Hotel Raunak Afroz (original name) at Pakmodia Street in Mumbai that was auctioned on Wednesday. (left) S Balakrishnan
Former journalist S Balakrishnan has won the final bidding of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s property (Hotel Raunak Afroz) at Pakmodia Street on Wednesday. Balakrishnan put in the highest bid of Rs 4.28 crore for the ground-plus-one structure. Balakrishnan, who runs an NGO, Desh Seva Samiti, wants to set up an education centre for poor children there.Pakmodia Street is still considered to be Dawood’s den, and the underworld don calls the shot there from across the border even now.The auction for Dawood’s property and six others were conducted at the Hotel Diplomat in Colaba on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking to dna, Balakrishnan said: “The competent authority had seized seven listed properties of those accused in narcotics and Smugglers & Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Properties) Act 1976 cases. One of the properties, Hotel Raunak Afroz, was of Dawood Ibrahim. These properties were then put up for auction.”The reserve price for the bidding of the hotel was Rs 1.18 crore and earnest deposit is Rs 30 lakh.According to Balakrishnan, around 11 am, the bidding started on the first floor of the hotel. The first bidding were for four agricultural properties of Nani Daman. The next one was for the Hyundai Accent lying at Ghatkopar. The third bidding was for the tenancy right of a room in Mahavir Building at Matunga and the last one was for the hotel.The winner was to be decided after open bidding, e-tender and sealed tender.“Apart from me, representatives from Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) were also present. While SBUT’s bid was Rs 4.27 crore, I bid Rs 1 lakh more and won the open bidding. “Someone had bid Rs 2.52 crore in the e-tender and SBUT had bid Rs 1.72 crore in the sealed tender for the hotel. Since my bid was the highest, it was approved. In one month, I need to pay the remaining money,” Balakrishan said.He said that he raised the earnest money deposit through the fixed deposit of his NGO. “Since the remaining money is huge, I will appeal to the public to give money for this cause. I have already raised Rs 1.10 lakh through public contribution,” he said.While the four agricultural lands in Nani Daman were won by three persons in the bid, the tenancy right of the room in the Matunga building was won by a businessman and the car was won by Swami Chakrapani for Rs 32,000.“The fact that I received a threat from Dawood’s aide Chhota Shakeel after I went for the bidding only confirms that the hotel was his property. In other cases, those who had come for the bidding had not received any threat,” said Balakrishnan.