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A key member of the ‘D’ for Dawood Gang, ‘Takla’ has been remanded to a 19-day police custody after being deported from Dubai on Thursday, March 8. Produced before a court, the TADA judge agreed that ‘Takla’ needs to be quizzed to get another angle on Dawood & Co. A report for Different Truths. 

Farooq ‘Takla’.

Hear the name and a picture flashes: Of barren landscape where nothing grows. Farooq’s mother could not have nicknamed him better: Pat to the pate, ‘Takla’ is Mumbaiya Hindi for bald. And Dawood aide Farooq ‘Takla’ fits the name to the last non-existent strand of hair on his head.

A key member of the ‘D’ for Dawood Gang, ‘Takla’ has been remanded to a 19-day police custody after being deported from Dubai on Thursday, March 8. Produced before a court, the TADA judge agreed that ‘Takla’ needs to be quizzed to get another angle on Dawood & Co, one that will give a better view, incriminating not just ‘Takla’ but also his homesick ‘Aaka’, international terrorist Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar.

Farooq Takla’s parents named him Yasin Mansoor Mohammad Farooq. He has a twin who was christened Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Yasin Mansoori, who got the ‘Langda’ sobriquet, and you should know why. Farooq ‘Takla’ and Farooq ‘Langda’! Friends-circles can be harsh on a friend with body-impairments, genetic or accidental. That being said, the ‘name’ is the greatest invention of man, greater than the wheel and the smartphone.

Anyway, the twin, Farooq ‘Langda’, was also arrested in the 1993 Bombay blasts case. But evidence or the lack of it helped him limp out of court free. He was acquitted. Will the same luck smile on Farooq ‘Takla’? Will he get a clean chit to go with his clean pate?

Farooq Takla was alleged to be involved in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, which killed 250 and injured hundreds more. On his bald head lie charges of many crimes. When he fled Bombay soon after the serial blasts, Takla was young and seemingly proud of his crown of head which gave him the moniker ‘Takla’.

Now, more than a quarter-century later, he sports a grey beard; with a printed skull cap, he looks a distinguished old man picked up for walking the beach and kicking sand with intent. Special Prosecutor Ujjwal Nigam, who prosecuted the 1993 Bombay Blasts Case for a decade and more, calls Takla ‘Taklia’ – must be Marathi for ‘Takla’.

The 1993 Mumbai blasts were engineered by gang boss Dawood Ibrahim and his friend Tiger Memon. Brought to Mumbai, ‘Takla’ is being questioned by the CBI even as several other agencies are sniffing around a CBI safe-house in Mumbai to get their paws on him. ‘Takla’ is a prize catch. Among other things he is alleged to have handled the D-Company’s “Dubai Accounts”, and had a say in the gang’s operations in the GCC.

But, according to some reports, ‘Takla’ was working as a cab driver in Dubai and doing odd jobs to pay for three square meals, a roof over his head and the clothes on his back. Pretty rudimentary life. Yet other reports pin him to Dawood’s coattails. These reports say Farooq ‘Takla’ was living in Pakistan after fleeing India.

After a few years in Karachi, Dawood ordered him to move to Dubai. In Dubai, ‘Takla’ took on the guise of a cabbie. But, according to these other reports, ‘Takla’ was in disguise without actually changing appearance. He was there in full view, a Dawood-man who nobody suspected as a Dawood-man! His main job was to ensure that “recruits” to D-Company got through Dubai Immigration without any hitch while flying on to Pakistan.

‘Takla’, with D-Company’s connections in Dubai Immigration, saw to it that D-Company operatives travelling via Dubai to Pakistan got through without getting their passports stamped in Dubai. Essentially, to show that they never travelled via Dubai. Ironically, ‘Takla’ was deported through the same immigration and put on a plane to India and arrested at the Delhi Airport immigration counter.

That said, ‘Takla’, the nondescript and harmless Dubai taxi driver, was worth his weight in gold to D-Company. And now he is worth his weight in gold to India’s investigative agencies tracking Dawood Ibrahim. Takla’s interrogation would help pin Dawood to Pakistan’s ISI and get the dope on key members of D-Company, including those ‘Takla’ helped ‘skip’ Dubai en route to Pakistan.

‘Takla’ was said to be ‘manager’ to both Dawood and his brother Anees Ibrahim Kaskar but ‘closer’ to Anees. ‘Takla’ in police custody should, if he has any imagination, agree to spill all out, vomit actually, on one condition – he walks into Arthur Road Jail with a sheaf of blank papers, pen and ink. Takla’s story ‘D-Company’s D for Dubai-Days’ would be one hell of a bestseller ever written. Published, the memoir with the bald truth will make him a famous-notorious bald-bad man.

Farooq ‘Takla’ is sitting on a mine of information, crucial to intelligence agencies and ingredients for the plot that will make a bestseller. They will make a movie of it. And a search for a bald pate to play the lead role will lure the takla out from all corners of India. It’s a paradox that a planet as round as a globe should have ‘corners’! But that is life; the best life-stories emerge from corners and are of the cornered.

And there are so many corners to Takla’s life including the Interpol Red Corner Notice for him issued in the mid-1990s, and his alleged involvement in the JJ Hospital shooting case – the killing of a hospitalised Arun Gawli gang sharpshooter, who was in the hit squad that gunned down Dawood’s brother-in-law Ibrahim Parker, the hubby of Dawood’s sister, Haseena Parker, who passed away in 2014.

Aditya Aamir
©IPA Service 

Photo from the Internet

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