Officers in the intelligence agencies are questioning the lack of credible action on the part of the bureaucrats of the North Block, which houses the Ministry of Home Affairs, who have been tasked to curtail and hit the operations of gangster Dawood Ibrahim, who continues to be a major hawala operator in the country.
Officers from the intelligence agencies are also questioning why the findings of the N.N. Vohra Committee on criminal-politician nexus were not being made public, as doing so would hit hard the India-based supporters of the underworld don, who continues to wield considerable influence within the country. The N.N. Vohra Committee was constituted more than 24 years ago to unearth the criminalisation of politics and discover the nexus among criminals, bureaucrats and politicians. The committee headed by the current Jammu and Kashmir Governor, N.N. Vohra, had focused on Dawood Ibrahim’s links with political leaders and bureaucrats, some of whom are either in active service or have retired recently and continue to be in positions of influence.
“Every now and then, random stories are planted in the media by bureaucrats sitting in MHA giving the impression that they are working hard to bring Dawood back or are at least ‘hitting’ him. Some news channel ‘speaks’ to him and then another newspaper publishes baseless stories about his property being confiscated. However, the truth is, nothing is happening. He is carrying on with his business just the way he used to. These officials are not even able to act against those who have been named by the Vohra Committee report. The report had named resourceful politicians and bureaucrats. The Congress was helpless and could not make the report public as some of its leaders were named in the report, but what is stopping the BJP? Once the findings become public, the government will have no option but to take action against those who helped Dawood in becoming what he has become today,” said a senior officer involved in intelligence gathering.
The MHA babus, while replying to this reporter’s RTI query seeking details of the N.N. Vohra Committee report, a few months ago, had stated that the minutes of the meetings related to the committee were not available with them, leading to speculation that the 100-plus-page report might have been “misplaced”. The MHA had declined to share the file notings of the committee meetings, terming them as “secret”.
What the MHA has termed as “secret”, according to officials familiar with the development, is nothing but the details as to how politicians and bureaucrats helped criminals such as Dawood Ibrahim to commit crimes, including perpetrating the 1993 Mumbai blasts.
The committee, constituted in July 1993 soon after the March 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts, had taken “stock of all available information about the activities of the crime syndicates/mafia organisations which had developed links with, and were being protected by government functionaries and political personalities” and had submitted its findings to the government in October 1993.