Curious case of Anees
At the end of the excellent spy thriller D-Day, in the final scene Rishi Kapoor’s character Iqbal Seth aka Goldman boasts that even if he is caught and brought back to India, it would be unlikely that he would face justice. Goldman alleges that he would become a media celebrity and that toothpaste and soap would sell on his name. Goldman’s character is instantly served justice by Arjun Rampal’s character Rudra Pratap Singh. That the character was based on Dawood Ibrahim is well known. That the film was complete fantasy is also well known. However the film does have some parallels in reality. Consider the curious case of Anees Ibhrahim.
The closest that the Indian authorities were to getting him was in Feb/March 1996. However, he was not handed over to India by Bahrain due to extradition related difficulties. CBI officers who were in Bahrain to take him to India were forced to return empty handed. This whole matter was handled by a lackadaisical MEA. Since he is Dawood’s brother and also the number two in the D Company, the complete failure to arrest him by Indian investigating agencies requires an explanation .There are incriminating papers and files in MEA related to the Anees Ibrahim episode.Dawood has not surrendered, neither is he likely to surrender any time soon. He tried to negotiate a settlement first with the CBI and was duly ignored by the CBI. He later tried to negotiate a return through his lawyer Ram Jethmalani with the Government of India and was again ignored.
Why this was done in such a clandestine manner is something which remains open to question. A white paper on this vexed question appears to be the need of the hour. More importantly, why was Anees Ibrahim casually handed over to Sharjah authorities of the United Arab Emirates. It is alleged that Anees had travelled from Sharjah to Bahrain to enjoy a drink or two, as Sharjah was a ‘dry’ city. His proclivity for drinking heavily saw him arrested by the Bahrain Interpol around March 1996.
Three CBI officers that included this author promptly responded to the summons of the Bahrain Police. It is then that the UAE Government flexed its muscles. The end result was that Anees Ibrahim went scott free. These are the startling revelations made by former CBI director Shantanu Sen. Sen had revealed that the government let underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s brother and 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Anees Ibrahim get away.And now, India is set to execute the lone death row convict in the blasts case nabbed by the CBI.Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, a chartered accountant and the younger brother of Tiger Memon, is reportedly set to be hanged on July 30. Other members of the Memon family, including Yakub’s brothers, Yusuf and Essa, and sister-in-law Rubina, were also arrested and are serving their sentences.
Their elder brother, Tiger Memon, though, is still in Pakistanwhile the Indian government has no clue about the whereabouts of Dawood Ibrahim. Chota Shakeel’s gleeful boast that it’s the Government of India that does not want Dawood and his men extradited back to India has raised serious questions that need immediate answers.They will be found by declassifying the Anees Ibrahim files. It is in this direction towards which India’s foreign affairs department must direct its energies. The Nation wants to know and its high time it got answers to this deeply shrouded mystery which has been kept under wraps for too long.