Mumbai: A former police officer who investigated Mumbai's underworld for many years has said that Dawood Ibrahim's trusted lieutenant Chhota Shakeel is likely to be his successor if reports that India's most wanted terrorist is dying of gangrene are true.
- Conflicting reports emerge about Dawood Ibrahim's health
- Chhota Shakeel is likely to be his successor if something happens to him
- Dawood is accused of masterminding and financing 1993 Mumbai blasts
"Chhota Shakeel is likely to be Dawood's successor since he is very aggressive," said former Assistant Commissioner of Police Shamsher Khan Pathan, adding that he is "doubtful about his health."
TV channel CNN-News18 has reported that Dawood Ibrahim, who is wanted by India for the 1993 blasts in Mumbai that killed 256 people, is crippled with gangrene and is allegedly being treated in Pakistan's Karachi.
The reports says the don could lose both his legs as doctors may need to amputate soon. It also says his condition is life-threatening.
The Times of India has, however, quoted Chhota Shakeel as denying that Dawood the Don is seriously ill. Shakeel reportedly said his boss is "perfectly fit."
India has been trying for many years to track down and apprehend Dawood, who is said to have run Mumbai's underworld by remote control out of Dubai and Karachi. CNN-News18 reported that he is being treated at what is believed to be his residence in Karachi's posh Clifton locality.
Pakistan has always denied Dawood's presence in that country.
"I don't think Pakistani officials are foolish enough to aid Dawood openly. If it is then the (Indian) government should act in haste, since they have been saying that Dawood does not live there," said Mr Pathan, who is well versed with the Kumbharwada area of Mumbai, where Dawood Ibrahim lived with his family before escaping the country in late 1980s.
Dawood is accused of masterminding and financing the 1993 blasts along with his brother Tiger Memon, who is also absconding. His other brother Yakub Memon was hanged last year.