New Delhi: Underworld don, Dawood Ibrahim, who has been reportedly hiding in Pakistan since the Mumbai blasts in 1993, has turned religious. In an exclusive interview with Mail Today, his closest aide Chhota Shakeel spilled the beans on Dawood’s birthday celebrations, their plans for Chhota Rajan and more. Dawood is turning 60 on Saturday, India Today reported.
A section of the media had reported that massive celebrations will take place and an announcement will be made of an heir apparent during Dawood’s birthday celebrations. Shakeel said all these are just rumours. Speaking to Mail Today over the phone, Shakeel called these media reports part of a ‘Bollywood script’ and said there would be no big celebrations, but India should wish Dawood on his 60th birthday.
He also made it clear that Dawood had no plans to retire. “Dawood bhai is going to be on his seat (at the helm of his crime empire). He will not retire and will always head us. No one can replace him,” Shakeel said.
He also shot down rumours of a successor, saying: “Everyone turns 60. This doesn’t mean bhai is going to take a back seat. No one can match him.”
Disclosing details of the celebrations planned, Shakeel said: “There will be no big party, there is nothing to hide. We will have a small gathering at the house. There will be family members and kids will cut the cake. It is his family who decides how to celebrate his birthdays. There will no outside guests.”
Shakeel also claimed that Dawood is in good health, denying media reports about his falling health condition. “Dawood bhai is doing fine. He is not ill. His focus is on business. We concentrate 99 per cent on our business. The rest is spent on teaching a lesson to anyone who crosses our path,” Shakeel said, bringing up the topic of arch-rival Chhota Rajan. He called Rajan ‘a dead snake’. “We don’t even count him as rival. He could not stand against us. He is now trying to save himself from us,” he said.
Chhota Rajan was arrested in Bali by Indonesian police on October 25, 2015. He was extradited to India on November 6 after 27 years on the run and is currently awaiting trial in CBI custody. Shakeel also threatened to kill Rajan in Tihar Jail itself. “He should try to save his life while he is locked in jail. He will die in Tihar jail itself,” he said.
He admitted there were many attempts to kill Rajan on foreign shores. “I had a copy of Rajan’s passport and other details but the agency helped him in escaping. I don’t regret that he fled. Today or tomorrow, we will kill him. We missed him in Bangkok and in Australia he escaped before we could attack him. In Bali, we could not get the weapon in time. It was not a failure – he escaped before we could attack him,” he said, adding that his shooters were ready and the plan to kill Rajan was 100 per cent foolproof.
Shakeel also disclosed that Dawood has become very religious and goes to Mecca every year for Haj. “He is religious. He reads namaz five times a day and observes Roja,” he said. Shakeel said that Dawood doesn’t have any desire to return to India. “Initially, we contacted Ram Jethmalani but now he doesn’t want to go back,” he said.
“He travels across the world. No one can stop him. He goes where he feels like and where his business takes him. We never disclose our travel plans to anyone,” he added. When asked about Shakeel’s role as the CEO in D-company, he said, “I am fine where I am and I do my job with honesty. I am not taking any charge. We run a big business and it is not a crime to do what we do. We invest in various projects across the world.”
Shakeel said no security agency can do them any harm. “We are not afraid of any raids by security agencies. We are doing our business freely,” he said.