After being on the run for the past 27 years, underworld gangster Chhota Rajan has been deported to India. Rajan was brought to New Delhi early on Friday morning from Indonesia by a joint team headed by CBI officials. He will be facing trial in over 70 cases of murder, extortion and drug smuggling filed against him in Delhi and Mumbai.
One of India’s most wanted criminals, the 55-year-old gangster, whose real name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, was whisked away soon after landing at the Palam Technical area in Delhi and taken straight to the barricaded CBI headquarters where a team of officials started questioning him.
There was high drama at the airport as the CBI, anticipating a large media presence, used a decoy car to ward them off.
Due to security concerns, Rajan is unlikely to be taken to a Delhi court and instead a magistrate will be brought to the CBI headquarters for his remand, agency sources said, adding that he will also be subjected to the mandatory medical check up.
While in custody he is expected to be questioned by several agencies, especially over his claims of having further evidence to nail India’s most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim and his links with Pakistan’s ISI.
Rajan, who has reportedly tipped Indian security agencies about the movement of Dawood and his aides, was flown in an Indian Air Force Gulfstream-III aircraft from the Indonesian tourist town Bali.
During his custody in Bali, Rajan had told media that he was happy to return to India and had rubbished reports that his arrest was orchestrated as he was facing threat from Dawood’s men.
Ahead of his arrival in India, Maharashtra government made a surprise announcement of handing over all the cases related to the underworld don to the CBI as the agency had expertise in handling such cases.
Rajan was arrested on the basis of an Interpol Red Corner notice at Bali airport on October 25 on his arrival from Australia. His deportation was deferred by a day as the international airport in Bali was shut down due to spewing of volcanic ash from a nearby mountain.
(With inputs from the PTI)