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The right wing Hindu Mahasabha will bid for under world don Dawood Ibrahim’s property in Pakmodia Street today (Tuesday). The auction will take place at Hotel Diplomat in Colaba from 11 am under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (forfeiture of properties) Act, with a reserve price of Rs 1.18 crore.
The first bid for the property was made by journalist-turned-activist S Balakrishnan, who has alleged that he was threatened by Dawood’s top aide Chhota Shakeel to back out.
The Hindu Mahasabha top brass told Mumbai Mirror that a “wellwisher” who is “closely associated” with the organisation was taking part in the auction in his personal capacity, and the mahasabha was “strongly supporting him”.
Santosh Rai, the mahasabha’s rashtriya sangathan mantri, said the person, whose identity will be revealed after the auction, has submitted the deposit of Rs 30 lakh and had arranged for money on his own.
“He has done the financial arrangements,” Rai said. “The bidder is a senior citizen, a member of the Hindu Mahasabha, and the organisation is strongly supporting him,” he added.
Sources said that a man named Swami Chakrapani, who is claiming to be the Hindu Mahasabha president, has bid for a green sedan, which is a part of the auction of Dawood’s properties. Rai described Chakrapani as “fake”, and said that the mahasabha has banned him.
“He used to attend our events and was trying to project himself as the organisation’s president before the public,” Rai said.
Chakrapani said that he didn’t want to get into a “war of words with anyone”, and that his sole aim was to prove that he was not afraid of Dawood. “I will bid for the vehicle and we will use it for welfare work,” he said.
The vehicle’s ownership, however, is being questioned. The car, whose reserve price is Rs 15,700, is in a wrecked condition, and has been lying inside a government colony in Ghatkopar for the last four years. Its tyres have burst and the windshield is completely smashed. The residents vehemently deny that the vehicle belonged to Dawood.
Sources also said that at least one major political party will be participating in the auction. A dominant regional party in the state has deputed a senior worker to bid for the property.
A party leader said, “The same worker from our party had tried bidding for Dawood’s properties earlier, but there were technical errors. This time around, he has been extra careful. He doesn’t want to take any chances, hence we are not disclosing his identity.”