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Chhota Shakeel fears for life, flees Pakistan

Chhota Shakeel fears for life, flees Pakistan

Author: S Balakrishnan
Publication: The Times of India
Date: June 11, 2009

The intra-gang war in the Dawood Ibrahim group has intensified so much that one of the faction leaders Chhota Shakeel has fled Pakistan. Apparently, Shakeel fears for his life. The factions, led by Anees Ibrahim, Dawood's younger brother, and Shakeel have been at loggerheads for several months now.

"As long as Dawood remained neutral, Shakeel had no problem in operating out of Karachi. But with the don tilting the scales in favour of his brother, the dice is loaded against Shakeel. Even though Shakeel's contribution to the growth of D-Company is many times more than that of Anees, Dawood has preferred to side with his brother,'' a crime branch official observed.

Anees has been trying to systematically neutralise the Shakeel faction and has been squealing to Indian authorities about Shakeel's contacts in India.

It is learnt that one of the reasons why Shakeel preferred to move out of Pakistan was the recent death of Noora, a brother of Dawood. It was widely believed that he had died following health complications. "It is true that Noora was having health problems and used to go to Dubai from Karachi often for medical treatment. But his death was not natural. A lethal injection was administered to him by a former aide, Ashfaq. Nobody even knows how the body was disposed of,'' an underworld source stated.

Now efforts are on to get Dawood's other two brothers, Humayun and Mustaquim, to run the operations which were hitherto handled by Shakeel, but they apparently lack Shakeel's competence.

Dawood's brother Iqbal is already in Mumbai and is maintaining a low profile after his release from jail in the Sara-Sahara case.

Dawood, who is always accompanied by a dozen sten-gun wielding guards and ISI agents in Karachi, is these days consolidating his friendship with a notorious Saudi international arms dealer. Because of this friendship, he has got access to powerful leaders in the Arab world and also the US.

- balakrishnan.s@timesgroup.com

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