Mumbai: Gangster Chhota Rajan’s arrest in Indonesia is a “significant” development and his questioning is expected to shed light on hitherto unknown facts related to underworld and criminal cases linked to his syndicate, former and serving police officials claimed today. The 55-year-old fugitive from Mumbai, whose real name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, was apprehended in Bali, Indonesia, after being on the run for decades.
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner, M N Singh, who had played a key role in eliminating underworld gangs in the city, said he would not get excited till the gangs er was brught back to the country. “Rajan’s arrest is significant for investigating agencies as he can reveal unknown facts about underworld-police-political nexus,” said Y P Singh, IPS officer-turned-lawyer.
The details of conspiracy behind the murder of journalist Jyotirmoy Dey on June 11, 2011, which was executed allegedly at the behest of Rajan, and firing on another scribe in early 1990s may come to fore if he is questioned by Indian agencies, he said.
Also, police and other law-enforcing agencies could come to know of Rajan’s connections in the killings of his own hirelings in India and abroad, said a Crime Branch officer, requesting anonymity. One such case is that of gangster Farid Tanasha, a close Rajan aide who was killed in Mumbai on June 2, 2010. Tanasha was bumped off as Rajan suspected he was in the process to dump him and join a rival gang, he said.
The case of attempt on the life of Iqbal Kaskar, brother of Rajan’s main rival and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, in 2010 in South Mumbai, may also get solved, said another officer.
Explaining the financial angle of the Rajan gang, an IPS officer told PTI that several small and big time city-based builders, who are suspected to be associated with the crime boss, may face the heat. Mumbai Crime Branch is in possession of a list of builders who police suspect have links with the Rajan gang, he said.
Reacting cautiously to the arrest of the fugitive, M N Singh said he is not excited till he is deported to India. “Going by my past forgettable experience, I would say that neither am I excited nor very much hopeful because Rajan is yet to be deported to the country. And even if he is deported here, he has become very old, sick and almost non-operative with his gang,” Singh told PTI.
Recalling his days of action against the Mumbai underworld, M N Singh said “it has been over 15 years when Rajan was shot in September 2000, landing him in hospital. I was Mumbai Police commissioner then and along with Home Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and Additional Home Secretary, I met Foreign Minister Jaswant singh and requested him to send a team of crime branch in Bangkok.”
“Jasawant Singh ji accepted our request and I sent three crime branch inspectors to keep a watch on Rajan so that he could be arrested and deported. Our officers stayed there over a fortnight without any weapon and liasioning with local police and keeping a watch.” But on a day suddenly news surfaced that Rajan had escaped from the hospital, which was impossible without the support of the local police, said Singh.
He, however, claimed Rajan’s arrest unlikely to yield impressive results as underworld activities have almost died down and secondly he has become too old and sick. Singh also said that Mumbai police crime branch should come forward and ask for his custody as Mumbai police is the prime stake-holder in the cases registered against him. Singh, however, is of the opinion that NIA and CBI can also interrogate him to unravel his involvement in international syndicates or operatives.