‘Dawood of Tamil Nadu’ says ready to return from Dubai for ‘fair trial’

“If the Tamil Nadu DGP or a good IPS officer asks me to come tomorrow and promises me a fair trial, I am happy to settle all my cases," said Don Sridhar.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai | Updated: January 18, 2016 6:06 pm
dhanapalan sridhar, real estate don, don in india, chennai don, don sridhar, most wanted don in tamil nadu, tamil nadu don Don Sridhar is facing 43 cases, including seven of murder

Police officers describe him as the “Dawood Ibrahim of Tamil Nadu”, as the state’s most wanted man, or simply as “Don Sridhar”. They say he is based in Dubai and runs a real estate mafia near Chennai worth at least Rs 500 crore. And, with at least 43 cases registered against him, including seven of murder, they have been on his trail for years.

Now, in an exclusive online video interview with The Indian Express, his first to a mainstream publication, Sridhar Dhanapalan says he is ready to return to India and face legal proceedings if he is assured of a “fair trial”. The 43-year-old, who was once an illicit arrack-seller in Kanchipuram, also fears that he would be killed by Tamil Nadu police in an “encounter” if he returns on his own after his “business visa expires in 2017”.

Watch | Exclusive Interview With Tamil Nadu Don Sridhar Dhanapalan

“If the Tamil Nadu DGP or a good IPS officer asks me to come tomorrow and promises me a fair trial, I am happy to settle all my cases. They don’t have to kill me in an encounter, I myself will commit suicide with cyanide if there is any basis for the charges against me,” he said, speaking from Dubai.

Claiming that his advisors told him he would be targetted by police once he returned, Dhanapalan said, “I do not want to be killed. I haven’t taken a decision yet about my return to India.”

Tamil Nadu DGP Ashok Kumar was not available for comment while P Thamarai Kannan, IGP (north zone), under whose jurisdiction Kanchipuram falls, said he “can reply on the matter only after a few weeks”.

However, speaking to The Indian Express on condition of anonymity, a senior officer said, “Among the 20 criminals who are on our list, he is the most wanted now. He has the distinction of being the only rowdy on the list,” he said.

Read | From arrack in Kanchipuram to realty in Dubai

Senior police officers also confirmed that Dhanapalan left India in March-April 2013 after being released from prison following a six-month term and hasn’t returned from Dubai since. They said he had previously undergone multiple jail terms on a number of cases. Police and Dhanapalan confirmed that his passport was cancelled in 2015, and an Interpol notice issued in his name.

Dhanapalan re-emerged on the police radar on January 3, when he threatened a police inspector in Kanchipuram over phone after at least seven of his associates, including his brother, were detained under the Goonda Act.

Police sources said eight more cases were filed against Dhanapalan following the threat call. Most of the cases registered against Dhanapalan are related to real estate deals in and around Kanchipuram, said sources. In Kanchipuram alone, said police intelligence sources, Dhanapalan is believed to own buildings worth more than Rs 100 crore.

“This is all police’s imagination,” claimed Dhanapalan, adding that he was mainly in the business of supplying diesel for generators at construction sites in Dubai.

“I stopped the sale of illicit liquor in 2008 and started a real estate business. I do not know the total worth of properties I own. But I have some 150 acres of land, mostly farm-land… I did purchase land, some 15 deals, after coming to Dubai. I am a Hindu, an Indian. I live by the principles of the Thirukkural (the Tamil Sangam classic). I don’t have to grab anyone’s land by threat or force,” said Dhanapalan.

“(But) I am not a Gandhi or Buddha. I am not Jesus either, if someone slaps me on one cheek, I wouldn’t offer the other too. What happened to Jesus? He was deceived by Judas for just 30 silver coins. I don’t like problems but I am ready to fight with anyone who tries to harm me or is a threat to my life,” he said.

Police sources said the complaint that led to the arrest of Dhanapalan’s associates recently was filed by a local AIADMK leader who alleged that they threatened him in a real estate deal.

Dhanapalan, however, denied all charges against him, alleging that they were mostly foisted by local officers in Kanchipuram who were targeting him after he refused to accede to their demands.

“Recently, there was the murder of a scrap dealer called Abdullah. Now I have been told that they are trying to link my friends in that case, too… I am an easy target… I wish the senior officers verify the merit of the charges against me,” he said.

But according to a police officer, investigations have suggested just the opposite. The suspected mastermind behind Abdullah’s murder, over a business dispute, was none other than Dhanapalan, said the officer.

