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After Rs 4.28-crore winning bid, former journalist new owner of Dawood’s hotel

S Balakrishnan, a former journalist, bid Rs 4.28 crore at a closed-door auction at Hotel Diplomat Wednesday.

Written by Srinath Rao | Mumbai | Published: December 10, 2015 2:20:15 am
Balakrishnan at Hotel Diplomat Wednesday. (Express Photo by: Vasant Prabhu) Balakrishnan at Hotel Diplomat Wednesday. (Express Photo by: Vasant Prabhu)

A hotel owned by gangster Dawood Ibrahim in Pakmodia Street in Bhendi Bazaar was sold at an auction for over Rs 4 crore, with a former journalist who runs an NGO placing the winning bid.

S Balakrishnan, a former journalist with The Times of India, bid Rs 4.28 crore at a closed-door auction at Hotel Diplomat Wednesday. The 45-square-metre Hotel Raunaq Afroz — the food joint has been later renamed as Delhi Zayka — was among seven items that went under the hammer.

The auction was conducted by Ashvin & Co at Hotel Diplomat, which accepted bids in person through its website and sealed envelopes opened at the Office of the Competent Authority under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators Act.

Balakrishnan, who runs NGO Desh Seva Samiti, and the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust, which is undertaking redevelopment of Bhendi Bazaar, were the only bidders. Following the acceptance of his bid, Balakrishnan will have to make the payment in 30 days. “We are dependent on people of India to raise the money. I will appeal to them for donations,” he said. He said he was happy that “efforts to thwart from across the border did not succeed and that the national honour of the motherland had been upheld”. “A huge amount has to be raised. We plan to do it in 25 days,” he said, adding, “we will not carry out any commercial activity from the place but open a centre for youth and women of Bhendi Bazaar”.

The green Hyundai Accent car went to Hindu Mahasabha, after no other bidder matched its offer of Rs 32,000. The car is now in a state of serious disrepair. Swami Chakrapani, national president of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, said they planned to convert the car into an ambulance.

Gujarat-based Mukesh Shah won two plots of three gunthas each in Daman bidding Rs 15 lakh and 18 lakh, respectively. However, information from Police said the bids were of Rs 8 lakh and Rs 12.5 lakh. Jaideep Dolsania won the third 3-guntha Daman plot with a Rs 2 lakh bid while the fourth plot went to Rajbahadur Sharma of Surat for Rs 12.4 lakh.

The office of competent authority said one Milan Sanghvi won the tenancy right of a room owned by Ibrahim in Matunga with a Rs 63 lakh bid.

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