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Hindu leader eyes Dawood's eatery to build a public toilet

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Hardline Hindu leader Swami Chakrapani, who successfully bid for a car belonging to Dawood Ibrahim and later burnt it, today said he will acquire an eatery owned by the gangster at Bhendi Bazaar in and build a public toilet there. The Centre has invited bids for the eatery, two years after a failed attempt to auction it. Hotel Rounaq Afroz, which is also known as Zaika, besides other properties of Dawood are likely to go under the hammer on November 14. Chakrapani, the national president of Akhil Hindu Mahasabha, was in the city today along with his team to complete the formalities to apply for the bidding process. Talking to PTI about it, Chakrapani said, "After acquiring Hotel Afroz in the bidding, I will build a plush toilet there for public use. This toilet will be elegant and open to all free of cost. By turning the gangster's property into a toilet, I want to send the message- see how ends!" He said when the toilet gets ready, he will invite Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to inaugurate it under the 'Swachh Mission. Auction for the properties, including the hotel, was held in December 2015.

Chakrapani had then bid successfully for Dawood's green Hyundai Accent car for Rs 32,000. He later burnt it at Indirapuram near Chakrapani also said his Delhi-based advocate friend Ajay Shrivastava, who acquired Dawood's Nagpada property through bidding, would transfer its ownership to him. He said he would open a dispensary for the poor there which would treat poor patients for free. The dispensary, he said, will be a tribute to those who lost their lives in terror attacks committed by the gangster. After Dawood fled India, properties belonging to him and his associates were seized under the provisions of Smuggling and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, also known as SAFEMA. The authorities later decided to auction these properties in a phased manner. However, past auctions of the gangster's properties drew a cold response from bidders, apparently due to fear factor. However, Chakrapani's plan to build a toilet where Hotel Afroz now stands, has not gone down well with former journalist S Balakrishnan, who despite winning the bid for it in 2015, could not arrange money for it. Balakrishnan, through his NGO- Desh Seva Samiti- had successfully bid for the eatery, and even paid the earnest money of Rs 30 lakh, but failed to deposit Rs 4.28 crore in stipulated time. "It would be more appropriate if a community centre comes up there, where children from all communities can come together and get computer training. This would serve a better purpose than a toilet," Balakrishnan said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 10 2017. 19:13 IST