Mumbai: Shiv Sena criticised NCP leader Sharad Pawar’s admission that Dawood Ibrahim had offered to surrender along with certain conditions while he was the Maharashtra CM and took a swipe at ally BJP asking what prevented the Centre from making an effort to bring back the underworld don to India.
“If there is a will, he can still be dragged back to India. It is not so difficult. American commandos went into Pakistan and killed Osama bin Laden. They did not wait for him to surrender nor did they keep on negotiating terms with him,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said today.
“When Pawar was the CM of Maharashtra, BJP leader Gopinath Munde used to say that he (Pawar) had links with Dawood Ibrahim. In speeches in the Assembly and outside, Munde used to assert that we will drag Dawood to India when we get the Home portfolio,” Sena said.
“Though Sharad Pawar was the CM of Maharashtra, the final decision on extraditing Dawood should have been taken by the Central government,” it said.
“If allegations are being levelled against Pawar for refusing Dawood’s demands to surrender, there were no restrictions on dragging him back to the country after Pawar’s term as the Chief Minister ended,” it said.
If it was not possible to bring back Dawood then, even today, it is the BJP government at the Centre and in Maharashtra and so he can still be brought back, it said.
When politicians or police officials meet former IPL boss Lalit Modi, chaos ensues and resignations are demanded. But, when a “traitor” like Dawood Ibrahim meets politicians and makes dealings for his surrender, it is not taken seriously, the editorial said.
“If you cannot bring back Dawood, at least do not keep talking about him. These talks help these gangsters increase their criminal activities,” the Sena opined.
Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani had recently said 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 the Congress government in the state, had rejected the offer.
The offer was made during Pawar’s tenure as Chief Minister in 1990s. Pawar had later said, “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.”