati building in Lokhandwala area became a battle ground between cops and the gangsters. The dreaded gangster Maya was killed in this encounter along with his team. This famous shootout became a subject for Bollywood in 2007’s movie – Shoot out at Lokhandwala starring Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty and Vivek Oberoi as the gangster Maya.

What fascinated me most in this book was the story of Hussain Ustara. He was a local, petty don who ran his small gang. Ustara’s character was featured in Zaidi’s book – The Mafia Queens of Mumbai. Ustara was killed by his rivals. To know more about Ustara, you have to read ‘The Dirty Dozen’.

Several dreaded henchmen from crime archives walk the pages in this non-fiction crime saga penned by Gabriel Khan. Some hitmen were killed in police encounter while were some targets of gang rivalry. These hitmen were not bravado, but cowards obsessed by their weapons.

Fast paced action, intense drama, intriguing subplots and interesting trivia on Mumbai’s crime stories makes ‘The Dirty Dozen’ a racy read. All the stories in this non-fiction will remind you of numerous Bollywood gangster flicks. Overall it is an engrossing book to keep you hooked right from the prologue to the gripping epilogue. The Dirty Dozen by Gabriel Khan is one of the best books I thoroughly enjoyed after Mario Puzo’s The God father and Zaidi’s Byculla to Bangkok.

If you loved reading ‘The dirty Dozen’, do read ‘Bhais of Bengaluru, a new non-fiction crime novel by debutante author Jyoti Shelar.

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2 Replies to “The Dirty Dozen: A glimpse at the thrilling lives of notorious hitmen”

  1. Lovely and fast-paced review of what ought to be a classic grim tale of real life gangsters in Bombay over the years. Superb article.

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