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Noose tightens around Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar

Brother Iqbal caught as part of India’s strategy to corner underworld don?

mumbai Updated: Sep 20, 2017 15:40 IST
Presley Thomas
Presley Thomas
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,Dawood Ibrahim,Iqbal Kaskar
Iqbal Kaskar at Thane court(Praful Gangurde)

The arrest of Iqbal Kaskar, youngest brother of Dawood Ibrahim, on Monday night has sparked speculation that India’s quest to bring the underworld don-turned-global terrorist to justice is gaining momentum. Iqbal allegedly runs the operations of Dawood’s gang, called D Company, in Mumbai after the death of their sister Haseena Parker in 2014.

Iqbal’s arrest is aimed at disrupting and weakening Dawood’s empire, said sources in the intelligence establishment who asked not to be identified. The strategy and operations, both overt and covert, to get Dawood are reportedly being formulated and monitored by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval himself.

Although there was no official word on why Iqbal was picked on charges of extortion at this juncture, sources said it was all part of a well-calibrated operation to exert pressure on Dawood who still reportedly runs a huge network in India while living in Pakistan. In fact, intelligence agencies have been systematically targeting D Company operations in India reportedly with the help of the gangster Chhota Rajan, who was arrested from Indonesia in 2015. A Rajan aide who too was deported and later acquitted in all the cases against him told Hindustan Times that their goal now was to get to Dawood Ibrahim.

Getting Dawood back from Pakistan tops the list each time delegations of the two countries meet. India has begun to tighten the noose through diplomatic channels to get Dawood, the richest gangster after Pablo Escobar of the Colombian drug cartel. And the effectiveness of India’s strategy was evident when the UK seized his assets a week back in that country, including a hotel in Warwickshire and residential property in the midlands.

Much of Dawood’s ill-gotten wealth and benami property is spread across Spain, Cyprus, Morocco, Australia, Pakistan and certain European countries. And Indian officials are known to be in talks with these governments to emulate UK’s action.

Indian intelligence agencies have reportedly gained a lot of insight into D Company’s activities from Dawood’s friend-turned-foe Chhota Rajan. Rajan, sources in the intelligence bureau said, has been getting his underworld cronies to provide vital information on Dawood’s current interest in the real estate market across India.

A senior IPS officer, requesting anonymity, detailed the strategy to corner Dawood Ibrahim. “The only way to rattle a man with such criminal nexus and money is by cutting off his finances. It is a step-by-step process, which is time consuming and arduous, but it is very effective,” said the officer.

Clearly Indian agencies seems to have taken a clue or two from how Pablo Escobar was hunted down now popularised by the web series ‘NARCOS’.

‘Don ka intezar to gyarah mulkon ki police kar rahi hain, lekin ek baat samajh lo, Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin, naamumkin hain.’ Don is wanted by the police forces of eleven nations, but understand one thing, catching Don is not just difficult, it’s impossible – goes the dialogue made famous by Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan in his 1978 movie ‘Don’, and later on by Shahrukh Khan. But this may not apply to Dawood for much longer.

First Published: Sep 20, 2017 13:41 IST