Mumbai: Former journalist and founder of Desh Seva Samiti, S. Balakrishnan, on Wednesday successfully won the auction of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim by making a bid of Rs. 4.28 crore. The journalaist-turned-activist has already deposited the earnest payment of Rs. 30 lakh, and needs to deposit the final payment of Rs 3.98 crore within 30 days.
The property, a few meters away from Dambarwala Building on Pakmodia Street, Bhendi Bazaar, where Dawood once lived, measures 45 sq m (485 sq ft) and has a market price of Rs 6-8 crore, according to media reports.
Dawoodi Bohra Trust, which planned to include the asset in its ambitious Bhindi Bazaar redevelopment project, lost narrowly with a bid of Rs 4.27 crore.
Decks have been now cleared for the conversion of the 'infamous asset' into a training centre named after an almost forgotten freedom fighter in a changed situation in India.
Balakrishnan had earlier vowed to convert Dawood Ibrahim's confiscated property in Mumbai's Bhendi Bazaar area into an education and learning centre named after freedom fighter Ashfaqullah Khan for poor children of the locality who he said are into drugs.
"There are lot of children from Bhendi Bazaar area who are into drugs. If I managed to win the bid, through our NGO Desh Seva Samiti, we will run English speaking and computer training institute at the place", he said while talking to local reporters.
"The centre will be named after great patriot Ashfaqullah Khan", he added.
In reply to a question after winning the bid for 'Delhi Zaika', Balakrishnan said he will raise the fund needed for the final payment through donations.
Ashfaqulla Khan was a freedom fighter in the Indian independence movement who had sacrificed his life along with Ram Prasad Bismil. Ashfaqulla Khan was hanged in a conspiracy against the British Raj in the twentieth century. He was a prominent figure of the Hindustan Republican Association.
"Ashfaqullah Khan, not Dawood, should be the role model for kids", Balakrishnan said.
The competent authority, which enforces the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, or SAFEMA, held an auction of seven properties at Diplomat Hotel, Colaba, on Wednesday. Only Delhi Zaika, now known as Hotel Ranak Afroz, belonged to Dawood.
Bidding started with the Bohra Trust submitting a bid of Rs 1.72 crore, going all the way up to Rs 4.27 crore. Balakrishnan submitted the ultimate price.