When Chhota Rajan, who was arrested in Bali on Sunday, is brought to India by the CBI officials, he will most likely be kept in the same cell in the crime branch lock up in Mumbai police headquarters where 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasabwas kept following his arrest in 2008, sources told NDTV. Officials are reportedly concerned for his security.
Absconding mafia don Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan, a former aide who later turned a foe of fugitive Dawood Ibrahim, was arrested in the Indonesian resort of Bali, the CBI said on Monday.
CBI director Anil Kumar Sinha said Chhota Rajan, who operated out of Mumbai and wanted in India for a series of serious crimes, was taken into custody on Sunday when he was travelling under a false identity — Mohan Kumar.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh thanked Interpol and the Indonesian government for their cooperation in arresting Chhota Rajan, who began life as a black marketer of movie tickets before embracing murders, extortion, kidnappings and more.
“India was active on this case… I want to thank Interpol and the Indonesian government for this. Post-verification, investigation will be taken forward,” Rajnath Singh told the media in New Delhi.
Chhota Rajan, 55, operated from Chembur and surroundings from the mid-1970s when he became a trusted henchman of Dawood, India’s most wanted don who is reportedly hiding in Pakistan.
Among many crimes to his credit, Chhota Rajan’s name figured prominently in the killing of Mumbai journalist J Dey in Mumbai on 11 June, 2011.
Dawood and Chhota Rajan fell out after the bloody March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts that Dawood ordered to avenge the communal riots in the city two months previously and the earlier Babri mosque razing.
Chhota Rajan, who opposed the Mumbai bombings, slipped out of India in 1995 and remained on the run till his arrest on Sunday. The CBI chief said the arrest was made by the Indonesian police following a request from India.
The Indonesia police acted following a tip from from their Australian counterparts, a Bali police official told the media. The Australian Federal Police had been keeping a track of Chhota Rajan.
Chhota Rajan began his life of crime as a black marketer of movie tickets over two decades ago. Slowly, he took to murders, extortion, kidnappings and other serious crimes once he joined the Mumbai underworld.