New Delhi: With international pressure increasing on Pakistan to act swiftly against terror operators, India`s most wanted criminal Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, an accused in the 1993 Mumbai terror attacks, is believed to have fled Karachi with close aide Chhota Shakeel.
As per reports on Friday, Dawood, accompanied by his confidant Chhota Shakeel, fled to Saudi Arabia on the night of May 01, 2011- when Osama bin Laden was killed in a US operation.
However, inputs gathered by Indian intelligence agencies have revealed that Dawood’s family is still living in Karachi.
Dawood, who is currently on Interpol’s most wanted list for organised crime and counterfeiting, possibly shifted his base from Karachi in the wake of increased US pressure on the Pakistan establishment and allegations from New Delhi that its Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was shielding wanted terrorists.
It was also reported that some elements in the ISI must have asked Dawood and his family to vacate his palatial ‘Mohin Palace’ located near the Saudi mosque at the Clifton area in Karachi anticipating that India would definitely pressurise the United Nations and Pakistan government to hand over the fugitive underworld don.
If reports are to be believed then the Indian intelligence agencies are also aware of the travel route taken by the dreaded gangster.
"Dawood and his family travelled over 670 miles in 15 hours through the express road route from Karachi to Kabul in Afghanistan, accompanied by his personal security and a caravan of six bullet proof Range Rovers vehicles. The don and his family further boarded a private jet from Kabul’s K Rawash airport to Saudi Arabia,” a source close to the intelligence agency was quoted as saying.
Dawood recently underwent an open heart surgery, due to which he and his henchmen have had to take a calculative risk to travel via road route, which was safe in view of ISI officials.
It was also reported that one of the SUVs in which Dawood travelled was equipped with a portable Intensive Care Unit system with a doctor round the clock in case of emergency.
Dawood recently emerged as the world`s second most wanted man, next only to a Mexican drug lord, after the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
He is also suspected in the 1993 Mumbai bombings that killed 257 people and wounded 713. He appears simultaneously on Forbes`s lists of the world`s most powerful, most wealthy and most wanted men.
India hands Most Wanted to List to Pakistan
Meanwhile, the development also coincides with New Delhi handing over of a list of twenty-five most wanted men in India to Islamabad. According to sources, India handed over the list to Pakistan two days ago on May 04.
Among those who prominently feature on the list are Tiger Memon, JeM chief Masood Azhar, Jamaat –ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed. This is not the first time that India has handed over such a list. Previously as well, names of the people wanted in India and believed to be living in the neighbouring country have been shared with Pakistan, however little has come out of it.