No serious effort to bring back Dawood in the last 20 years!
It was in 1994 that India last made any serious attempt to bring Dawood Ibrahim back to India. During this two-decade span, all we have seen is mere media posturing by politicians.
Security experts tell Vicky Nanjappa that the fact that Dawood may spill the beans on his links with prominent politicians, businessmen and film personalities if he is nabbed can be the reason behind the lacklustre attitude.
When was the last real attempt made to either kill or bring underworld don Dawood Ibrahim back to India? The answer is 1994; and since then there has been no attempt whatsoever barring some media posturing by our politicians.
A lot of our politicians have adopted a very safe path by saying that the India’s most wanted terrorist is shielded by Pakistan and hence “we cannot get him back”.
However, many in the security agencies do point out that although getting him back is very difficult, it is not impossible provided there is a will.
There is a lot that is at stake if Dawood is brought back to India. If interrogated thoroughly he will open the can of worms on a shady Rs 72 crore hawala deal that he made in Maharashtra in 1992, just a year before the Mumbai serial blasts.
A lot will spill out following this and he would name politicians, businessmen, film actors, producers, distributors and police officers who continue to be linked to him.
Former Home Secretary R K Singh said on Monday that Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde was lying when he said that India would get Dawood back. It was also said that the American Federal Bureau of Investigation provided no help at all regarding the capture of Dawood.
Intelligence Bureau sources tell Rediff.com the FBI has stayed away from Dawood as he has not posed any threat to them and hence they would not help India.
Moreover the Americans would not like to pull out India’s most wanted man from Pakistan and run the risk of ruining relations over there.
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Image: Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim
The botched plan to assassinate Dawood
Now getting back to India’s tryst with Dawood -- it dates back to 1994, a year after the Bombay serial blasts. As a matter of fact the last time that India really made an effort to bring Dawood back or kill him in Karachi was in 1994.
There were two attempts that were made and the plan was set. However, according to officers present in the establishment at that time, the plan was aborted at the behest of the government of India. No concrete reasons were stated as to why the plan was aborted.
As per the plan, an approval to either assassinate or capture him was given. A team had gone to Kathmandu and were to leave for Karachi from there. The arms for the operation were to be smuggled in later. When the officials pointed out to the government that they will be able to carry out an operation to bring him back, the same was aborted for some strange reason.
Dawood no doubt is an asset to the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence and lives in Clifton, Block 4, Karachi, near Café Flo which is a plush locality. It is his money that funds a large part of the ISI’s operations. While many believe that it would be impossible to bring him back from Pakistan, there are a good number of officers who feel that India’s stand on Dawood has always been that of posturing.
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'It's very difficult to nab Dawood if he's in Pakistan'
Former Home Secretary G K Pillai says that India has a chance of capturing Dawood Ibrahim.
“However it is very tough as long as he is in Pakistan. If the mindset in Pakistan does change then there is a good chance of bringing him back from there. However what we need to do is closely monitor his movements and get him when he moves out of Pakistan. However his moving out of Pakistan is unlikely,” Pillai says.
However, Amar Bhushan, former officer with the Research and Analysis Wing, says that India can never get hold of him.
“It is all posturing and I don’t think we can ever bank on the Americans to help us in this regard. Our approach has been very ham-handed and often we have been slow to react,” Bhushan points out.
He further says that no one is really serious about nabbing Dawood and none are interested too.
“Everyone in India knows what Dawood does and where he is. There is a reason why there is such a lacklustre approach. If he is brought down he will spill the beans on a lot of politicians. Once we start interrogating him he will involve many politicians, officers and also many from the film industry,” Bhushan says.
V Balachandran, former RAW official, says, “First and foremost what we need to understand is the gravity of the case. Do we have enough evidence against him? What if we have half-baked information and then after bringing him it ends in an acquittal. He becomes a power centre in Mumbai and can we afford that?”
“A lot of the statements that are made regarding Dawood are just posturing before the media. I would also like to add that quoting the FBI in this case is not right. The FBI is not a world police and it is the Interpol that needs to help us in bringing Dawood Ibrahim back to India,” he notes.
Image: Former Home Secretary G K Pillai