Da­wood aide killed in Pak for ‘plot’ against boss?

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Ahmed.Ali @times­group.com

Mum­bai: Fa­rooq Devdi­wala, a close aide of Da­wood Ibrahim whose de­por­ta­tion was sought un­suc­cess­fully by the In­dian gov­ern­ment af­ter his ar­rest in Dubai last year, is be­lieved to have been killed in Karachi, Pakistan, on the or­ders of Ch­hota Sha­keel on the sus­pi­cion that he was plot­ting against the Dgang boss.

Though In­dia wanted Devdi­wala for var­i­ous of­fences and for re­cruit­ing young­sters for the ter­ror group In­dian Mu­jahideen (IM), Pakistan in July 2018 suc­ceeded in get­ting him ex­tra­dited to its own soil by sub­mit­ting bo­gus iden­ti­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments, in­clud­ing a pass­port show­ing him to be a Pak­istani na­tional.

Sources said that Sha­keel, who is among Da­wood’s clos­est op­er­a­tives, got to know through his in­for­mants that Devdi­wala had had a meet­ing with In­dian agency of­fi­cials in Dubai and was con­spir­ing against Da­wood. Ac­cord­ing to sources, Devdi­wala, on be­ing con­fronted by Sha­keel, ac­knowl­edged the truth of the claim, af­ter which Da­wood and his aides felt he could no longer be trusted.

Though se­nior of­fi­cials of the Mum­bai po­lice’s crime branch re­fused to com­ment on the mat­ter, well-placed sources track­ing de­vel­op­ments said that the In­ter­pol was try­ing to con­firm Devdi­wala’s death in Karachi.

If the death is con­firmed, it would make Devdi­wala the sec­ond Da­wood aide to be killed in Pakistan. Ear­lier, in late 2000, gang­ster Feroz Kokani was killed al­legedly af­ter he was over­heard show­ing dis­re­spect to Da­wood.

Orig­i­nally a res­i­dent of Jo­gesh­wari, Devdi­wala had been on the radar of var­i­ous anti-ter­ror­ism squads (ATS) in In­dia. His name had cropped up in the mur­der of Gu­jarat home min­is­ter Haren Pandya and some oth­ers in the af­ter­math of the post-Godhra ri­ots. A mem­ber of the Ar­jun gang from Musafirkhana, Devdi­wala worked closely with gang­ster Salim Kutta. In later years, sources said, he had al­most be­come a fun­da­men­tal­ist and had been aid­ing IM in re­cruit­ing and train­ing young­sters to launch at­tacks on In­dian soil. His links with the IM came to light af­ter the Ahmed­abad ATS ar­rested two sus­pects, in­clud­ing one Faizal Mirza, in Gand­hi­na­gar. Both the sus­pects had un­der­gone train­ing in ter­ror camps in Pakistan and had re­turned to In­dia re­port­edly to launch ter­ror at­tacks. Some of their tar­gets in­cluded po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and es­tab­lish­ments.

While Pakistan’s suc­cess in get­ting Devdi­wala ex­tra­dited was a set­back for In­dian au­thor­i­ties, sources said Pakistan is at­tempt­ing to do the same in the case of Sha­keel aide Munna Jhin­gada, who had at­tempted to kill Ch­hota Ra­jan in Bangkok in the year 2000. Pakistan, along with In­dia, has claimed that he is their na­tional. The case is pend­ing in a Thai­land court de­spite the Mum­bai po­lice pro­vid­ing fin­ger­prints and an en­tire dossier on Jhin­gada to the Thai court.

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