The many mysteries surrounding underworld don Dawood Ibrahim

May 13, 2016, 18:21 IST | A Correspondent

Dreaded gangster Dawood Ibrahim is back in the news after a news channel claimed to have located his home in Karachi. Even so, he continues to remain elusive. A look at the man and his mysteries

Dreaded gangster Dawood Ibrahim is back in the news after a news channel claimed to have located his home in Karachi, Pakistan. Even so, he continues to remain elusive. Here’s a look at the man and his mysteries.

Dawood Ibrahim's address revealed? A news channel recently claimed to have located the home of the underworld don in Pakistan, Karachi. Dawood has been on the run for 23 years since 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, which killed more than 257 people and injured 700 others. A News18 report claimed that they had tracked down Dawood's house in Pakistan and it's D 13, Block 4, Clifton, Karachi. The information is based on interviews of local Karachiites and alleged bodyguard's of the underworld don. The security guards did not deny that the bungalow belonged to a man named Dawood Ibrahim, while the locals all pointed them in the same direction when asked about Dawood Ibrahim's house.

When Dawood entered the Indian cricket team's dressing room: Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar, while addressing a gathering at Jalgaon in October 2013, reportedly revealed that the underworld king Dawood entered the Indian team’s dressing room, offering the players cars if they won the Sharjah Cup in 1987. The offer was turned down by the team and Pakistan went on to beat India. A player from that Indian team then told mid-day that skipper Kapil Dev discovered there were two ‘visitors’ — actor Mehmood and Dawood — in the dressing room on his return from a media conference. Since the captain wanted to have a team meeting before the important final clash against Pakistan, he asked the duo to leave. It is then learnt that a snubbed Dawood walked out and uttered to Mehmood: “car cancel.”

Thane drug bust case: Was D-Company one of the clients? Was the recent haul of ephedrine worth Rs 2,000 crore just a small fry in the notorious D-Company’s drug smuggling syndicate? The Thane police, which busted the racket last month with the seizure of 20,000 kg of drugs from Thane and Solapur, suspect that the ringleaders of the racket had supplied drugs to Dawood and his key aide, Chhota Shakeel. Manoj Jain, director of pharma company Avon Life Science Limited in Solapur, whose factory manufactured the seized ephedrine, and Punit Sringi, the director in-charge of the factory — who were arrested recently — have reportedly told the police that ringleaders Jay Mukhi and Kishore Rathod — son of former MLA Bhavsingh Rathod — had three months ago visited Dubai to supply drugs to an associate of Ibrahim, India’s most wanted criminal.

Govinda sought Dawood's help to defeat me, says Ram Naik: Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik recently claimed that Bollywood actor and former Member of Parliament Govinda sought help from the underworld don to defeat him in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections in Mumbai North. Govinda, however, denied the claim and asked Naik not to damage his image and film career. Naik has made the claim in his memoir 'Chaireveti, Chaireveti' (Keep Moving) written in Marathi, which was released recently. Naik claimed Govinda was a "friend of Dawood and also Hitendra Thakur, who aided him in terrorising voters" to defeat him in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North constituency. The senior BJP leader and former Union Minister also said he found it difficult to come to terms with his defeat by just 11,000 votes.

Does Dawood have gangrene? According to a TV report last month, Dawood is suffering from gangrene, and his legs may even have to be amputated. According to doctors treating the gangster, his gangrene is at a highly advanced stage, and hence there is a great risk of him having to lose both his legs. The report further claimed that an immobile Dawood was being treated at his posh residence in Clifton neighbourhood of Karachi, and was being attended to by doctors from Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi, and the Combined Military Hospital, Karachi. On the contrary, Dawood's trusted aide Chhota Shakeel had told TOI that the gangster is ‘fit’. Terming the reports as rumours to obstruct D-company's business interests, Shakeel was quoted by the paper as saying, “Aapki agencies ke pass galat khabar hai. Ye sab rumours hain. Bhai bilkul fit hain. Sehatmand hain (Your agencies have wrong information. Dawood is perfectly fit).”

'Dawood, Chhota Shakeel offered to surrender to Pawar govt': Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani stirred a hornet's nest, in July 2015, when he claimed that Dawood and his close associate, Chhota Shakeel, had offered to surrender to Indian authorities in the 90s, but the then-Maharashtra chief minister Sharad Pawar had rejected the offer. Media reports quoted Jethmalani as saying that Shakeel had contacted him in London with the offer and had asked that both dons be kept under house arrest during the trial, but the state government had been unable to guarantee the same. "Dawood said that he was ready to come back, but needed assurance from the government that they will not use third degree... and will keep him under house arrest. He said that he was ready to face the punishment if he was wrong," Jethmalani said.

Bollywood link: Mandakini, who created a stir with her bathing scenes in Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985), was linked to the underworld don. A theory suggested that she had moved to Dubai to be with him, though the actress denied all rumours. Now she runs a centre for Tibetan medicine. On her association with Dawood, she had earlier told mid-day, in an interview, "I don't want people to connect me with Dawood any more or even think of that unfortunate episode. That's in the past now. I feel very bad that the media still wants to cash in on my name and make it as controversial as possible… I cleared my stand at that point of time. After some time, you get irritated. If you want to clean your image, it does not mean you have to give a statement every six months." (Read full interview here)

Dawood only Indian on UK assets freeze list: As per a news report in February 2016, the underworld don is the only ‘Indian national’ on a newly updated list of financial sanctions by the UK that also includes Sikh terror groups. Dawood, against whom an international arrest warrant has been issued, appears on the UK Treasury department’s ‘Consolidated List of Financial Sanctions Targets in the UK’, with four recorded addresses in Pakistan — all in Karachi. "Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar" is recorded to have lived at: House No 37, 30th Street - defence, Housing Authority, Karachi, Pakistan; House no. 29, Margalla Road, F 6/2 Street no. 22, Karachi, Pakistan; Noorabad, Karachi, Pakistan (Palatial bungalow in the hilly area); and White House, Near Saudi Mosque, Clifton, Karachi, Pakistan. The Mumbai-born gangster's nationality was listed as "Indian", with a recorded Indian passport, which was subsequently revoked by the government of India. A string of Indian and Pakistani passports acquired by him and misused were also listed.

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