Lucknow, Sept. 27: He’s not as dashing or as dapper or as heartless as the bikini killer, but that hasn’t stopped Babloo Srivastava from trying to do a Charles Sobhraj.
No, he has not broken out of a high-security prison or pulled off serial murders ' he’s still cooling his heels in Bareilly jail as he has been doing for the last 10 years.
But he’s turned author behind bars and the fictionalised nuggets about how he once brushed shoulders with Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Rajan are selling like hot cakes even before Adhura Khwab (Incomplete Dream) has hit the stands.
Not just that, in times when gangsta’ movies like Company and Sarkar are hot box-office draws, he already has film producers armed with proposals knocking on his jail cell doors.
As the name suggests, Adhura Khwab is the story of Babloo’s unfulfilled dream ' and Chhota Rajan’s ' to wipe out Dawood’s D-Company from the face of the earth. The dream died young with his arrest in 1995.
Once a Dawood honcho, Babloo teamed up with Rajan after the dons parted ways in the wake of the 1992 Bombay blasts. If Babloo’s pen is to be believed, he joined Rajan because “the pile of bodies in Bombay embarrassed both and we turned patriotic”.
According to the 225-page book slated to hit the stands in early October, Babloo was tasked to finish off Dawood gangsters operating in Mumbai and Nepal. One person he killed in 1995 was the Dawood-ISI front man Mirza Dilshad Beg, with whom he had once been close.
Some years later, he tried to use one Fazlu, whom he met in Tihar jail, to carry on the anti-Dawood crusade. But Fazlu escaped to Nepal in 1997 with girlfriend Archana Sharma, leaving him in the lurch.
“All these episodes have been chronicled in the novel with changed names. The pages of the novel will grip any reader,” Babloo said in a note from jail today.
The book was dictated by Babloo and has gone through for publication largely unedited, unlike The Life and Crimes of Charles Sobhraj for which the serial killer collaborated with Richard Neville and Julie Clarke during his long stint in Tihar Jail.
“We are overwhelmed by the response to the book’s extracts,” said publisher Satish Verma, owner of Nai Sadi Prakashan (Pvt) Ltd.
“It was dictated in jail and has remained largely unedited. It chronicles the unreported chapters in the life of D-Company.”
The book is expected to fetch Babloo, who has 30 cases pending against him and contested polls from Sitapur in 2002, about Rs 80 lakh from the publishers. A copy costs Rs 80.
Babloo’s advocate Ranjit Bahadur Srivastava said three film producers had met him with offers.
“The novel has received offers from film producers. We may accept the offer from New CMC Corporation, a company which was floated recently.”
Observers have expressed surprise at the way jail, police and intelligence authorities have been pushing Babloo’s book.
“I am grateful the CBI and other central agencies are helping me lay down unknown facts,” Babloo had said last week when he was being produced in a Lucknow court.