India

Indian 'crime lord' Dawood Ibrahim's Mumbai restaurant sold

Picture of the restaurant owned by Dawood Ibrahim Image copyright Ashwin Aghor
Image caption Mr Balakrishnan wants to convert the restaurant into a social centre

A Mumbai social worker has bought a restaurant owned by India's "most wanted man" for 40.5m Indian rupees (£444,000; $673,500).

The government auctioned the restaurant and other properties owned by Dawood Ibrahim in Mumbai on Wednesday.

S Balakrishnan, who bought the Delhi Zaika restaurant, wants to make it an education centre for the poor.

Ibrahim is a fugitive in India and has been charged with masterminding the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings.

Some 257 people died and more than 700 others were wounded in the attacks.

India alleges that Ibrahim lives in the Pakistani city of Karachi, but Islamabad has always denied the charge.

Mr Balakrishnan needs to pay the sum he bid on the restaurant within 30 days to acquire it, and is seeking donations to do so.

Image copyright File
Image caption Dawood Ibrahim is a "most wanted man" in India

"I want to open a computer centre for children and also a legal aid centre for women of the area," he said.

The former journalist said that the government's earlier attempts to sell the property had failed because people were afraid to buy the underworld don's property.

"But this time we decided to show courage," he said.

Ibrahim was named a "global terrorist" in October 2003, and in June 2006, then US President George W Bush labelled him a "foreign narcotics trafficker".

He is accused of smuggling narcotics from Afghanistan and Thailand to the US, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.

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