“This is Dawood Ibrahim’s voice,” says retired IPS officer Neeraj Kumar, identifying the voice captured during the conversation with Manoj Gupta of CNN-News18.
Kumar confirmed this while talking exclusively to this writer.
He had personally spoken to Dawood once and that is part of the official intelligence records. The second time he identified Dawood’s voice was during the phone tapping of bookies in the IPL scandal. Kumar came across Dawood’s voice during his stint as Delhi police commissioner and his tenure in CBI.
In both these conversations, the first call came from Dawood, hence, it was a scrambled signal and on the second occasion, it was through voice over internet protocol (VOIP) hence the origin of the call could not be traced with certainty.
The current call, however, establishes his location, and for the first time Dawood is heard in public. So far Dawood’s voice was heard only by journalists, enforcement agencies, gangsters and his family members.
The voice sample maintained by RAW and other agencies comprise conversations with his sister Haseena Parker and other gangsters from the past. Few samples with politicians and suspicious elements needed corroboration.
Agencies in India and abroad are keenly watching Dawood and ever since this conversation happened his movements were being tracked. "He must have shifted several safe homes after he was exposed," a retired officer said.
An officer from CBI says, "It is a significant piece of evidence in public domain and can be used smartly to put pressure on those sheltering Dawood."
Dawood is still too far
An officer from an Indian intelligence agency said, "It's simple. Pakistan has denied Gurdaspur, Pathankot and even US congressional reports. It will never give up a fugitive as none of the militants, extremist groups or law breakers from enemy country will work for them in future. Even the US doesn’t see Dawood as the one who has directly harmed their interests. He is not Pablo Escobar. Hence, locating his whereabouts are of no consequence to the US or the UN. We won’t get DNA samples to establish that he is the same man. So, (we) have to fight our own battle by a strategic move. Diplomatic channels can be kept alive only to justify our coercive action against Dawood."
Evidence against Dawood so far
The proof against Dawood's existence, so far, include his passport details using more than 20 different identities, at least six known addresses in Pakistan, his connivance with the underworld and terror groups, and involvement in major crimes and major attacks on India. The 1993 bomb blast being the first attack followed by several gruesome crimes, frauds and illegal trades. Most of the proofs are part of the investigation by Indian enforcement agencies, Interpol and FBI at various occasions.
The fact that Gupta spoke with Dawood directly by dialing his mobile, established his latest location at D-13, Block-4, Clifton, Karachi.
It also corroborates the earlier conversation of Javed Chotani with bookies in which Dawood eavesdropped to prevail on certain punters to agree with the spot fixing terms for cricketers. The veracity of Dawood's voice is now double-checked along with his location and that Javed alias Doctor was his front man. Dawood's famous picture at the VIP box of Sharjah is still fresh in our memories, and it seems he continues to nurture his deep interests in betting and manipulating the murky side of cricket. Observers in the crime world say this is his 'white collar or legitimate business' to support his wealthy public life under the alias Sheikh Ismail Merchant or other names prefixed with Hasan or Haaji or Syed.
This is known that the current location is an ISI protected zone and no common Pakistani can enter the region. It is obvious that Dawood is a special 'civilian' that the Pakistani army is keen on protecting.
Dawood has denied recent reports on his health, underplaying stories of gangrene and calls it merely a high blood pressure symptom. The gangster who surpassed his retirement age 20 months ago feels necessary to assure that he is fit to carry on with his dirty business. Hence, he takes the risk of talking to reporters and puts to rest all speculations of his near-death hospital escapade few months ago.
Internationally, these facts are acceptable as corroborative evidence to call Pakistan's bluff.
The only defence that Pakistan relies on is his changed identity. He is not Dawood but we know him as Sheikh Ismail Merchant or one of the aliases.
Many anxious eyes
Many politicians, cricketers, filmstars, cops and businessmen are anxiously tracking the developments. Dawood's whereabouts and the news of agencies tracking him down, becomes bad news for many politicians who have been mentioned in the Vohra Committee report.
Quite a few serving officers, some retired and few suspended for having connections with the underworld, are busy tracking the story. Even family members including his brother Iqbal Kaskar was keen to know the repercussions after the interview.
Updated Date: Aug 11, 2017 21:46 PM