Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Who is Chhota Rajan? chhota rajan interview

Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje, better known by his gangster name Chhota Rajan, was born to a mill worker in Mumbai and started as a petty criminal in 1980s. Soon he came in contact with Rajan Nair (his mentor who was also known as Bada Rajan), a thief and local gang leader in Chembur, and after his murder, took over the reins of his gang and changed his name to Chhota Rajan.

He later came in contact with Dawood Ibrahim and Arun Gawli and the three ruled Mumbai's underworld. Rajan soon became Dawood's trusted lieutenant and after the don fled to Dubai to evade arrest in smuggling cases, he took charge of Mumbai affairs. But Rajan too had to flee to Dubai in 1988 and operated out of there. The cracks in Dawood-Rajan friendship appeared after the 1993 Mumbai blasts, reportedly over communal angle. Rajan then formed his own gang and left Dubai. His areas of operations were Malaysia and Bangkok. The gangster also held considerable clout in Mumbai, especially areas in and around Chembur.

Soon a bloody feud started between the two gangsters and associates from both sides were killed. Among the high-profile killings were those of film producer Mukesh Duggal in 1997 and Nepal MP and one time minister Mirza Dilshad Beg in 1998.

The messy end to the partnership between two gangsters came in 2000 when Rajan was attacked by Dawood's henchmen in Bangkok where he was living with a different identity and had changed his name to Vijay Kadam. Rajan survived and was admitted to the hospital by Thai police who did not know his identity then. According to one of the Rajan aides arrested in Mumbai, Santosh Shetty, the gangster escaped from Thailand and went to Tehran and then Indonesia. A retaliation followed and the Rajan gang killed those men who had allegedly given information about his whereabouts to Dawood and his men.

An attempt made by India to deport him from Bangkok was not successful at that time due to procedural delay.

Rajan's main areas of operation, according to information from intelligence reports and his arrested aides, are printing counterfeit currency and drug trade. He was listed as a wanted man by the Interpol in 1995 for carrying out 17 murders.

Rajan was believed to be operating in south east Asian countries and also believed to be passing information about Dawood's involvement in the 1993 blasts to Indian intelligence agencies.


Centre should keep in mind some Mumbai cops have links with Dawood Ibrahim: Chhota Rajan

Chhota Rajan
I am not scared of Dawood Ibrahim, Chhota Rajan said.
Arrested underworld don Chhota Rajan on Tuesday alleged that some Mumbai cops have links with Dawood Ibrahim and that the Centre must keep that in mind when he is questioned. He also alleged he's been tortured in the past by the Mumbai police.

"I have been tortured a lot by the Mumbai Police. They have treated me very badly," Chhota Rajan told reporters in Bali, from where his deportation is expected in two-three days.

When asked whether he would like to be taken to Delhi or Mumbai, Rajan said,"It is up to the government to decide, but it must ensure that I get justice."

Mumbai-born Rajan is wanted for over 75 crimes ranging from murder and extortion to smuggling and drug trafficking. He was questioned by the Indonesian police both in English and in Hindi, through a translator. The criminal, once a close confidante-turned-rival of underworld ganglord Dawood Ibrahim, reiterated that he is not afraid of Dawood, the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

In 2000, there was an attempt on Rajan's life when Dawood's men tracked him down to a hotel in Bangkok but he managed a dramatic escape.

Rajan, who was arrested in this popular tourist town upon his arrival from Australia on October 25, is expected to be produced before a court soon where the Indonesian police will submit details of the cases for which he is wanted in India. An Indian police team questioned Rajan for the first time after his arrest on Monday. The Indian team has been working with its Indonesian counterpart to take over Rajan's custody as early as possible.

Chhota Rajan was arrested in Bali on the basis of a Red Corner Notice from Interpol and following a tip off by Australian authorities to the Indonesian police. He was travelling under the identity of Mohan Kumar, with the passport number G9273860, when he was apprehended at the airport here after arriving on a Garuda Indonesia flight GA715.

The underworld don, whose original name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje, has been questioned by the Indonesian police several times in the last few days to confirm his identity and criminal acts in India.

don Dawood Ibrahim
don Dawood Ibrahim
File photo of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
National security advisor Ajit Doval has a strategy to weaken Dawood Ibrahim and his syndicate. The plan is to identify D-Company's offshore assets and get them frozen, sources say.

IB and RAW teams have begun identifying assets D-Company owns globally. Most of these are in Dubai and Africa, investigations show. This will need extensive use of the global intelligence network, as most assets are benami. Some are in Dawood's daughter and son-in-law's names.

Doval's Dawood dossier lists firms like Dubai's Oasis Oil and Lube LCC, Al-Noor Diamonds and Oasis Power LCC, allegedly owned by Dawood. Other firms include Dolphin Constructions, East West Airlines (now defunct), King Video, Dubai, Moin Garments, Dubai and others.

