Dawood keen on returning to India, says lawyer

Is underworld mafia Dawood Ibrahim who is accused of killing many innocent Indians now keen to return to the country? The question arises because Maharashtra based criminal lawyer Shyam Keswani claimed that Dawood wants to surrender in India and spend the rest of his life here. However according to the lawyer Dawood has given certain preconditions for surrender which are not being accepted by the Government of India.

The lawyer made the statement outside the Thane court, where he represented Iqbal Ibrahim who is brother of Dawood Ibrahim, in a extortion case. According to the lawyer the preconditions given by Dawood include his wish of being lodged only in the high-secure precincts of Arthur Road Central Jail (ARCJ) in Mumbai.

“He had also conveyed his intentions through (former union minister and eminent lawyer) Ram Jethmalani a few years ago but the Indian government has not entertained any of his preconditions to return,” Keswani said.

The ARCJ is the same prison where the Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab was lodged for nearly four years till his hanging for his role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. Keswani’s statement on Dawood’s desire to return came more than six months after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray made a similar revelation in Mumbai.

In his explosive remarks, Thackeray had claimed that not only was Dawood keen to come back, but he was reportedly negotiating a ‘settlement’ with the Modi government. The MNS chief further said Dawood was very sick and wanted to breathe his last in India.

In a related development, Iqbal was sent to police custody till Friday by a special court here on Tuesday in a land-grab and extortion case filed against him by the Thane Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC).