Two weeks after mid-day first reported that Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) was eyeing underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's Bhendi Bazaar property, Hotel Raunaq Afroz, which was up for re-auction this morning, sources confirmed that the trust is one of the three bidders.
In January this year, the Appellate Tribunal for Forfeited Property had cleared the Government's move to take over Dawood's two properties (Shabnam Guesthouse and Damarwala building) under the provisions of SAFEMA dismissing 27 appeals of people claiming to be "long term tenants" at the Damarwala Building and Shabnam Guesthouse in Mumbai.
"Yes. We submitted bids and have won the auction for the three properties which fall within the redevelopment jurisdiction of the SBUT".
According to the Newspaper, Flat numbers 18-20, 25,26 and 28 of the Damarwala Building, and houses 34-40 on Pakmodia Street and Yakub Street, where Iqbal Kaskar and his late sister Haseena Parkar used to reside was auctioned for Rs3.52 crore and the Hotel Raunaq Afroz on Pakmodia Street went for Rs4.52 crore. The third and the last property of Dawood that was put on auction by the government was the Shabnam Guest house in Bhendi Bazaar where the don's younger brother Iqbal Kaskar was staying before his arrest recently.
"The properties are in a very dilapidated condition and are unsafe to live in".
These properties could not be auctioned in 2015. This time the ministry sought security for the objective and increased the caution money from INR 15,000 to INR 1,00,000 for three properties.
"While the Raunaq Afroz hotel attracted maximum bid of Rs 4.53 crore, Shabnam Guest House got maximum bid of Rs 3.52 crore and the rooms in the Damarwala building had maximum bid for Rs 3.53 crore", said a source. The properties were seized since 1993 serial blasts accused Dawood is still wanted.As a precautionary measure, officials of Mumbai police and several other agencies kept tab on the proceedings in and around the venue, which was situated near Churchgate station. "Therefore, to ensure safety of the families living there and to carry on with the redevelopment project, we participated in the bidding and acquired these properties", the SBUT spokesperson added. Even now, security remains a major concern.
A spokesperson confirmed that SBUT was bidding for all the three properties, but did not reveal any more details.