‘Salman came to Dubai when I was with Dawood’
Old colleagues, Dawood IBrahim and Chhota Rajan are today waging a war for control of the Mumbai underworld. Rajan was once lynchpin of D-Company; today he is one of the tools Indian intelligence uses to strike at the Dawood empire. In an exclusive telephone interview from somewhere in Europe, Chhota Rajan reveals how Salman Khan lunched with Dawood in his presence and goes on to claim that Bharat Shah (acquitted on this specific charge) was a front for Dawood’s money. Repeatedly invoking the ‘national interest’ to justify his actions, he also admits to his close linkages with India’s Intelligence Bureau. Excerpts:
At the outset, what do you know about Salman Khan’s links with the underworld. In a conversation with Aishwarya Rai, he claims to know Dawood IBrahim, Chhota Shakeel and you. He has named you too in the tape.
What was the conversation over lunch?
It was a normal discussion. Salman had lunch and left. There was a heroine with him also but I don’t want to name her. Ask Salman who she was.
Is he still in touch with you or Dawood?
I don’t know if they are still in contact. Salman only met me at that time. After that he has neither spoken to me nor was there such a situation. It is wrong on Salman’s part to descrIBe Dawood, a traitor, as his elder brother. He was in touch with Dawood at that time. There is no doubt about that, we all had met him.
To what extent does the underworld finance movies?
To tell you the truth, Salman’s movie Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, which was financed by Bharat Shah, was all Dawood’s money. Shakeel was also involved.
Which other films have been financed by underworld?
The finances were all being routed through Bharat Shah.
Have you also financed any movie?
No, I have not financed any film.
So, you have no links in film industry…
No, I have nothing to do with it.
That’s not true. Isn’t it because there are reports here that you called Ram Gopal Varma, the director of d?
I had spoken to Ram Gopal Varma only to tell him to not glorify a traitor like Dawood. I wanted to know why he was making a film on a deshdrohi. Varma told me that he had made a commercial film and that the main character of the film is not really Dawood, but a Hindu character.
Do you have any idea where Dawood is now? You must be keeping an eye on each other.
He is sitting in Karachi. He is sitting there cosy and comfortable with the ISI’s help.
There are reports that his daughter is marrying Javed Miandad’s son.
Yes, the marriage has already taken place and the reception is being held in Dubai
The Dawood camp has actually managed to pump bullets into you and kill many from your gang. Is he the stronger don?
It is not the question of being stronger. He has the support of an entire country, of the Pakistani establishment. I have no such support, even the Mumbai Police doesn’t support me. Even a Bharat Shah, who finances films with underworld money, has status and contacts. I operate differently. I kill in the national interest. In India’s interest. I killed the Nepal mp Dilshad Beg, who was a big ISI agent. That helped India. I killed Sharad Shetty, Dawood’s close associate. That also helped India.
Dawood’s gang is quite active even though he is holed up in Pakistan. Is he still ruling Mumbai?
No, it is not like this. We have damaged him to a large extent.
What about your dhanda? How do you remote control it?
(Laughs) What is our business, only buying and selling land in Mumbai city.
It is said that, you kill and extort…
Some people must be doing it in my name but there is no truth in it, I don’t go asking for money.
Whenever there is talk of the underworld, two names are mentioned, Dawood’s and yours… Through what activities do you maintain your gang?
That means you are land mafia.
Land mafia! No, I don’t grab land.
One of your associates, Vicky, was apprehended recently. He was in the company of a senior Intelligence Bureau officer. You obviously have links with intelligence agencies.
There is no dearth of patriots in this country. Difficulties (Vicky’s arrest) are encountered even when we intend doing something good for the country.
So you do have links with the IB. Are you providing them information about the D company?
We help a lot. Not only Dawood, there are other problems also, but I don’t want to talk about it. It will only alert the enemy. There are other problems concerning the country which we want to resolve. If we do it together it will be easier to handle. Together, we can do a lot of things.
Which problems are you talking about?
No, I don’t want to disclose it. There are some problems.
Recently, there was an attack in Ayodhya. Are you talking about that?
No, at this stage I don’t want to say anything. I don’t want to comment on this.
Yes, he has links with all kinds of terrorist organisations.
Which all terrorist organisations is he related to? Al-Qaeda? Hizbul? Lashkar-e-ToIBa? Harkat? Which all?
He has links with all these organisations and more.
Pakistanis are now believed to be behind the London attacks…
I’m not sure if Dawood knew about the London blasts but I am sure that he is in someway linked to whatever is happening in India.
Do you mean the Ayodhya attack?
I think finance-wise.
Why is it that Dawood is seen to be representing Muslims and you are seen as a Hindu supporter?
No, the question doesn’t arise. There is no question of Hindus and Muslims. I am a Hindustani and there are many Muslims in my gang.
But you left Dawood because of the blasts and the subsequent riots.
Of course, we had separated because of blasts only.
These blasts created a rift between Hindus and Muslims.
But many Muslims are patriots.
If you are such a Hindustani as you claim to be and even justify murder as being in the national interest, why are you in hiding?Why don’t you come back?
But you have the support of the IB.
I should get support from all quarters, some support me and some are against. If I have majority support, I will do something, I will do wonders, will do it early and come back.
The Indian agencies had helped you escape from the hospital in Bangkok.
Nobody helped me.
That is a lie. The papers for your extradition were delayed.
I don’t know what happened but papers did come later.
By that time you had escaped, it helped you.
Yes, this delay helped me.
But how did you escape?
(Laughs) I climbed down from the seventh floor with the help of a rope.
From the seventh floor?
(Laughs) With the help of my associates.
Were these associates sarkaari?
Which political parties do you support?
I have no interest in politics. For me, the party that stops the spread of terrorism is good for the country and for me.
Are you are saying that you want to come back but some people are against you? Is there a threat to your life or is it because you know you will be arrested?
What about the underworld’s links with politicians, a subject on which many movies have been made?
Yes, many politicians are linked but I will disclose their names at the appropriate time.
You must disclose their names since this involves the country’s interest.
I will name them at an appropriate time. Politicians from at least two political parties have links with Dawood and so does the Mumbai Police.
Name the parties.
Please don’t ask me. I will name them when the time is right.
When do you think, will you be able to come back?
I can’t say anything on this for now.
You have been trying to target Dawood for a long time and claim to have almost got him once. What’s happening now?
I will reach him. I don’t want to disclose anything now. Everything will come before you.
Where are you hiding now? What is your location?
I can’t tell you that.
Which country are you in?
I am in Europe.