India’s crime king Chhota Rajan lands in Delhi

Underworld don Chhota Rajan was deported to India from Indonesia and reached New Delhi early on Friday, 27 years after he had fled the country in the face of numerous cases of murder, extortion and drug smuggling against him.

After arriving at the Palam airport around 5:30am, Rajan was taken to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters, where he has been kept in a lock-up and will undergo a medical examination soon, sources said.

All routes leading to the CBI headquarters have been sealed off by Delhi Police, while Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has increased security.

His deportation was deferred as the international airport in Bali was shut down due to spewing of volcanic ash from a nearby mountain.

After the authorities declared the airport open, the Indian team comprising CBI, Delhi and Mumbai police officials began the process of deportation of 55-year-old Rajan, who had fled India in 1988 for Dubai.

Sources privy to the developments said the underworld don, who was arrested on October 25 after the Australian police tipped off the Bali police about his presence in the Island, was to undergo mandatory health check up before he would emplane a special aircraft for Delhi.

India was keen that the deportation takes place at the earliest and had put in a request to Indonesian authorities immediately after his arrest, the sources said.

Read | Indonesia: Chhota Rajan’s deportation delayed due to airport closure

Maharashtra police hand over cases to CBI

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government announced on Thursday it had handed over all its cases against gangster Chhota Rajan to the CBI, hours before the fugitive was deported by Indonesian authorities.

The decision effectively means Rajan will never go into the custody of Mumbai Police with the mobster alleging some members of the department were close to his friend-turned-foe, Dawood Ibrahim, the crime boss he broke away with after the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.

Maharashtra additional chief secretary KP Bakshi told reporters at a hurriedly-called press conference that all the cases against 55-year old Rajan were being transferred to the CBI because of its expertise in “handling transnational crimes”.

“We will provide all necessary help required from the state which includes Mumbai Police, and other districts of Maharashtra,” Bakshi said, a day after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis met national security adviser Ajit Doval. “The decision has no connection with the allegations made on Mumbai Police by Rajan.”

Sources in the security establishment say Rajan first came in contact with central security agencies after breaking away from the Dawood gang as some counter-underworld officials in Mumbai Police tried to target him at the behest of his former boss.

Sources added that Rajan and his gang were used as a weapon to target the Dawood syndicate and in the process Rajan claimed to be an intelligence asset in his “fight” against the “anti-national” alleged conspirator in the 1993 Mumbai blasts.

Read | Decks cleared for Chhota Rajan’s return, lawyers get ready

Rajan, whose real name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, 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 Ibrahim 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.