Former Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar’s claim that he spoke thrice to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, who wanted to come clean on his role in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, snowballed into a controversy on Saturday with political parties seeking clarity on the issue and questioning Kumar’s decades-old silence.
HT on Saturday reported about Kumar’s upcoming book in which he has referred to these conversations. Kumar on Saturday clarified that it was Dawood’s trusted aide Manish Lala who told him that the fugitive mobster wanted to surrender. Dawood kept defending himself rather than talk about surrender, Kumar said.
HT had cleared with Kumar the quotes attributed to him in Saturday’s report.
But Neeraj Kumar’s boss in the CBI, then joint director Shantanu Sen told HT that Dawood wanted conditional surrender. “Neeraj had conversations with Dawood who wanted to surrender but the gangster had put a condition that he should be tried only in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and the rest of the cases should be dropped. But it was not acceptable to us. An accused cannot put any conditions for his or her surrender. Therefore we rejected the offer,” Sen told HT.
Sen said there was no political pressure on the CBI to reject Dawood’s offer of surrender.
“It was our decision to reject the offer. After that there was no point in talking to Dawood. Therefore, Neeraj stopped talking to him. He should have told HT the reason of discontinuing talking to Dawood,” Sen said.