Dossa loved popcorn and had packets with him at all times. Illustration/Ravi Jadhav
The Arthur Road Jail will have no more iftaar parties or sehri treats, as their patron Mustafa Dossa, fondly known as 'Dayawan', the generous man, is no more. Abdul Wahid Shaikh, an accused in the July 11, 2006 bomb blasts who was later acquitted, spent almost nine years of his jail term with Dossa.
A bed, mattress and TV
"How can I forget the man? We had lunch, dinner, played badminton and cricket and also read newspapers. I spent almost 9 years with him in the jail," said Shaikh.
In circle number 10 of the Arthur Road Jail, Mustafa Dossa was given a special room through a court order, where he had a proper bed, mattress and a TV.
Shaikh said Dossa was a kind man. "He used to see to it that proper sehri, iftaar and dinner is served to the inmates during Ramzan. He even sent a money order of Rs 2,000 for around 500 inmates in 2012, a total of Rs 10 lakh," added Shaikh.
Shaikh claimed jail authorities had tried to stop all of Dossa's facilities for inmates, but he would come up with new ideas, but that too with permission from court.
Diwali was also celebrated in a grand way. "He would fulfil the demands of all jail authorities, from the seniors to the constables, by giving them TVs, ACs, home theatre, anything they demanded. It was an order," added an inmate.
Branded man, branded clothes
Dossa kept up quite the lavish lifestyle. "Usually, he used to wear a white lungi and kurta. He'd wear a new dress every time he went to court and get a new one while coming back. He was a branded man wearing branded clothes. He'd shown me a diamond-studded watch he was wearing worth Rs 70 lakh," said an inmate.
Dossa's day began at 5 am with tea and a cigarette, after which he'd exercise and then head to court.
"He used to get homemade tiffin in court. If he was not going to court, he'd get tiffin in jail, then snacks at 4 pm. Almost 10-15 inmates would serve him daily by washing his clothes, ironing them and serving him medicine, as well as massaging him," said an inmate.
Dossa would also hold darbars in jail on weekends where he'd solve inmates' problems.
"Dossa was the king of the jail and the jail authorities too used to follow him many times," added Shaikh.
Rs 10L Amount he sent in money orders to 500 inmates
Dossa attended a conspiratorial meeting at the residence of brother Mohammad Dossa in Dubai between December 1992 and January 1993, along with other absconding accused — Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon, Eijaz Pathan and Ayub Memon. In the second week of January 1993, Dossa sent arms and ammunition from Dubai to Dighi Jetty in Raigad district. Later, Dossa received other co-accused at the Dubai airport and arranged for their visa and stay in Deira Tower. He took them to the residence of Dawood Ibrahim for a conspiratorial meeting. Dossa also made arrangements for the journey of fellow accused to Pakistan for arms training and then sent them to Mumbai to commit acts of terror.
Money and manpower
Former Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria says that Dossa was the biggest catch among those arrested for the 1993 blasts. "Dossa had developed a huge network of boys in Mumbai, and monetarily, was very resourceful in the Mumbai underworld. Therefore, ISI picked them for this terrorist act against India," Maria said.