MUMBAI (TIP): A former journalist & social worker S Balakrishnan bought underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s Mumbai restaurant for Rupees 4.28 crores in an auction of the property on December 9.
The government auctioned the restaurant “Delhi Zaika” which was owned by India’s “most wanted man” Dawood Ibrahim in Mumbai on Wednesday, December 9. The restaurant was one of the seven properties of Ibrahim that was put for auction.
S Balakrishnan, who bought the restaurant, wants to make it an education centre for the poor.
Ibrahim is a fugitive in India and has been charged with masterminding the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings.
Some 257 people died and more than 700 others were wounded in the attacks.
India alleges that Ibrahim lives in the Pakistani city of Karachi, but Islamabad has always denied the charge.
Mr Balakrishnan needs to pay the sum he bid on the restaurant within 30 days to acquire it, and is seeking donations to do so.
“I want to open a computer centre for children and also a legal aid centre for women of the area,” he said.
The former journalist said that the government’s earlier attempts to sell the property had failed because people were afraid to buy the underworld don’s property.
“But this time we decided to show courage,” he said.
“I got a message from Chhota Shakeel asking what you are up to. The intention behind the message was quite clear, but we decided to join the auction because if we don’t, then it is a shame for the country,” Balakrishnan told NDTV.
Earlier he had told to India Today, “I am bidding on behalf of my NGO Desh Seva Samiti which works for child welfare and women’s empowerment. We will run English speaking and computer training institute at the place. It will be named after great patriot Ashfaqullah Khan. He should be the role model for kids, not Dawood.”
Ibrahim was named a “global terrorist” in October 2003, and in June 2006, then US President George W Bush labeled him a “foreign narcotics trafficker”.
He is accused of smuggling narcotics from Afghanistan and Thailand to the US, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.