An advocate said earlier this week that Dawood Ibrahim has indicated that he wanted to surrender. A day later he said that he was quoted out of context. The news regarding the surrender of Dawood Ibrahim is nothing new and he had made a similar offer several years back, but the same did not go through due to the conditions put-forth by him.
The question is was India ever serious about his surrender or capture? A file of 1994 continues to catch dust and the notings in the file clearly indicate that it was the closest India came to nabbing Dawood.
Back in 1994, V Balachandran who was an officer with the Research and Analysis Wing was sent to Pretoria in South Africa to discuss the security to be provided to Nelson Mandela who was scheduled to visit India in January 1995.
It was at that time that Dawood's businesses were flourishing in South Africa. During the meeting, Balachandran was shown 18 passports of Dawood. They told him about his frequent visits to South Africa in connection with a major mandrax smuggling racket.
This racket was becoming a headache for South Africa and their intelligence agencies sought India's help to curb the same. Balachandran tells OneIndia that they were serious about the issue. They sought for an operational plan to nab Dawood and they were confident that with our assistance they could achieve the same.
I was given a presentation on how the gang was smuggling mandrax into South Africa. I also told that he had built up local contacts. While the South Africans would handle the local issues and also their in-house intelligence, they had said that India should chip in with an operational plan. I was ready for it, but also said that I would need clearance from New Delhi."
Balachandran on his arrival prepared a report on the Dawood issue. "I was quite sure that if the operations are carried out along with South Africa, the don could have been nabbed. I had mentioned that this is for the first time that a foreign country is extending cooperation in nabbing Dawood Ibrahim."
The report had all details of what the South Africans had told me. I had mentioned about his 18 different passports and also the fact that Dawood was using different nationalities to enter into South Africa. A detailed preparation on mandrax smuggling was also part of my report."
"The government, however, did not appear to be interested. I did my level best to ensure that the report was looked at. I even tried my best to pursue the government to look into the report and also act upon it.
The government on the other ensured that the report was not acted upon. It was taken from one person to another, tossed around before it made its way into a heap of files. The file was never opened after that.
After this, the proposals that were made to capture Dawood became a usual routine. I could say with confidence that no government since 1993 has made any effort to nab Dawood.