New Delhi, July 13: For India it was a close miss in ensuring the extradition of a Dawood aide, Farooq Devdiwala from the United Arab Emirates. He is accused of arranging a terror training camp for two Indians in Pakistan.
It was the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad which had sought his custody, but finally Devdiwala was sent to Pakistan. The Deputy Superintendent of Police, K K Patel said that Devdiwala, an Indian Mujahideen operative had been deported to Pakistan, despite India making the first request.
The deportation of Devdiwala to Pakistan is a set back for India as he is a gold mine of information where both the ISI and the Dawood syndicate is concerned. It may be recalled that he was earlier accused of smuggling 2 kilograms of RDX into Gujarat after the 2002 post-Godhra riots. He had planned on triggering a series of blasts, but the consignment was seized by the police.
Devdiwala, aged 41 is a key asset to both the D gang as well as the ISI. He has been assigned various roles that included arranging for the training of Indian Mujahideen cadres. The Interpol notice on him states that he is wanted for crimes involving the use of weapons, explosives. He was even charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).
To get their hands on Devdiwala, several officials from India visited the UAE on various occasions. A strong case with solid evidence was made out by India seeking his custody. However the Pakistanis managed to prevail over the authorities in the UAE.
Officials say that this is a loss no doubt, but such things do happen. In the case of Abu Jundal who was deported from Saudi Arabia in 2012. Pakistan had made out a strong case claiming that he wast their national. However the Indian agencies who wanted him in connection with the Mumbai 26/11 attacks managed to get his custody. It was the DNA samples that India had on it which got the better of Pakistan back then.
In the Devdiwala case, Indian officials tried to establish his nationality while seeking his custody. He had fled India in 2003 and since then has been shuttling between Pakistan and Dubai. He was living in Dubai on a Pakistan passport and was undertaking some task for the D-syndicate.
When India put out the request for his custody, Pakistan too did the same. It was a long drawn battle between the two nations, before the UAE decided to hand him over to Pakistan.
Mumbai Mirror while quoting DSP Patel said that Devdiwala has been handed over to Pakistan. We did our best. I visited Dubai to get his custody, but Pakistan seems to have prevailed the report also said while quoting Patel.