New Delhi: After being on the run for the past 27 years, underworld don Chhota Rajan was deported here early on Friday from Indonesia by a joint team headed by CBI officials for facing trial in over 70 cases of murder, extortion and drug smuggling 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 and taken straight to the barricaded CBI headquarters where a team of officials started questioning him.
In a brief statement, CBI spokesperson said that Rajan has been successfully brought to India from Indonesia. "He is in custody of CBI-Interpol. Legal formalities are in progress," the spokesperson said.
There was high drama 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.
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. This move comes barely a few days after the state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had been making claims that Rajan will be brought only to Mumbai.
The Maharashtra government's sudden U-turn raised many eyebrows within the police establishment in the megalopolis as the Chief Minister himself had ordered for creation of a special cell inside Arthur Road prison with medial arrangement of dialysis being made. Rajan is on dialysis as his both kidneys are not working.
Rajan, after his arrest, had expressed reservation over plans to lodge him in a Mumbai jail, fearing that his arch-rival and India's most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim may target him there.
Rajan was arrested on the basis of an Interpol Red Corner notice at Bali airport on October 25 after he had arrived in the island city of Indonesia from Australia.
India was keen that the deportation takes place at the earliest and had put in a request to Indonesian authorities immediately after his arrest, sources said.
However, 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.
Immediately after his flight took off, Indian Ambassador to Indonesia Gurjit Singh tweeted: "#ChotaRajan deported successfully to India. Delay due to Bali airport closure ends. Thanks Indonesia for support."
#ChotaRajan deported successfully to India.Delay due to Bali airport closure ends. Thanks Indonesia for support.
— Gurjit Singh (@AmbGurjitSingh) November 5, 2015
Rajan is wanted in over 75 crimes ranging from murder, extortion to smuggling and drug trafficking.
Mumbai Police has nearly 70 cases registered against Rajan, including 20 of murder, four cases under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, one under Prevention of Terrorism Act and over 20 cases under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.
Delhi Police has six cases registered against Rajan, who was a close aide of fugitive underworld don Dawood at one point but split before the 1993 Mumbai blasts were conspired.
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 by jumping from the first floor of the hotel.
Rajan had fled India in 1988 for Dubai.
Updated Date: Nov 06, 2015 12:43 PM