Says Dawood did not want to go to jail, but to be kept in a house.
Mumbai : NCP leader and former Maharashtra chief minister P Pawar on Saturday said senior advocate Ram Jethmalani had contacted him over underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his close associate Chhotan Rajan’s willingness to surrender but conditions put forward for it were not acceptable to the state government.
The offer was made during Pawar’s tenure as Chief Minister in 1990s. “It is true that Ram Jethmalani had given a proposal about Dawood’s willingness to return. But there was a condition that Dawood should not be kept in jail. Rather he be allowed to remain in a house.
This was not acceptable. We said he had to face the law,” Pawar told reporters here. The former Union minister was asked about Jethmalani’s statement that Dawood, a key accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, was willing to surrender to Indian authorities but Pawar, the then chief minister heading a Congress government in the state, had rejected the offer.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday said that Dawood’s proposal to surrender to the Indian authorities after the 1993 Mumbai blasts poses ‘a very serious question’ and added that Sharad Pawar, the then chief minister of Maharashtra, must respond on this issue.
“This is a very serious matter. I think Ram Jethmalani was referring to something that happened 15-20 years ago. And if this offer was made a little after the terrorist attacks in Bombay (Mumbai) behind which we all know that Dawood Ibrahim and his groups based in Pakistan were involved, then of course this becomes a very serious question.
But this question can only be answered by Sharad Pawar and Ram Jethmalani,” BJP leader M J Akbar said. Ibrahim is India’s most wanted man for his part in deadly 1993 bombings in Mumbai. Ibrahim and his brother Anis allegedly masterminded the bombings that killed at least 250 people and wounded more than 700.
The 52-year-old underworld boss has eluded authorities for the past 20 years. He is believed to be hiding in Pakistan