Mumbai: In the fourth conviction for former underworld don Rajendra Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan since his extradition from Bali in 2015, a special Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) court designated to conduct cases against him, on Tuesday sentenced him and six others to ten years rigorous imprisonment in a 2013 case of attempt to murder of developer Ajay Gosaliya. The convicts have also been fined Rs 5 lakh each.
On 28 August 2013, at 4 PM, Gosaliya was shot at by three persons when he was exiting the Infinity Mall’s gate. The builder had sustained injuries on his throat, shoulder, stomach and palm in the attack.
The others sentenced along with Rajan are Kaushik Rajgour, Arvind Shinde, Sunil Tiwari, Vilas Bharti, Prakash Nikam, Rohit Joseph alias Satish Kalya. Rajan and Kalya have been sentenced together in journalist J Dey murder case and the shootout case of builder BR Shetty. One of the accused Rohit Vishwakarma died pending trial. The court has ordered an inquiry on a police officer and jail authorities of an MP jail in the matter of one co-accused Rajendra Yadav who absconded after being taken from custody of the court to be produced before another court in Madhya Pradesh. The report is to be submitted in three months.
Special Public Prosecutor Pradip Gharat said over 50 witnesses were examined by the prosecution. The main witness was their gang-member and accused-turned approver in the case Amit Sinha. The court on Tuesday ordered his release from Thane jail where he is lodged. Sinha was subjected to gruelling cross-examination by the defence, with his cross-examination running to 200 pages, said Gharat.
Gosaliya and his bodyguard, who is the complainant and an eyewitness in the case, also testified in court. As per the CBI’s case, Gosaliya was attacked as Rajan had learnt that he was a police informer and would inform regarding Rajan to a now-retired ACP. The mall’s CCTV, Gharat said, also captured the Tavera car in which the gang arrived for the crime and also captured a part of their making the escape after the shooting.
Rajan was earlier convicted in journalist J-Dey murder case in May 2018, shootout case on builder BR Shetty in February last year and an extortion attempt case in Panvel on builder Nandu Vajekar in January this year.