Bali (Indonesia): Dismissing reports that he had surrendered to police, underworld don Chhota Rajan today said he wants to go back to India, where he is one of the most wanted criminals. “I did not surrender,” he told reporters when asked about speculation that he had given himself up to police after facing threats to his life from rival gangs, including one from Dawood Ibrahim and under a deal with Indian intelligence agencies.
He also denied he was scared of Dawood. There is intense speculation that the arrest of the gangster, who is wanted in over 75 heinous crimes ranging from murder, extortion to smuggling and drug trafficking, was part of a “deal” with Indian security agencies.
“I am facing a lot of problems here. They keep me shackled. I want to go back to India,” he said. 55-year-old Rajan, whose original name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje, denied that he wants to go to Zimbabwe, where he is reportedly have businesses. “I don’t want to go to Zimbabwe,” he said.
Mumbai-born Rajan, once a close confidante-turned-rival of underworld ganglord Dawood, said that he was not afraid of Dawood, the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. “I am not afraid of Dawood. I am waiting for the CBI to come here,” he said.
Bali Police sources said Rajan was interrogated by its sleuths for six hours today and further questioning is likely to take place soon. Sources said Indian authorities have got 15 days to confirm his identity and the government has reportedly started the process to gain his custody.
Bali Police Commissioner Reinhard Nainggolan said arrest of Rajan was a serious law enforcement operation under the supervision of the Interpol. Rajan, one of India’s most wanted gangsters, was arrested in this popular Indonesian tourist destination on a Red Corner Notice issued by Interpol after eluding law enforcement agencies for over two decades.
Out of these 75 cases, Rajan is facing four cases under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA), one under Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and over 20 cases under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). Indian security agencies are likely to send a team of officials here to bring back the gangster who is in custody since Sunday.
The sources are tight-lipped about the exact arrangements to bring him back because of security concerns arising out of his fierce rivalry with underworld don Dawood and his gang. They said agencies are working on more than one plan to bring back Rajan factoring various permutations and combinations.
Rajan was travelling with the identity of Mohan Kumar with passport number G9273860 when he was apprehended at the airport here, after arriving there on a Garuda Indonesia flight GA715, by the Indonesian Police on a tip off from Australian authorities, they said.
The sources said Rajan was in touch with various police officials for last six months seeking a passage to return to India as he feared for his life in Australia from Chhota Shakeel, a henchman of Dawood. In 2000, there was an attempt on his life when Dawood’s men tracked him down to a hotel in Bangkok but he managed a dramatic escape through the hotel’s roof.
According to serving and former police officers, who have dealt with the Mumbai underworld, arrest of Rajan is a major success and his questioning is expected to shed light on hitherto unknown facts related to cases linked to his syndicate.
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