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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Even if we get the traitor...

Recently, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde stated that we will also get Dawood Ibrahim soon. Unlike, all other statements made by UPA ministers regarding country's economy, progress & measures against corruption, this one seem to have some substance. Considering the recent arrests of big fishes like Abdul Karim Tunda & Yaseen Bhatkal, the US pressure on Pakistan & internal circumstances within Pakistan, it is no longer just a patriot's fantasy to see Dawood behind Indian bars. Sources also point out that everything is not going all right within D –Company itself.

Assuming, we are able to get Dawood alive, the questions arises what will we be able to do with him? Will he be punished for all the crimes & terrorist activities attributed to him? Will his global organised crime syndicate cease to exist? Answers to these questions lie in the manner in which our agencies get him. Firstly, Pakistani govt will never officially hand him over to us as their stand has been "Dawood is not on our soil". (Although, recently one of its diplomat's tongue slipped the truth, but for obvious reasons he denied it shortly after.)If he deliberately gets arrested from some European Union country like Abu Salem did, then, India will have to first fight a legal battle for his extradition. The extradition may have preconditions like no death penalty, safety & no jail sentence of more than 25 years etc. Home coming of Dawood in such a manner will certainly steal away the happiness of people for getting India's biggest criminal & a traitor. 

Secondly, Abottabad type of operation by Indian commando forces is an unrealistic option. Although, our government might be aware of his hideouts, we don’t  have expertise to conduct such operations in a hostile territory like Americans. Even if we attempt one, then it might lead to a full fledged war between the two nuclear armed nations. 

Third option will be to get him from Nepal border or his deportation from a non-European country, (that is only if Dawood chooses to surrender himself after fearing for his life). Only in such a scenario Indian agencies will get a free hand to prosecute him in cases they want him to. However, even after arrest of Dawood, the road ahead will not be a cakewalk.

It is true that Dawood Ibrahim has been the most cruel, dangerous & cunning face of Mumbai underworld. There was a time when just a mention of his name caused film producers, builders, cricketers & businessman to sweat & earned his gang loads of money which was extorted from the fear his name generated. However, Dawood had quit making direct calls in mid 90s. Only recently a brief conversation of him with one of his cronies was intercepted by Delhi cops in a match fixing case. Other than this most of the calls on his behalf were made by his lieutenant Chota Shakeel (Babu Shakeel Ahmed Miyazaan Shaikh). He has been be attributed to so many crimes by media & police, but the question is whether cops have enough evidence to produce in a court of law to link him with all the crimes committed by his gang members. It is anybody's guess that he will hire top lawyers equivalent to the stature of Ram Jethamalani (whom once he offered to surrender) to tear apart the charges against him in the courts. Moreover, as far as cases against him during the decade of 80s & early 90s are concerned most of the investigating officers are either retired, dead or relocated out of Mumbai. Same is the case with witnesses also. It will also be interesting to observe that even those witnesses whom cops will be able trace, depose against Dawood in the court or not. 

As far as his role in serial blasts of 12 March 1993 is concerned, it will be very tough for CBI to prove its case in TADA court. Although, Dawood is accused number 1 in the case, his role is mentioned only thrice in the elephantine chargesheet filed by CBI. Here also the evidence against Dawood is solely based on the statements of co-accused persons (Dawood Phanse, Salim Miraan Shaikh & Ijaz Pathan). He will be tried separately like Abu Salem & Mustafa Dossa as the main trial has ended in 2007 & the fate of all other accused has been decided by the court.

However, there is still no reason to get disappointed as yet. The above analysis is purely based on the information available in public domain. For the time being it is better to assume that our intelligence & security agencies are aware of the above challenges & have a strategy to counter them, which we don’t know. Anyways, sooner or later we will be hearing any one of the following as breaking news- “Dawood Ibrahim dies due to illness”, “Dawood Ibrahim arrested” or “Dawood Ibrahim killed”. Which one you want to hear?

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