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'ISI spends Rs 1.32 cr on gangster'

Pakistan?s Inter-Services Intelligence takes good care of its 'guests', wanted in India, Abhishek Sharan reports.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2007 02:26 IST

Call it subcontinental hospitality.

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is taking good care of its “guests” — 1993 Mumbai blasts’s prime accused Ibrahim Abdul Razzaq Memon, better known as Tiger Memon, and Patel Javed Dawood alias Javed Chikna. The agency spends a whopping $300,000 (Rs 1.32 crore) per annum on Chikna’s “maintenance”, according to top Dawood aide Abdul Qayyum Shaikh (42), who was recently deported and is in the custody of the Crime Branch.

Qayyum has told interrogators that though the duo is not actively involved in the D-Company’s activities, the ISI provides them with enough protection and money for a “comfortable living”.

The ISI and Dawood, revealed Qayyum, treat the two “royally” as an acknowledgement of their crucial roles in plotting and executing the serial blasts in the city, according to a police officer who requested anonymity as he is not authorised to talk to media.

“Dawood and the ISI treat them as stars and value their `good work’ in carrying out the 1993 blasts,” the officer said.

Currently, both Tiger and Chikna are living in Karachi: in plush houses and with round-the-clock security provided by the ISI.

While Chikna is paid the princely “maintenance” allowance, Tiger does not need any. According to Qayyum, Tiger, who has been given a fake identity of one “Jamal”, lords over a flourishing construction business and also deals in drugs, especially smuggling of Morphene — that targets drug users in the USA and Europe.

Tiger, through strong-arms tactics that comes from his close proximity with the D-company, also earns crores from “settlement” or “mandwaali”— dispute-settlement between two warring group of interests.

While, Tiger had left the city before the blasts took place on March 12, Chikna had stayed behind to direct separate teams of bombers to accomplish the terror attack. He later slipped out of the country to reach his mentor, Tiger who is related to him.

Abhishek Sharan:

First Published: Feb 19, 2007 02:26 IST