Four parcels of agricultural land owned by the family of India’s most wanted terrorist, Dawood Ibrahim, will go under the hammer on Friday at a reserve price of just over Rs 19 lakh. The land parcels are the underworld don’s ancestral property and are located in Mumbake village in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district.
While the number of bidders is not clear, one person who is certain to turn up is lawyer and former Shiv Sena member Ajay Srivastava, who has successfully bid on three of the terrorist’s properties in the past. The properties include Dawood’s childhood home in Mumbake village, where he was born.
While the shops he had bid for in 2001 are caught in a legal tangle, Mr Srivastava hopes to get the deed for the 1993 Mumbai blasts mastermind’s home soon. The lawyer said he plans to start a Sanatan Pathshala (school) there.
“I had bid for the bungalow in 2020. A Sanatan Dharm Pathshala Trust has been set up and construction of the school will start soon. I will participate in the auction on Friday. I had taken part in the auction in 2001 to get the fear of Dawood Ibrahim out of people’s hearts, and a few people have come forward after that,” he said.
Friday’s auction will be held in Mumbai for the four parcels of land, which were seized under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators Act, 1976. The reserve price has been set at Rs 19.22 lakh.
One of the bidders at a 2015 auction of Dawood’s properties is, however, unhappy with Friday’s procedure.
“This is ridiculous. Rs 19 lakh means nothing to Dawood. So, in the name of auctioning such properties, they waste the government’s money. But why does the government need to do all this? It has the power to take over all the property he owns,” said S Balakrishnan, a former journalist.
Mr Balakrishnan had bid Rs 4.28 crore for a restaurant owned by the don in 2015 but lost the property because he could not deposit the money in time. The restaurant was in Pakmodia Street, a central location in Mumbai.
The former journalist said he had bid for the restaurant to end Dawood’s terror and “risked his life”, but the government did not extend the time to deposit the money.
“I was going to deposit Rs 4 crore under any circumstances because I had so much support from the public. Everyone had said they would help me. But I had only three weeks, which included a Christmas holiday. I requested the government to give me an extension under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators Act and told them that I just needed one more month, but it did not agree,” he claimed.
The first auction of Dawood’s properties in 2000 had seen nobody turning up to participate, and the no-show was attributed to fear of the terrorist.