We're not aware of Dawood Ibrahim's location: Govt
Gangster Dawood Ibrahim's location is not known and his extradition process will be initiated once he is located, government told Lok Sabha on Tuesday.india Updated: May 06, 2015 02:01 IST
The government was left red-faced on Tuesday when it contradicted its position that gangster Dawood Ibrahim is in Pakistan by informing Parliament that it was not aware of his whereabouts.
Though successive governments have asserted over the past two decades that the most wanted terrorist is in Pakistan, minister of state for home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary told Lok Sabha that extradition proceedings could be initiated only when Ibrahim is located.
"The UN Security Council has also issued a special notice against him. The subject has not been located so far. Extradition process with regard to Dawood Ibrahim would be initiated once the subject is located," Chaudhary said in a written reply.
Following criticism of the minister’s response, official sources said the government is expected to make a statement in parliament on Wednesday to clarify the matter.
The lapse was all the more embarrassing as it emerged that the previous UPA government had handed over a dossier to Pakistan in 2012 that listed three addresses for Dawood and the numbers of three Pakistani passports that he was believed to be using.
Last December, after reports suggested that a Western intelligence agency had traced Dawood to the port city of Karachi by intercepting his phone calls, home minister Rajnath Singh said New Delhi had asked Islamabad to hand him over.
"We have repeatedly asked Pakistan to hand over Dawood Ibrahim. Let's be patient, action will be taken soon," Singh had said.
Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju, too, said the reported intercepts would strengthen India's stand.
"Evidence of Dawood residing in Pakistan was always there. We have repeatedly asked Pakistan to hand him over. This latest evidence has made our case stronger," Rijiju had said.
Dawood Ibrahim was accused of involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bomb attacks that killed 257 people and injured hundreds more. The Interpol has issued a Red Corner notice against him and he has been sanctioned by the US and UN.
The Indian government has for long said that Ibrahim has been living in Pakistan with the backing of that country's security and intelligence establishment. India had handed over to Pakistan several dossiers on India's most wanted fugitive, giving details about where he is staying.
Experts and former security officials have expressed doubts about the information given by the government in Parliament.
Former home secretary G K Pillai told Hindustan Times that Dawood Ibrahim is in Pakistan. "As long as he has the blessings of the Pakistan government and the ISI, he is unlikely to be brought to justice even though he has been declared an international terrorist," he said.
Rajendra Kumar, a former special director of the Intelligence Bureau who tracked Ibrahim, said: "Dawood cannot move out of Pakistan…We must continue to put pressure on Pakistan."
When President Barack Obama visited New Delhi in January, India and the US agreed to make "concerted efforts to disrupt entities such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, D Company and the Haqqani Network". D company is the name given by India to Ibrahim's criminal and terrorist network.
(With inputs from PTI)