Certain ‘Preconditions’, Dawood Keen To Return To India


Thane: Well-known criminal lawyer Shyam Keswani on Tuesday said fugitive mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar is reportedly “keen to return to India” but with certain preconditions which are not acceptable to the Indian government.

“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.

Speaking to the media outside the Thane Court, where he represented Iqbal Ibrahim Kaskar (the absconder don’s brother) in an extortion case, the lawyer said among the conditions Dawood has stipulated are that he should be lodged only in the high-secure precincts of Arthur Road Central Jail (ARCJ) in Mumbai.

Vikas Ghodke, inspector from Thane anti-extortion cell, said, “Keswani told in court premises that Dawood wants to come to Mumbai and has two conditions. The matter is under investigation.”

Meanwhile, his brother, Iqbal Kaskar, was on Tuesday remanded in police custody till March 9. Kaskar was arrested on September 18 with his two aides for extorting a builder of Rs 30 lakh and four flats at Thane. The police have added three more names in the third FIR in the extortion case – Tony Lewis, Bhavar Kothari and Bharat Jain. Lewis is the owner of a plot in Gorai (Mumbai), Kothari a builder and Jain a diamond trader.

Ghodke said, “Lewis sold the plot to a builder named Aggrawal for Rs 2 crore. Ibrahim and Kaskar intervened in the case and took the money and the land away. They also extorted Rs 1 crore from Aggrawal. Kothari and Jain were in touch with Dawood and helped him.”

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.