There are reports doing the rounds that Dawood Ibrahim's closest aide Chhota Shakeel is dead. A report in the Hindustan Times said that Shakeel had died in January and there were two versions to the story.
While one version says that he had died of a heart attack, the other states the ISI ordered a hit considering he was becoming too hard to handle. Incidentally this news comes in the backdrop of a recent Intelligence Bureau report that suggested that Shakeel had broken away from the Dawood gang.
There are some points that one needs to ponder over. A few months back there were reports that surfaced that Dawood Ibrahim had died in Karachi. Later it was reported that he had not died, but was in a very critical condition.
Following both reports of a split and also the death of Dawood, Shakeel was quoted by many media houses to deny the information. Shakeel had said that Dawood was in the pink of health and reports of him dying or even being in hospital were false.
When the news of the split emerged, Shakeel again called the media and said that this was false. His exact words were, " I am with bhai and will be there till my death."
To begin with is the news of Shakeel's death true. Sources in New Delhi say that they can't confirm this as yet and they are still checking on the same. Let us assume that Shakeel is indeed dead. If that is the case, then who has been calling the media?
Shakeel had a close aide in Pakistan who goes by the name Rahim Merchant. It is said that he had trained Merchant to mimic his voice and also make calls on his behalf. Merchant has not been calling just the media, but businessmen as well to carry forwards the extortion business. Shakeel has never made calls directly to anyone ever since he was facilitated an entry by the ISI into Pakistan from the UAE.