A special CBI court convicted former underworld don Rajendra Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan and three other co-accused on Monday for the extortion attempt on a builder of Rs 26 crores in 2015.
Those sentenced along with Rajan are Suresh Shinde, Ashok Nikam, Sumit Mhatre. The extortion attempt was made on Panvel-based builder Nandu Vajekar in which the builder had been threatened by Rajan and gang to pay Rs 26 crores or face dire consequences.
Rajan had been approached by a real estate broker Parmanand Thakkar to recover money from Vajekar as he was unhappy with the commission of Rs 2 crores that he had been paid by the builder for the development of a project for Mathadi workers in Pune called Chhatrapati Shivaji Market Yard Co-op Housing Society Ltd.
Special Public Prosecutor for the CBI Pradip Gharat said that as evidence, the agency had produced in court the CCTV footage of Vajekar’s office, tape-recorded conversations between the accused and the builder. The accused had also been identified in the test identification parade after their arrest.
The prosecutor said that Rajan himself had given a call to the builder on the latter’s wife’s mobile number in August 2015 and then on Vajekar’s own mobile a few days later that month.
The case which was being conducted in the Alibag sessions court was transferred to the Mumbai special CBI court constituted for conducting trials in cases of Rajan after the deportation of Rajan from Indonesia in 2015. All cases concerning Rajan had been transferred to the central agency after his deportation.
The FIR was lodged on the complaint of Vajekar with the Panvel police station as he had feared for his life after the threat calls.
Rajan is currently lodged in Tihar jail. In August 2019, he was sentenced to eight years in jail for a shootout attempt on businessman BR Shetty in an extortion case of 2012. He is also serving a life term for orchestrating the murder of journalist J-Dey in June 2011, for which he was sentenced in May 2018.