(Repored by Sanjay Singh and Rakesh Trivedi)
New Delhi, March 8: 1993 Mumbai serial blasts accused Farooq Takla, who evaded the law for more than two decades, was arrested at the IGI Airport on Thursday. The gangster had been active as a ‘hawala’ operator in the Gulf for the past twenty five years and was escaping detection by keeping a low profile. However, alert Indian agencies tracked him down last year when he attended a marriage function of his niece–which led to his arrest.
Farooq Takla’s twin brother, Amjad Langda was also an accused in the blasts case and was acquitted for lack of evidence. Langda’s daughter had got married in April last year. A party was organised in Dubai later, which was attended by family members of Farooq Takla and Dawood Ibrahim. Dawood’s nephew Ali Shah Parkar, son of Haseena Parkar, was also in attendance at the party.
Indian intelligence agencies knew that the high-profile party would be attended by family members of underworld operatives. They intercepted a few calls and identified Farooq Takla, who had changed his identity and was living a low profile life in UAE. He was traced and was put under continuous surveillance by agencies.
On 19 July last year, UAE’s ministry of interior’s director general of security affairs informed via Interpol (through IP message No 112220-2/62/IP/16378/10794) about extradition of Farukh Takla. It is unknown as of now how he was detained by the UAE authorities.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 3, 2017 got a non-bailable warrant issued against him from TADA court in Mumbai. The warrant was sent to UAE along with the red-corner notice (no A-385/7-1995), which was issued by Interpol in Lyons (France).
On August 22, 2017, the Government of India made a formal extradition request– as asked by UAE.
Fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim swung into action to save his trusted man. He presented Takla’s Pakistani passport to UAE authorities, claiming that he was a Pakistan national and shouldn’t be handed over to Indian authorities. Due to this, there was inexplicable delay in his extradition. However, intervention from the top echelons of the Indian government expedited the process.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had toured Abu Dhabi in February this year. He and his delegates had extensive talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval also had separate talks with Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan of UAE on the matter. In this meeting, the Indian delegation made an informal request to UAE to expedite Takla’s extradition.
Mohammed Farooq, better known as Farooq Takla, arrived in Delhi from Dubai and was arrested by the CBI when he was at an immigration counter at the Indira Gandhi International Airport this morning.
While the CBI declined to comment on how he reached Delhi as an Interpol Red Corner notice was pending against him, officials said Farooq was deported from the UAE with the help of central intelligence agencies and put on a flight to Delhi.