India

Buyer forfeits 'crime lord' Dawood Ibrahim's Mumbai restaurant

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 who bought a restaurant owned by India's "most wanted man" has had to forfeit the property.

S Balakrishnan bought the Delhi Zaika restaurant owned by Dawood Ibrahim for 40.5m Indian rupees (£444,000; $673,500) in December.

He made a payment of three million rupees, but was unable to pay the rest.

Mr Balakrishnan had said he wanted to to turn the Mumbai property into an education centre for the poor.

The former journalist was seeking donations to complete the payment, which he was required to do within 30 days of purchasing the property.

He has complained that he was effectively given only 20 days to do so, because of holidays like Christmas and New Year.

A report in The Hindu newspaper said that a request to authorities to extend the deadline for payment by a month had been declined.

The property is now likely to be auctioned again.

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.

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

Mr Balakrishnan had said that the government's earlier attempts to sell the restaurant had failed because people were afraid to buy the underworld don's property.

He has complained that this fear had also prevented people from giving him donations to buy the property.

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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