New Delhi: The arrest of Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje was a six-month long operation with CBI, Indian and international agencies working in tandem in overt and covert cooperation, Government sources claimed today as they tried hard to put to rest speculation that 55-year old Chhota Rajan offered himself to the agencies.
The sources said there was no question of Rajan willing to surrender as he was travelling with currency equivalent of Rs 10 lakh and 15 sets of cloths and was probably planning to escape to some country of his choice before being nabbed at Bali, Indonesia on a tip off from Interpol.
To buttress their claims, the sources said Rajan had no inclination to surrender as he had refused to sign surrender document in Bali.
Signing of this document would have meant that he be deported to India immediately.
Six months back during a review of most wanted fugitives with the Interpol at the highest levels of the Government, they said, CBI received an input about Rajan's presence in Australia, living under fake identity of Mohan Kumar, which triggered a secret operation in cooperation with international agencies to bring him back.
It emerged that following a life-threatening attack on him in 2000 by henchmen of Chhota Shakeel, Rajan had staged a dramatic escape from Bangkok and travelled all the way to Africa on fake identity of Vijay Kadam giving slip to CBI and other Indian agencies which had travelled to Thailand to bring him back, they claimed.
In 2003, he managed another Indian passport in Harare, Zimbabwe in the name of Mohan Kumar and shifted to Australia where he had been living ever since.
Since 2003, he kept shifting to a number of locations in Australia and nearby places as he handled operations of his gang which is believed to be very active and strong in South East Asian region besides avoiding any threat on his life from Karachi-based Dawood Ibrahim, his fiercest rival.