Mumbai News: Gangster Chhota Rajan Acquitted In Union Leader Datta Samant Murder Case

Mumbai News: Gangster Chhota Rajan Acquitted In Union Leader Datta Samant Murder Case

The incident involved the alleged shooting death of Dr. Datta Samant in Mumbai in 1997.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, July 28, 2023, 07:44 PM IST
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Photo Credit: PTI

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Friday acquitted gangster Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, also known as Chhota Rajan, who was accused of masterminding the high-profile murder of renowned trade union leader Dr. Datta Samant. The incident involved the alleged shooting death of Dr. Datta Samant in Mumbai in 1997.

Court acquits Rajan citing "want of cogent evidence"

Special CBI judge AM Patil acquitted Rajan of all charges related to the high-profile murder case, citing "want of cogent evidence."

According to the prosecution's account, on January 16, 1997, Dr. Samant was traveling in his jeep from Powai to Pant Nagar in Ghatkopar when he was attacked near Naresh general store on Padmavati Road.

The prosecution alleged that four unknown individuals, riding bikes, intercepted Dr. Samant's vehicle and fired at least seventeen bullets at the trade union leader before fleeing the scene.

Dr. Samant was immediately rushed to Aniket Nursing Home nearby, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Later that day, the Sakinaka police, within whose jurisdiction the murder occurred, registered a case against four unknown assailants based on a report filed by Dr. Samant's driver, Bhimrao Sonkamble, who also suffered injuries to his face and neck during the attack.

CBI took over all Rajan cases after his arrest

During the initial set of trials, certain locals were prosecuted, and the verdict was delivered in July 2000. In Rajan's case, another gangster named Guru Satam and Rajan's trusted lieutenant, Rohit Verma, were reported as absconding, leading to the separation of their trial.

Rajan was apprehended in October 2015 in Bali, Indonesia. Subsequently, the CBI took charge of all the cases filed against him and proceeded with the prosecution in Dr. Samant's murder case.

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