May 25, 2020
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Dawood's Men

Associates of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim seem to be scattered all over India, Pakistan and Dubai. Who are they?

Dawood's Men

The Ministry of Home Affairs report on Dawood Ibrahim, which was submitted to the Vohra Committee but was not tabled in Parliament, lists, among others, godman Chandraswami, Ramesh Sharma (a Delhi-based Congress worker), the notorious criminal Babloo Srivastava and Raful Amin Punjwar of Dargah Nizamuddin, Delhi, as being "close associates of Dawood".

Despite the report, no action was taken against Chandraswami who is said to be close to both Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and Home Minister S.B. Chavan.

In all, the 12-page report has named 26 underworld operators in Dubai and Bombay as Dawood's men. The names of 11 persons in Bombay figure in the list of builders close to Dawood.

Based on the statement made by Usman Ghani, an accused in the Bombay blasts case, the report talks of Dawood's involvement in the assassination of the BJP MLA from Bombay, Prem Kumar Sharma, and the killings of Shiv Sena MLC Ramesh More, Sena MLA Vitthal Chauhan and Congress MLA, Syed Ziauddin Bukhari.

The report also reveals that Ramesh Sharma, who was "once close to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi", still "keeps on visiting Dubai to meet Dawood". The underworld don invested Rs 3 crore through him for the purchase of a plot of land adjacent to the Sun 'n' Sand hotel at Juhu, Bombay.

Six of Dawood's associates are in Pakistan. Among those named are Raja Ashfaq, a minister in the Nawaz Sharif government, Mehboob, the Pakistan consul-general in Dubai, and Akbar, a senior ISI official.

The report also gives details of how the Bombay blasts were planned. Between January 11 and January 15, 1993, nine persons including Dawood and Tiger Memon held meetings in Dubai. It was during these meetings, reportedly held around a "billiard table", that Dawood disclosed to those present that he had sent a consignment of weapons to Maharashtra.

Among those involved in the Bombay blasts plot were Raja Ashfaq and ISI official Akbar. Other than Dawood and Tiger Memon, three of those accused in the blasts case are now in hiding in Dubai.

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