Dawood, the elusive don who mocks India
Dawood Ibrahim is back in the limelight again. News of Dawood suffering from gangrene and possibility of him declaring a successor has rekindled discussion about the dreaded don and what he means to India. Indian security establishment’s efforts to nab him have never made any headway. Why India failed to do a operation Neptune Spear, which killed Osama bin laden, on Dawood?
Dawood the founder of the 5000 member crime syndicate D–Company is in the list of world’s 10 most wanted men. After 1993 Bombay bombings, which India considers was masterminded by Dawood and his associates, he is the country’s most wanted man. US declared Dawood a specially designated global terrorist in 2003. The Congressional report claimed that D Company is aligned with Pakistan’s secret services, the ISI. India believes he is operating from Karachi, after he fled Mumbai.
Despite all this, how he continues to be elusive is a question which may not get easy answers.
Last year, former special secretary with cabinet secretariat V Balachandran disclosed that the Narasimha Rao government ignored South Africa’s offer to help India to nab him in 1994. It was time when Dawood was using African continent as a destination and a transit point for Europe and America. Balachandran was reported as saying that the concrete proposal prepared with South Africa’s National Intelligence Services (NIS) was presented to Narasimha Rao government. But, he claims government did not respond to that proposal
After the Bombay blasts there were reports that Dawood was contemplating a plan to surrender before the CBI. This news was later corroborated by the CBI DIG Neeraj Kumar, who revealed that for surrendering Dawood has put forward some conditions and the government did not agree with conditional surrender.
Several reports were published regarding the Research Analysis Wing’s (RAW) plan to execute Dawood in 1994 when India’s external intelligence agency came to know about his residence. The plan, the reports said, was to send specially trained executors to Karachi’s upscale Clifton neighbourhood where Dawood is believed to be staying. Reports even said that the assassins were flown to Karachi through Kathmandu. But at the last minute government ordered the plan to be put on hold. Like the earlier one, this story also did get any government response.
In 2005, India got the biggest lead on Dawood when his daughter’s marriage with former Pakistan cricketer Javed Miandad’s son was fixed. Dawood attended the wedding ceremony. But Indian intelligence could not use the opportunity.
There were reports in 2013 India planned to kill Dawood through a secret mission. But reports later emerged said the plan was dropped last minute.
When Narendra Modi became the prime minister, there were increased interests in Dawood. There appeared different stories on government’s plan to execute Dawood.
Now when the reports of his failing health is widely circulated, the elusive Dawood once again is making headlines. Some times as a man who continues to make mockery of India’s intelligence apparatus, or other times as what will happen to D-Company if the news of his illness is true. In all cases, Dawood continues as a hot subject for security establishment and crime followers.