Mumbai, Dec 9 (IANS) Though the fear of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim may still keep many on tenterhooks, a handful of plucky prospective investors on Wednesday came out to bid for properties allegedly owned by him at an auction held here amidst tight security.
A former journalist, S. Balakrishnan, participated in the auction at a private hotel despite a threat on the SMS from the mafia don’s associate Chhota Shakeel to dissuade him.
He is bidding for an approximately 500 square feet prime property in south Mumbai for his non-governmental organisation, Desh Seva Samiti, which works for child welfare and women’s empowerment and plans to open an English-speaking and computer institute there.
If his bid is successful, Balakrishnan said, he would name the institute after great freedom fighter Ashfaqullah Khan.
“Somebody sitting in Pakistan cannot dictate terms to this country. It’s an insult to our country. We shall not be cowed down by the threats and shall sacrifice whatever we have for the nation,” Balakrishnan said.
The property in Pakmodia Street – once considered the hub of the don’s activities – had a reserve price of Rs.1.18 crore, for which the DSS hopes to raise money.
Dawood’s alleged seven properties are in custody of the competent authority, which is responsible for looking after seized properties of those accused in serious cases like narcotics, smuggling and forex offences and auctioning these.
Dawood’s alleged properties include an eatery, a Hyundai Accent car and around 350 square feet room in Mahavir Building in Matunga.
Besides, a couple of plots in union territory of Daman have also been put up for auction.