Thailand not to send Dawood man to India

NEW DELHI: In a setback to India’s efforts to obtain the custody of senior D Company operative Munna Jhingada from Thailand, where he served 16 years in prison for an assassination attempt on underworld don Chotta Rajan, a Thai court of appeal has overturned a lower court verdict of 2018 holding him to be an Indian citizen and okaying his extradition to India.

Sources in the Indian intelligence agencies rued the development, especially in the light of unimpeachable evidence — fingerprints, DNA samples of his family members in India, college leaving certificate and copies of FIR registered against him in Mumbai for crimes including murder — they had presented to the lower court in Thailand to prove his Indian citizenship. New Delhi was hopeful that his extradition would help it establish his boss Dawood Ibrahim’s presence in Pakistan. This, an intelligence source pointed out, is precisely why Islamabad left no stone unturned — using influence through local contacts of ISI in Thai system to get a favourable order from the court of appeal — to secure his deportation by anyhow proving him to be a Pakistani national.

Sources here attributed the setback to ISI’s success in “working the system in Thailand”.
According to intelligence sources, Jhingada had been under the patronage of Pakistan’s ISI for being a trusted leader of D-Company. It was ISI that prepared his Pakistani passport in the fake name of Mohammed Saleem to facilitate his visit to Thailand for executing the assassination of Chhota Rajan. Even after he reached Thailand for the assigned task, his protection was taken care of by the Embassy of Pakistan, an intelligence officer told TOI.

After his conviction, ISI officials tried to get Jhingada’s sentence reduced through the Pakistani Embassy, engaging not just the Thai foreign ministry but also informal channels. The efforts helped him get five royal pardons, reducing his sentence to 16 years. Pakistan had meanwhile filed for Jhingada’s extradition, claiming him to be Mohammad Saleem as per its records and producing documents including passport to back its claim.

India too made a formal request for Jhingada’s extradition, first in March 2012 and then on December 27, 2016.

Jhingada was released on December 27, 2016 but immediately re-arrested and imprisoned under Extradition Act.

Source: Times of India


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