"These may not be the biggest fish, but at least it’s a start. The arrests will help us gather more information on Dawood," Mumbai police commissioner R.S. Sharma said. The Dubai authorities have clearly chosen not to send across the real biggies like Mohammed Dossa and Dawood’s brother Noora, who were also detained at the same time. The fourth of Dawood’s six brothers, Iqbal’s role in the gang is marginal. Also, the Mumbai police do not have much dope on him. Iqbal has one murder case against him—that of a customs informant called Ravindra Singh—registered in 1998.
The deportation of Ejaz Pathan is more significant. He was one of the key accused in the 1993 Bombay blasts and was charged with landing AK-56 guns and explosives in Gujarat just prior to the attack. Pathan also played a major role in the gang’s smuggling operations. Pathan had had a close shave when Dawood had him shot at in 1996 in Karachi after they fell out.
There is more good news for the Mumbai police. The government announced the scoop on the floor of the Rajya Sabha: the Portuguese government has agreed to hand over Abu Salem, the other biggie wanted by India. This despite there being no extradition treaty till now between the two countries.