Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday sought an explanation from Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the whereabouts of wanted underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday said: “The subject has not been located so far. Extradition process with regard to Dawood Ibrahim would be initiated once the subject is located.”
His colleague, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju later clarified outside parliament that the underworld don was in Pakistan and the Centre would continue to pursue the case very seriously.
Raising the issue in the upper house on Wednesday, Azad said successive governments of India have maintained Dawood Ibrahim is in Pakistan, and Chaudhary’s statement spoils India’s image internationally.
“The stand of government of India has been Dawood Ibrahim is in Pakistan and operates from there… During election it was alleged we failed in getting him…But in a written statement in the other house, it was said government does not know about the location of Dawood Ibrahim,” Azad said.
“This spoils India’s image internationally… We have been saying he is in Pakistan for years. If we say today we don’t know where he is, it is very wrong,” the Congress leader said.
As other opposition members supported the demand for a clarification, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi assured members that the home minister would make a statement on the issue.
The name of Dawood, wanted in connection with 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, figures in almost all the dossiers that have been handed over to Pakistan.
Dawood, listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US for his alleged links with Al-Qaeda terror group, vanished from Mumbai between 1992-93 and settled in a Gulf country.
The CBI has alleged that he conspired with Pakistan’s spy agency ISI to carry out serial blasts in Mumbai in which 257 people were killed and property worth Rs. 32 crore was damaged.