Speculation is rife that notorious gangster Dawood Ibrahim is no more, after some Pakistani media outlets said he’s been gravely ill.
While reports of the 61-year-old gangster’s death started doing the rounds on Friday, his long-time aide Chhotta Shakeel was at pains to refute any rumours that the gangster has died.
Talking to TOI over the phone from Karachi, Shakeel said all the reports are plain wrong.
“Listening to my voice, do you think any such thing has happened? These are all rumours”, he said. “Bhai is fit and fine,” he added.
Dawood is accused of plotting the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai in which 257 people were killed and 700 were injured. The mafia don is believed to have financed the attacks on orders from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. He is also accused of masterminding other terror attacks and faced multiple charges of money laundering and extortion. India and the US also say that Dawood financed terror groups including al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
India has tried for many years to track down and apprehend Dawood, who is said to have run Mumbai’s underworld by remote control out of Dubai and Karachi.
India maintains that the underworld don has, for years, been shielded by Pakistan and has multiple addresses in Karachi, something that was endorsed by a United Nations committee, which accepted six of the nine addresses that New Delhi had submitted as his hideouts in that country last year.
India has submitted several dossiers that it says are proof that Dawood lives on Clifton Road in Karachi.
Islamabad, however, has always denied Dawood’s presence in Pakistan.
Last year, Dawood joined his family via Skype in the celebrations of the wedding of his nephew to the daughter of a Mumbai businessman. His nephew Alishah Parkar is the son of the gangster’s sister, Haseena Parkar, who died three years ago and was a senior member of his mafia.