New Delhi, Aug 9: India scored a major diplomatic victory on Wednesday after a Thailand court ruled that Muzakkir Muddassar Hussain alias Munna Jhingada, a close aide of Chhota Shakeel and Dawood Ibrahim is an Indian citizen.
Jhingada, a sharp-shooter who was tasked with killing Chhota Rajan, has been in a Thailand jail for 18 years. India had sought his extradition as he is wanted in several cases. Moreover with India trying to crackdown on the Dawood gang, Jhingada becomes an important link.
As India made the extradition request, Pakistan made a claim that he was their national. This led to the case dragging on for 18 years, before a decision was finally made.
The first step was to prove the nationality and Pakistan had readied several documents to this effect. During the hearing, Pakistan produced the address proof of his wife. Pakistan also was allowed to produce 41 witnesses. All these persons deposed stating that his wife lived in Pakistan. However this was Jhingada's second wife that they were referring to.
In addition to this, Pakistan all through the hearing claimed that the man in question was Mohammad Saleem. Pakistan produced several documents including a passport, which was in fact fake.
For India, to prove his nationality, his DNA samples became important. The Mumbai crime branch played a vital role in this exercise. His family in Mumbai had to be convinced to give their DNA samples. It took some convincing as they did not want Jhingada to return to India and face trial. Prior to this, the crime branch also had an uphill task in locating his family. It was widely suspected that they may have fled India.
Once the samples were obtained from the family, it was sent to Thailand and then matched. This proved to a vital part of the case, which ultimately led to him being declared as an Indian national.
In addition to this, India through the Mumbai crime branch produced several dossiers, which detailed his crimes in India, which included extortions and threats. With the nationality being proven, the dossiers would aide India further to get him extradited sooner.
An Intelligence Bureau official tells OneIndia that this is a big diplomatic victory. Had we not obtained the DNA samples, the case would have gone the other way. His extradition and trial in India would be helpful to close pending cases. However, the officer expressed doubts over the fresh information he may be having on the D-syndicate, since he had been jail for the past 18 years.
The officer noted that Pakistan, which has been denying the presence of Dawood Ibrahim on their soil went the extra mile in this case. Pakistan did its best to get his sentence reduced and even succeeded in getting four royal pardons, as a result of which his sentence was reduced to 18 years. In 2016, he was released after spending 16 years in jail owing to a pardon. However he was immediately arrested under the Extradition Act.
Jhingada had fled India in 1997 and landed in Dubai first. He then fled to Karachi in 1999 to join Dawood Ibrahim. Always a close aide of Chhota Shakeel, he was given an important assignment to kill Chhota Rajan. He was arrested in 2002 and charged with attempt to murder by the Bangkok police.