Dawood Ibrahim is a prominent figure in the world of crime who casts a long shadow over the Indian underworld. His story is full of terrorism, organized crime, and geopolitical narratives.
He is famous as the underworld leader of the notorious “D-Company” through which he planned illegal activities and terror attacks. He also rose to fame after the terrible Bombay bombings in 1993. Afterward, he disappeared into the escape world.
Childhood and Early Life of Dawood Ibrahim
Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar was born on Dec 27, 1955, in a tiny village in Khed of Maharashta’s Ratnagiri region. He had eleven siblings. His father, Ibrahim Kaskar, was a Mumbai police head constable. However, his mother, Amina, was a housewife.
After some time, the family of Dawood relocated to a Muslim-dominated neighborhood, Dongri, in Mumbai. He was raised in a lower-middle-class home. Since he was a child he aspired to become a big name.
He dropped out of school and began working early because he was not interested in studies. He worked as a mechanic and rickshaw driver to make a living, but this did not satisfy his big goals.
Eventually, he became involved in little crimes and fraud in his early teenage years. He took on the bustling “Crawford Market” of Mumbai. He sold cheap replica watches and tricked customers with phony price tags. Several complaints were filed against him. But, he continued to engage in similar little crimes until he was in his late teens.
The Beginning of Terror Era and D-Company Foundation
Dawood being involved in little crimes grabbed the attention of gangs. First, he worked for small gangs. Later on, the famous gangs “Karim Lala” and “Haji Mastani” recruited him in his late teens. He started conflicts with his gang members to become an underground boss. Mostly, he worked for Haji Mastani gang.
Dawood learned the ways of organized crimes, illegal activities like smuggling of drugs and weapons, and manipulation of the justice system to dodge. Then, he founded the “D-Company” with the help of his brother Ibrahim Kaskar in the 1970s. Another Mumbai gang, Pathan, was not happy over the emerging power of Dawood.
He became a feared figure after the historic battle between Haji Mastani and Pathan gangs. All hell broke out when the Pathan gang killed his brother Ibrahim. The murder suspect, Manya Surve, from the Pathan gang, fought Dawood from Haji Mastani gang. This was one of the worst underworld fights in Mumbai.
Dawood killed Surve and crushed all “Pathan” gang members and associates completely. He ruled the Mumbai gangs and became the famous Indian underworld don. During his reign, he killed several innocent people to establish his reign of terror.
The Indian government was unable to hold him accountable due to his mafia terror and influence over the political system. However, the Indian government managed to arrest him in 1986. But he successfully escaped arrest and flew to Dubai.
After that, Dubai became his base for running the largest Indian illegal financial and criminal network. He smuggled firearms and narcotics from India while sitting in Dubai. He allied with the local sheiks in Dubai to expand his power. Dawood enjoyed creating fear in people and rose to become one of the most feared gang lords in Dubai.
Terrorism and the Alleged Role of Pakistan
In the early 1990s, there were claims that Pakistan’s secret intelligence agency ISI joined forces with Dawood to take advantage of religious tensions in India and spread riots in Mumbai. Allegedly, ISI provided funding and support to Dawood, who in turn became part of a plan to harm Mumbai.
Dawood’s companions, Tiger Memon and Yakub Memon are said to have launched the Mumbai attacks following the commands of Dawood. He was accused of playing a role in the 1993 serial bombings across 12 places in Mumbai (previously Bombay) that killed 257 innocent people. The Indian government issued the death warrant for Yakub Memon and executed him for these deadliest attacks.
Since then, he has been on India’s “Most Wanted” list. The United Nations also identified him as an international terrorist with a $25 million prize on his head. The US suspects him of having links to Osama bin Laden.
Dawood Ibrahim has also alleged role in the 2002 Gujrat riots that lasted for three days and involved fights between different communities, particularly Hindus and Muslims.
There are also allegations against him of being involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks when militants attacked the city including, the Taj Hotel and other multiple places. The Taj Hotel attack resulted in the deaths of 32 people.
However, his involvement in the 2002 Gujrat riots and 2008 Mumbai attacks is debatable due to the absence of official evidence against him.
According to Indian officials, Dawood has been in Karachi, Pakistan since 2015. A report claimed that he owned nine houses and three passports in Pakistan. Recent Indian media reports alleged that Dawood had been hospitalized in Karachi due to poisoning under ISI security.
Personal Life of Dawood Ibrahim
Dawood married Mehjabeen Shaikh in the 1990s. They had four children. One of his daughters, Mahrukh, married Junaid Miandad, the son of former Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad. Another daughter, Mehreen, married a Pakistani American businessman, Ayub.
His son Moin Ibrahim married Saniya, the daughter of a Pakistani businessman in London. Moin is the only son of Dawood who became a religious leader (Maulana) in 2017. It made Dawood unhappy. There are speculations that he felt sad for a long time because his son chose a life of faith over a more comfortable life.
However, Dawood lost one of his daughters, Maria due to illness allegedly in Pakistan. Besides this, his sister Haseena Parker faced criticism and backlash for her brother’s sins. She denied her connection with her brother. A rival gang of Dawood assassinated her husband.
The life of Dawood Ibrahim is filled with darkness and mystery in the complicated world of crime. He started from the small streets of Khed and climbed to the highest ranks of global organized crime. His influence seems limitless.
The story of Dawood is marked by the violent events of the 1993 Bombay bombings and the continuing criminal activities of his D-company. Even though he is wanted worldwide, he has successfully managed to escape and remains in a disappeared world.
The mystery surrounding him brings fear and criminality that is an ongoing challenge for law enforcement forces across the world as they want to bring him to justice.
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