Don: Haji Mastan- Part-I

When Dawood was a child, many children including him were being told the stories of Haji Mastan. Like the second-most important underworld don, Haji’s journey also began from the Mumbai dockyard.

Updated: Jun 15, 2007, 00:00 AM IST

Channel: Zee News

Programme: Don

Telecast: Friday- 9:30 pm

Repeat telecast: Saturday- 9:30 am, 3:30 pm, 10:30 pm, Sunday-11:00 am

When Dawood was a child, many children including him were being told the stories of Haji Mastan. Like the second-most important underworld don, Haji’s journey also began from the Mumbai dockyard.

Haji Mastan worked as a coolie for a few years in the Mumbai dockyard. He realized that the place was a big den for smuggling. At that time the rich businessmen of Mumbai with the help of the ship’s captain and custom officials used to smuggle gold from Dubai and sell it at a high rate here.
Haji started befriending the ship captain and the custom officials began to get involved in this business.

While working in the dockyard, Mastan had developed contacts but he still had no money. He was in search of a man who not only had sufficient money but also had contacts among the flourishing businessmen. At last he met such a man called Yusuf Patel.

Patel and Mastan made a good pair together. When Dawood was young, his father Ibrahim Kaskar knew Haji. With Haji’s help, he opened an electronics shop for his son Dawood. In this electronics shop of Manish Market, now smuggled goods started coming in. Haji delegated the responsibility of smuggling electronics’ goods to Dawood. These were Dawood’s initial days in the smuggling business.

Like the other powerful underworld dons of Mumbai, Dawood’s attention also went towards the dockyard. He started working as a landing agent with Haji Mastan. The transportation of the material from the dockyard to the party was now his responsibility.

One day a chance meeting between Haji and Dawood changed things. In the year 1974 Dawood looted a trader in broad daylight and thus established himself as a criminal. During the emergency in 1975 when criminals were getting caught, Dawood and Haji Mastan landed up in the same jail.

Haji started to find Dawod fit for his trade and invited him to join his team in the jail itself. Though Dawood accompanied Mastan yet it was difficult for him to make a place for himself. Sayeed Batla, Alamzeb and Amirzada’s dangerous team worked for Haji. In Nagpada and Dongri regions, Batla was running alcohol and gambling dens. Alamzeb and Amirzada were also an important part of the Pathan gang. Between Kareem Lala and Haji Mastan whosoever needed the other, Alamzeb’s and Amirzada’s pair used to work for them. In South India, they had a few dens from where they used to operate flesh trade.

Dawood alongwith his brother Shabeer became a member of the Haji Mastan gang but he often had clashes with Batla, Alamzeb and Amirzada.

Mastan alongwith his partner Yusuf Patel was earning plenty of money and was increasing his strength as well. Mastan knew that Dawood was unable to get alongwith these three.

But one day due to their habits Batla, Alamzeb and Amirzada landed up in trouble. That day also the three were celebrating in a hotel located on JJ Road. Batla’s eyes fell on a girl who had come to the hotel and the three gangraped her. The hotel owner kept on pleading with them not to. Later, when the girl lodged a complaint with the police they thought it was on the hotel owner’s insistence. So they murdered him. Since Dawood was among the special friends of that hotel owner, he conspired to kill Sayeed Batla. Haji came to know about the same and he saved Batla right on time. Dawood did not like this at all but he could not fight with Haji now. For Haji also the three were important for his smuggling business.

Batla suspected that Dawood was getting writings against him published in a newspaper. So Batla killed the editor of the newspaper. The editor of Urdu daily Rajdar, Iqbal Naatik was a good friend of Dawood’s. Batla was unaware that Naatik was also a friend of Haji. When Haji got to know of this he verbally abused Batla and also slapped him. Dawood was not satisfied with this and was thinking of getting Batla killed. Thus Dawood decided to split up with Mastan.

More in the next episode.