Opposition parties led by the Congress on Wednesday charged the Modi government with tarnishing India’s image by saying that the location of Dawood Ibrahim was not known, even as the government dubbed him a “terrorist” and said he was in Pakistan.
The issue was raised during Zero Hour by Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad who said the enquiry in 1993 Bombay blasts had established that Dawood was the culprit and sought a statement from the Home Minister on the matter.
Several other members including Ritabrata Banerjee, Tapan Kumar Sen, Sitaram Yechury (all CPI-M) and Pavan Kumar Verma (JD-U) associated themselves with the issue raised by Azad and sought a statement by the Home Minister on it.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Dawood was culprit of India and its people. “He is a terrorist and is in Pakistan,” he said.
Naqvi said the Home Minister would come to the House and he would urge him to provide detailed information on the issue.
Azad said the stand of successive governments over the last 20-22 years, whether that of Atal Bihari Vajpayee or the Congress or any other party, has been that Dawood lives in Pakistan and operates from there.
“Our intelligence agencies which work the world over, also know about his residence and location … Pakistan government has been asked to hand him over to India so that action could be taken. We expect the same for this government also…
“In the other House (Lok Sabha), it was said government has no information about location of Dawood Ibrahim. We profusely regret this (statement). This has damaged the image of India at national and international levels. I am not only talking about the image of BJP or NDA, but in my mind, this has maligned the image of India as never before,” said Azad.
He said Dawood was a “dangerous person” and India has been asking Pakistan to hand him over to India.
“The Home Minister should come to the House and make a statement,” Azad said while demanding a clarification.
He also said during the last general election campaign the UPA government was blamed for not being able to get Dawood back from Pakistan.
In a written statement in Lok Sabha yesterday, the Centre had said the location of Dawood Ibrahim was not known to the government and once he is located, his extradition process will be initiated.
Later, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the underworld don lives in Pakistan and the Centre would continue to pursue the case very seriously.