NEW DELHI — Has dreaded underworld don Dawood Ibrahim gone off the radar of Indian intelligence agencies? The Indian government on Tuesday said it does not know where Ibrahim, one of the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, is.
Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, said in a written reply in Parliament that the government does not know the location of the dreaded terrorist on whom the Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice.
"The subject has not been located so far. We don't know where he is. Extradition process will be initiated once the subject is located,” the MoS, Home, said in response to a question by BJP MP Nityanand Rai.
"Sometimes Govt cannot declare Dawood Ibrahim's whereabouts in public," CNN-IBN quoted an ex-Director of IB as saying.
We have no idea where 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Dawood Ibrahim is, home ministry tells Parliament pic.twitter.com/1p0Oj5Kf6b— Bharti Jain (@toi_BhartiJ) May 5, 2015
NDTV quoted sources as saying that home ministry officials are now trying to find out the source of what is being seen as a faux pas.
Meanwhile, former Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar has denied reports attributed to him that the fugitive terrorist had negotiated surrender with him months after the 1993 Mumbai blasts and that the government of the day scuttled the plans at the last moment, PTI reported.
Kumar, in an interview to a national daily, was quoted as saying that Dawood, labelled by the US as Specially Designated Global Terrorist, had got in touch with him and wanted to surrender but the plan was shelved by the government.
Kumar, a 1976 batch IPS officer who retired as Delhi police chief in 2013, said he had not given the interview.
"It was an informal chat with the correspondent who is known to me for sometime. He has given the chat a slant which is both incorrect and unfortunate. At no stage was D (Dawood) willing to surrender nor did anyone stop him from surrendering," he said, according to the PTI report.
Hard to believe that such a huge powerful Govt says that they dont know where Dawood Ibrahim is: Naresh Agarwal pic.twitter.com/kpJbn83Ed5— ANI (@ANI_news) May 5, 2015
However, the denial flies in the face of his own comments at a book release function last month where he had made similar claims while referring to Dawood as a "certain gentleman" whom CBI had planned to "get at" with the help of "non-state actors" but the move was scuttled by his "political bosses".
On April 17, Kumar had backed Union Minister V K Singh when he said the Indian Army was capable of executing daring operations to avenge 26/11-like attacks by eliminating offshore criminals but certain "considerations" prevented it from doing so.
The duo was speaking at the launch of journalist-author S Hussain Zaidi's book "Mumbai Avengers", a fictional account of a covert operation by a retired Indian Army officer to avenge the 26/11 attacks.
ISI keeps shifting him ((Dawood Ibrahim), if Home Ministry has replied it must be right: RK Singh pic.twitter.com/INn9KzNyiQ— ANI (@ANI_news) May 5, 2015
"When I was in the CBI for nine years at one time we had conceived a plan to get at a certain gentleman in Pakistan. Everything was done. At the last day we thought we would inform the political bosses or shall I say the boss but he said no, we are not Pakistan, we are India," he had said.
Kumar went on to say that the agency had also planned using "non-state" actors for the mission. "All preparations went down the drain. Lot of money was invested. We had also planned the use of non-state actors as Pakistan has been doing continuously," he had said.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who was the chief minister of Maharashtra in early 1990s, declined to comment when asked by reporters at Aurangabad about reports that Dawood had offered to surrender. (With additional reporting from PTI)