Upgraded from don to asset by ISI, was Dawood really serious about his surrender?
Mumbai, Mar 20: Prakash Ambedkar targeted NCP president Sharad Pawar demanding to know why Dawood Ibrahim's proposal to surrender in the 1990s was ignored. Pawar was the chief minister of Maharashtra at that time.
Addressing a press conference here, Ambedkar said Dawood had met senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani in London and expressed his willingness to surrender to the authorities and face the law in India.
The only condition put forward by Dawood, a key accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, was that he should not be subjected to third degree (torture) post surrender, said Ambedkar, who heads the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA).
The issue relating to Dawood's surrender has cropped up several times in the past. Several officials in the know of the details that OneIndia spoke with say that he had imposed certain conditions that were impossible to adhere with. It was felt that he was doing a drama.
What is more pertinent to note here is that Dawood Ibrahim had no choice, but to listen to the ISI. He was being hunted by the Indian agencies and was in desperate need for protection. The ISI was well aware of his situation and made him an offer he could not resist.
"We will protect you only if you give us 40 per cent of your income and if you disagree, we will block your drug trade route," is what the ISI told Dawood.
The claims by officials that Dawood wanted to surrender makes for nice reading. However in reality, the don never wanted to surrender. Even if he was thinking of a surrender, he would have to do it at the cost of his billion dollar drug empire. Dawood's area of operation was very much dependant on the Afghanistan-Pakistan route which is one of the leading drug corridors of the world. This territory is controlled by the ISI and the Taliban and unless any person has the support of these two, doing business here is impossible. Dawood had a lot to worry about after the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. He had been upgraded from criminal to terrorist and India was baying for his blood.
The conditions that he imposed were not possible to fulfil officers have claimed. However what was more important for Dawood was his protection and also his drug empire. The ISI sensed his desperation and weakness and threw an offer at him. Had he refused that offer it would have meant curtains for his drug business.