Bollywood movies on underworld don Dawood Ibrahim never fail to point out the nexus between him and some Bombay Police officials. Remember RGV’s ‘Company’ and the more recent ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai’? They threw clear hints at this very hand-in-glove understanding between the then Bombay Police and the underworld don that helped him flee India after the 1993 Bombay Bomb Blasts. It appears that Dawood’s hands are still deep inside the guts of many in the Mumbai Police.
BJP leader and former home secretary RK Singh’s revelation that some officials in the Police botched a covert intelligence plan to eliminate Dawood while he was in Dubai corroborates this. Speaking to India Today
, Singh not only confirmed that there was a plan to kill Dawood (it was only speculated until now), he also blew the lid off the corrupt Mumbai cops. Singh said: “An operation to eliminate Dawood Ibrahim was being planned, before it was blown by actions of some Mumbai cops. Ajit Doval was involved in the operation.” The plot Singh was referring to dates back to 2005. Dawood’s daughter Mahrukh was to marry Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad’s son Junaid on July 9 in Mecca. A reception was scheduled for July 23 at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai. It was then that Ajit Doval, who retired as IB chief later that year, hatched a plan to eliminate India’s most wanted man. To ensure the secrecy of the operation and to claim full deniability in case things went haywire, the IB recruited two of Chhota Rajan’s most trusted gang members for the job – Vicky Malhotra and Farid Tanasha.
Chhota Rajan, himself an underworld don, remains Dawood’s biggest rival. Dawood’s men had attacked Rajan in Bangkok in 2000, for which he sought revenge. The two gang members were trained at a secret location in India. Everything was planned but the Mumbai Police arrested Malhotra and Tanasha before they could leave India for Dubai.
Singh alleges that the Mumbai police officers deliberately sabotaged Operation Dawood because of their close ties with the gangster.
“A group was being trained to target Dawood but he had people in Mumbai police on his ‘pay roll’ who were alerted. The Mumbai police came saying there is a warrant against them. But I cannot say it is confirmed. I have just heard…I don’t have evidence.” Deputy Commissioner of Police in the Mumbai Crime Branch Dhananjay Kamlakar was sent to Delhi to arrest the members of the Chota Rajan gang. According to reports
, the duo was arrested in Doval’s presence even as he tried in vain to explain to the cops who he was. India Today also reports
that on August 8, 2005, the US embassy in India had sent a cable to Washington. The cable hinted at this covert operation and threw light on why, soon after the arrest of Malhotra and Tanasha, the then Mumbai Police Commissioner AN Roy fired senior police inspector Aslam Momin.
According to the cable, wiretapping of phones had revealed a nexus between Momin and Dawood. It was Momin who tipped off the Mumbai Police about the presence of Chhota Rajan’s gang members, thereby botching up a carefully planned operation against Dawood.
What happened to the underworld don, you ask. Dawood attended the marriage and the reception under the guise of one Ali Miyan.
Though planning another covert operation against Dawood should not be a tough task, the problem of corrupt police officers and a non-cooperative attitude between different security agencies will always shatter any such plans. Dawood, meanwhile, rests like an ordinary man in Karachi…or somewhere else