Chhota Shakeel, the highly trusted lieutenant of India’s most wanted gangster-terrorist, Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, says his boss is no “halwa” who can be picked up by anyone at will.
Nor can anyone neutralise him as they show in Bollywood films, he told dna.
Shakeel was responding to reports that moves were on to nab Dawood a la Abdul Karim Tunda and Yasin Bhatkal.
In fact, ever since Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on September 9, 2013, that a joint operation has been mounted by Indian and US security agencies to nab the 58-year-old fugitive based in Pakistan, the don has gone underground.
Until recently, he was living openly in Karachi meeting associates. But now those meetings have stopped.
Even video-conferences he used to have with minions in Dubai, Mumbai and elsewhere have come to a halt. “Bhai is simply not available to anyone now. He has gone to an undisclosed place in Pakistan,” a D-gang member confided.
There are reports that the ISI has kept him in a safe house in north-west Pakistan where the Taliban has its base. Of course, he has access to the outside world with his satellite phone, but that comes with its own price.
To add to the intrigue, his sister Haseena Apa, a resident of Nagpada, too has not been able to contact him in recent weeks. Sources in the Mumbai crime branch confirmed that “mucchad” (as he is called by the cops) has “gone deep into hiding”.
This has never happened before. Even when he was declared a global terrorist by the US state department he used to lead a relatively free life in Pakistan often going to Saudi Arabia on Haj or Umra. He threw lavish parties. But all of a sudden, he has gone off the radar. “With help from the Americans we are hopeful of knowing his whereabouts soon,” a security official said.