Mumbai: Any kid on South Mumbai’s Pakmodia Street, where Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar grew up and then moved out after becoming one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, knows where he now lives – in a Karachi neighbourhood.
” Its a very old story and everybody knows that seth (his underworld alias) is in Karachi. Bhai is in very safe hands there,” says Dawood’s former neighbour Usman Bhai.
A hotel owner on the nook of the Pakmodia street, speaking on condition of anonymity , says Dawood’s presence in Karachi may be known but it would be hard to get him since he is protected by the Pakistan army. ” He is Dawoodbhai . It’s not that easy as it was for the US to bump off Osama bin Laden. Dawood has round-the-clock protection and I have heard that he has his own army who can take on an attack.”
Dawood’s whereabouts, denied stoutly and repeatedly by the Pakistani authorities, isn’t just wisdom on Pakmodia Street but also the stuff of police files.
Several Dawood aides deported from Dubai have told investigating agencies about his lifestyle in Pakistan and given details of his 2,000 sq ft bungalow – Moin Palace in Clifton neighbourhood – where the Bhuttos have their ancestral property and president Asif Ali Zardari stays there when in Karachi.
The bungalow is guarded by around two dozen heavilyarmed guards, including few Pakistani retired army officers , according to these accounts . The two-storey house is set amid bungalows of retired defence officers.
Interestingly, two recentlyarrested Dawood aides – Sajid Usman Batliwala and Karimullah Khan – who sneaked into India from Pakistan via Nepal and were arrested in 2009 and 2010 by Mumbai crime branch – have given details of Dawood and his cronies.
” Karimullah Khan has confirmed Dawood’s presence in Pakistan. He worked as a driver for the Dawood family and stayed outside the bungalow ,” said anti-terrorism squad chief Rakesh Maria. He said Khan told them that during Dawood’s daughter Mahrooq’s wedding with cricketer Javed Miandad’s son Junaid, he was tasked with ushering guests.
Batliwala, the other accused , told police that Dawood only moved out for Friday prayers at a nearby mosque or on very special occasions. ” Whenever Dawood moves, a convey of around 20 vehicle with several guards, including few retired army officers are at his service,” said another officer.
However, there are those in Dawood’s old neighbouhood who insist that Dawood’s address isn’t permanent. One among a few youngsters, who act as guardians of Pakmodia Street, said: ” Bhai Pakistan chod ke kaiyee saal ho gaya hai (Bhai has left Pakistan few years back). Bhai kabi bhi ek jagah par nahi rathen hai (He never stays in one place).”
Adding to the mystique about his whereabouts, he added: ” Abhi vo Russia me hain (Right now he is in Russia).”
Dawood, one of seven children of police constable Ibrahim Kaskar, stayed in Mehjabeen building behind a petrol pump on Pakmodia Street. It was here where Dawood grew with petty crimes like robberies, gold smuggling until he crossed swords with the Pathan gang. Economic Times