The dossier names one Feroze as a key syndicate member handling the Dubai operations. "Feroze handles Oasis oil and Lube LCC and is often addressed as Feroze Oasis. He's South Indian, speaks Tamil, Arab, English and Hindi. Feroze handles Al Noor diamonds too," it says.

Most of the syndicate's operations are in India, it says and highlights Dawood's role in the 2008 Mumbai blasts. The dossier details the syndicate's smuggling links in south Asia, Africa and Middle East shared with al-Qaida.

"Dawood has close links with al-Qaida as a result of which the US declared him a 'global terrorist' in 2003 and pursued the matter with the UN to freeze his assets. Dawood controls the hawala system. His syndicate has consistently aimed to destabilize India through riots, terrorism and civil disobedience," it reads.

The dossier quotes a US treasury department report citing D-Company's involvement in shipping narcotics to the UK and Western Europe. "The US has designated Dawood as a terrorist... and maintains a factsheet on him," it says. The US treasury department has details on his movements through Afghanistan in the late '90s under Taliban protection.

The dossier lists one Javed Chutani, alias Doctor, as Dawood's man handling operations in Dubai. "He's a bookie with interests in real estate and his gambling book is in the name of Kamran. Chutani is a bridge between one Tariq Dubai and Dawood," the dossier claims.

The file says Dawood's cash comes from drug trade; fake currency racket, realty and money laundering. Agencies feel once they have control over Dawood's offshore assets, "it'll break the security cordon around him. Once that goes, getting him will be a cakewalk," an officer said.

RAW, IB used 'patriotic' don against Dawood Ibrahim

RAW, IB used 'patriotic' don against Dawood
The 55-year-old Chhota Rajan (R) after being arrested at Bali airport when he landed from Sydney on Sunday.
 While arrested gangster Chhota Rajan will be crucial to cracking cases such as the murder of journalist J Dey and other criminal or terrorism cases registered against him and others in Mumbai, there is little hope that he will have any new piece of information to share with Indian agencies.

Sources in the security establishment say Rajan has been out of touch with the core underworld as he has led an isolated life since several years now.

He had restricted the reach of his acquaintances even further in the past one year. He only made calls on VOIP using proxies to hide his location. At times, he made calls on Whatsapp.

Even as these reports have been doing the rounds, there is one theory that the arrest may have been stage-managed by Rajan himself as he wanted to return to India due to his ill health and feared being killed by rival Chhota Shakeel.

"By December 2014, Rajan virtually had no members in his gang. He was in touch with some people from Uttar Pradesh and other states to get men for any job temporarily. He was finished as a ganglord," said an official who had been tracking Rajan's movements.

This state of affairs is a far cry from the year 1998, when Rajan was detained in Thailand while travelling on a fictitious passport, but he walked out within a day. Sources said the Union home ministry as well as the security agencies were not interested in getting him extradiated.

Officials said intelligence agencies were using him to counter fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim.

Rajan was instrumental in eliminating certain ISI and Dawood aides, including Nepal MLA Dilshad Mirza Baig, ISI mastermind Khalid Masood, Parvez Tanda in Nepal- all with the blessings of the Indian intelligence. There were unconfirmed reports that Rajan was involved in the killing of Takiuddin Wahid Khan of East-West Airlines, suspected to be close to Dawood. He also allegedly orchestrated the killing of Nepal cable operator Jamim Shah, another D-Company aide.

Senior police officials said Rajan always tried to portray himself as "a patriotic Hindu don" after his split from Dawood
Raed following the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai.

The Intelligence Bureau and particularly the Research Analysis Wing (RAW), have in the past used Rajan against Dawood.

In 2005, the agency had reportedly sent two Rajan aides - Vicky Malhotra and the late Farid Tanasha- to eliminate Dawood in Karachi. A senior official of IB who currently holds a senior post in the government, supervised the operation. But before that, Mumbai crime branch arrested Malhotra and Tanasha and booked them under the stringent MCOCA. This was the time when Dawood's elder daughter Mahrook was to get married to Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad's son in Karachi.

"The plan was that when Dawood would arrive at the venue, the two shooters would kill him," said an officer.

"As far as I can recall, it was Rajan who used his clout and paid a huge bribe to free himself in 1998," said a retired police officer. The second time Rajan slipped from the Thai policewas in September 2000 when Chhota Shakeel's shooter Munna Jingada carried out a serious attack on him in Bangkok. While Rajan was seriously wounded in the firing, his confidante Rohit Verma was shot dead. Rajan was admitted at Samitivej Hospital in Thailand.

A team of five police officers flew to Thailand to record his statement and get him back to India but before this, Rajan's allies Vijay Shetty and Santosh Shetty helped him flee from the hospital. Thai government suspended five officials for negligence and a police officer came under the radar for allegedly aiding Rajan's escape.

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