The unending rivalry: Dawood Ibrahim plots to kill Chhota Rajan again, fails
Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's right-hand man Chhota Shakeel, earlier this year, again tried to kill their former aide and now a sworn-enemy Chhota Rajan but the attempt was a failure as Rajan got whiff of the assassination bid and went underground.
In a fresh instalment of a long-standing rivalry, underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's right-hand man Chhota Shakeel reportedly tried to kill off former aide and now a sworn-enemy Chhota Rajan but failed again.
According to a report in The Times of India, Chhota Shakeel had made a foolproof attempt to kill the "Hindu" don once and for all in April this year and had even found Rajan's exact location.
The report in TOI details how Shakeel cajoled one of Rajan's close aides into ratting out on him and disclosing Rajan's exact location. The calls, intercepted by Indian intelligence agencies, found that Rajan was informed about the assassination attempt and he went underground immediately, thwarting Shakeel's attempts.
It has been an endless rivalry between Dawood and Rajan since their famous split in 1993 following the serial blasts in Bombay, as it was known then. Reportedly, differences had arisen in 1992 itself after Dawood henchman Subhash Thakur killed three Chhota Rajan henchmen. After the split Rajan positioned himself as a 'patriotic don'.
In 2000, Dawood tracked down to Rajan in Bangkok and Chhota Shakeel leading a team of gangsters posing as pizza delivery men, led the hit. According to this report in The Indian Express, they gunned down trusted Rajan hitman Rohit Varma and his wife.
However, their plan to kill Rajan failed, with the gangster escaping through the hotel's roof. He then recovered in the hospital and slipped away to evade capture.
Rajan's close aide, Santosh Shetty, who had spoken to the Mumbai Police Crime Branch officials at that time, told the police how Rajan's then girlfriend of Chinese origin trained him and another gangster in mountaineering skills to pull off the escape. Rajan was kept in a room on the third floor of a hospital that was guarded by the Bangkok Police at the instance of the Mumbai Police, and the four Rajan aides needed to come up with a plan to free their boss.
"Shetty had a girlfriend of Chinese origin named Pun, who was an accomplished mountaineer. Pun provided them mountaineering gear and trained Shetty and Nepali for two days on how to bring down Rajan from a third-floor window," Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy had told The Indian Express in the August of 2011.
In an interview to rediff.com, Shakeel did not make any attempts to hide his disappointment at the failed assassination bid and said, "Hamari chaukat pe ye aadmi pala tha aur ab hamare saamne bhonkta tha. Namak haram tha. (He came begging to us and now he has the audacity to turn on us.) He ran away from Dubai with crores of rupees worth of gold belonging to us. He was willing to do anything for money. You should know more. Don't you read the newspapers in Bombay? Don't you know how many murders are against his name in Bombay?"
Bollywood, too, has immortalised this endless rivalry between Dawood and Rajan on the silver screen. One of the lead characters in 2002-film Company -- Chandu, played by Vivek Oberoi -- bore a strong resemblance to Chhota Rajan. The film was a fictional take on the Mumbai underworld, run by Dawood Ibrahim and even featured a dramatised version of the assault that took place in Bangkok.