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'Dawood once wanted to surrender'

Ram Jethmalani says the underworld don wanted to surrender but on the condition that he would not be tortured.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2006 11:50 IST
United News of India
United News of India

Former law minister and Rajya Sabha member Ram Jethmalani has revealed that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, one of the prime accused in 1993 Mumbai blasts, wanted to surrender.

However, he had put a condition that he would not be 'tortured', a proposal that was rejected by the Maharashtra government.

Taking part in an interview, Jethmalani, also a veteran lawyer, said the fugitive had spoken to him on telephone to convey his conditions to then chief minister Sharad Pawar that he should not be tortured and be kept in house arrest, instead of a jail.

Pawar, in turn, discussed the proposal with police, who turned it down.

He said the elusive fugitive had made contact in London during one of his visits. Asked if he was still in touch with Dawood, he said: "Once refused, there is no meaning in contacting him again."

Although Jethmalani refrained from making any direct comment upon police's refusal, he felt that they should have given an opportunity for the underworld don to face the trial.

"Dawood was ready to accept the judgment but that is not possible now," Jethmalani lamented.

Asked if he smelled any 'conspiracy' in not bringing the criminal to justice, the noted criminal lawyer remarked: "You people (media) should investigate the whole thing. All that he (Dawood) wanted was to return to prove his innocence. But police refused to accept his condition," he remarked.

First Published: Sep 13, 2006 11:50 IST