Click here to read in Hindi

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First Published on: January 18, 2016 3:00 am
  1. V
    Venugopalan Iyer
    Jan 17, 2016 at 11:03 pm
    The other 19 criminals are in the ministry, and that includes THIEF Minister Jayalalitha.
    Reply
    1. I
      I
      Jan 18, 2016 at 2:02 am
      Do you want become a "person of interest" of the Tamilnadu Police and Intelligence., Mr.I Watch your words.
      Reply
      1. I
        I
        Jan 18, 2016 at 2:00 am
        You are under watch, Mr I. Speak carefully.
        Reply
        1. I
          I
          Jan 18, 2016 at 2:04 am
          Mr. Real "I", your us address has been reported for aiding criminals in a foreign country, Tamil Nadu.
          Reply
          1. I
            I
            Jan 17, 2016 at 11:30 pm
            Do you want become a "person of interest" of the Tamilnadu Police and Intelligence. Watch your words.
            Reply
            1. I
              I
              Jan 17, 2016 at 11:28 pm
              You are under watch, Mr Iyer. Speak carefully.
              Reply
              1. C
                Cool Henry
                Jan 18, 2016 at 5:51 am
                The dude is not in cahoots with ISI of stan? So, why is he being compared to Dawood?
                Reply
                1. I
                  iftiindian
                  Jan 18, 2016 at 4:31 am
                  Mr.sridhar you have pla a very good card of being Hindu, now people and government of the day will have all the regards for you. And rest ured that one day will be Sarkari Damad like Chota Rajan. Not only this you will regarded as nationalist mafia provided you do not belong to Dalit community.
                  Reply
                  1. N
                    natarajan
                    Jan 18, 2016 at 2:02 pm
                    But why name Dawood? No underground Dada ever killed public innocent people. Only they kill people who they encounter in their business and accidental by standars. Dawood is the only demon who killed the innocent humans.... and still Demon lives in stan. Do not compare murderor with Demon
                    Reply
                    1. நடராஜன்
                      Jan 20, 2016 at 4:23 pm
                      Very GOOD open interview from a good o pen heart man. He is doing lots of educational support for poor people in Kancheepuram. Try to bring his educational insutions like international standard. I don't want to comment his past. But my best wishes for a GOOD man who wants to become a TRUE INDIAN. Thanks for your interview
                      Reply
                      1. L
                        Laksmi
                        Jan 28, 2016 at 6:08 am
                        Hahaha Dahanapal a good Samaritan? DAwood is a Saint compared to him. He has grabbed more properties in TN than any body in this world without paying a single Paisa. GOD SAVE PEOPLE OF KANCHI WHO LIVE IN CONSTANT FEAR BECAUSE OF HIS GANG. POLICE AND COURT SHOULD TAKE NOTE AND DO MORE.
                        Reply
                        1. P
                          P K
                          Jan 19, 2016 at 1:45 am
                          WHERE IS THE COUNTRY HEADING
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            r
                            Jan 18, 2016 at 7:02 am
                            Was Haji Mastan a notorious tamil smuggler was killed? No. Many Hindu criminals were killed in encounter in Tamil Nadu. So ! Do not show communal color here. Dawood killed many people in bomb explosion and joined hands with stan. Fellows like you are traitors.
                            Reply
                            1. R
                              rajan luthra
                              Jan 18, 2016 at 10:09 am
                              How many species of Dawood? Another gang of weypur. Glamourising criminals by giving them coverage and free publicity.
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                rajan luthra
                                Jan 18, 2016 at 10:06 am
                                It is surprising that most news items take communal tinge on the social media. Any reasons?
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Sathish
                                  Jan 18, 2016 at 3:16 am
                                  .. and sickular countries being raped by vatican terrorists using deception of democracy!
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Sathish
                                    Jan 18, 2016 at 2:03 am
                                    Are you one of those police criminals??
                                    Reply
                                    1. S
                                      Sathish
                                      Jan 18, 2016 at 1:59 am
                                      s will be scared of criminals! All Police and Intelligence (including Tamilnadu's) are henchmen of criminal politicians, who are puppets of globalist asuras, who set up this deception of democracy to rape humanity. You are nothing but a wasted low-life.
                                      Reply
                                      1. J
                                        Joji
                                        Jan 18, 2016 at 7:57 am
                                        Don Sridhar is named as Dawood of Tamil Nadu, by the media. Does he changed his religion? Why don't he be called "Chotta Rajan of Tamil Nadu"? Is Chotta Rajan a patriot? If Chotta is a patriot, surely Don Sridhar also a patriot. If Don Sridhar himself or Tamil Nadu Police or the Media, wants to name him as Dawood of Tamil Nadu, that means the Indian police and politicians are not willing to arrest him or not capable of arrest him.
                                        Reply
                                        1. B
                                          BM
                                          Jan 18, 2016 at 2:30 am
                                          Why Islamic countries give visa and shelter to every terrorist, don, crook etc. Why Dubai government do not extradite him to India ?
                                          Reply
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