Gangster Chhota Rajan, who was arrested in Bali, Indonesia on Sunday, had pleaded the police officers to deport him to Zimbabwe claiming threat to his life in India. In an exclusive interaction with India Today, Bali CID officer Major Reinhard, who arrested Rajan at the airport, said the underworld don had pleaded him to be sent to Zimbabwe and not to India. “When we took him for interrogation, he first refused to accept that he was Chhota Rajan. He kept on flashing his passport which mentioned his name as Mohan Kumar. But, later confessed that he indeed is Chhota Rajan,” Major Reinhard said. “There is a threat to my life in India, please take me to Zimbabwe,” the CID official quoted Rajan as saying. Rajendra Nikalje, widely known as Chhota Rajan, has been on Interpol’s wanted list since 1995 for running a crime syndicate that engaged in extortion, arms smuggling and contract killing.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Anil Sinha had said on Monday that the Mumbai Police six months back with an intent to surrender. Intelligence agencies also believe that Chhota Rajan may lose his value with the passage of time and he may not have much to share on Dawood network. Rajan had been living in Sydney and maintaining a low profile in the last 2-3 years. Earlier on Tuesday, a high level meeting was held at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) t to discuss the process to bring back Rajan and future course of action. Officials from RAW, IB and Ministry of Home Ministry were present in the meeting but they refused to divulge any detail. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Anil Sinha had said on Monday that the agency is making arrangements to bring Rajan back from Bali.
“We tracked Chhota Rajan’s movements closely and informed the police in Indonesia and Australia. Eventually the Indonesian police managed to arrest him. We are making arrangments to bring him to India and pursue all criminal cases against him,” Sinha said. Rajan’s arrest has come at a time when the Modi government is stepping up diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to hand over his former partner and underworld boss, Dawood Ibrahim, suspected of militant links. Dawood masterminded India’s deadliest bombings, which killed at least 250 people and wounded more than 700 in Mumbai in 1993.