Journalist bidding for Dawood property ‘threatened’

Former journalist S Balakrishnan who would be bidding for one of the seven properties of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, today said he has been threatened by the don’s aide Chhota Shakeel.

“I received an SMS from Shakeel. He said ‘You are taking part in the auction. What happened to you? I hope you are okay’,” Balakrishnan told PTI.

“This is their style of saying: keep off,” he said.

“I am bidding on behalf of my NGO Desh Seva Samiti which works for child welfare and women’s empowerment. We will run English speaking and computer training institute at the place. It will be named after great patriot Ashfaqullah Khan. He should be the role model for kids, not Dawood,” he said.

“A man sitting in Pakistan cannot dictate terms to the country,” he said.

On being asked whether he had informed the police about the SMS threat, Balakrishnan said he has not done so yet.

“The reserve price of the property is Rs 1.18 crore. We have some funds, we are trying to raise the balance,” he said.

The property is situated at Pakmodia Street in South Mumbai, which is considered to be Dawood’s den.

The auction for the property will be held on December 9 at Hotel Diplomat in Colaba.

“Seven listed properties of mobster Dawood Ibrahim are with the Competent Authority. The authority seizes the properties of accused in cases under Narcotics and Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Properties) Act 1976. These properties are then put for auction,” Balakrishnan said.

On Thursday, the former journalist visited Pakmodia Street for inspection of the property before the auction.

“It is a ground-plus-one floor structure,” he added.