Maharashtra govt to press Centre for Chhota Rajan to be sent to Mumbai

Maharashtra government will press the Centre for gangster Chhota Rajan to send to Mumbai after deportation to the country as his questioning is expected to shed light on several cases he is linked to.

"Chhota Rajan is wanted in several cases in the state. So, we have decided that once he is deported and central investigation agencies are done investigating him, we will request the Centre to first send him here so that we can extract information from him in cases for which he is wanted here," Minister of State for Home (Rural) Ram Shinde told PTI.

The cases in which his involvement is alleged include murder of journalist Jyotimoy Dey.

The government is also planning to compile a list of cases in which Rajan is wanted so as to put him on trial after the gangster, whose real name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, is sent to Mumbai where he has spent much of his underworld life. 

"The case is being dealt by the Ministry of Home Affairs as it is a matter between the two countries. If there is an extradition treaty between India and Indonesia, he will be brought back to the country. Then on, Maharashtra will come into the picture," the official, requesting anonymity, said. 

"Until that happens, we will compile and forward (to the Centre) the list of cases in which he is wanted so that he can be tried under a court of law here," he said. 

According to serving and former police officers, who have dealt with the Mumbai underworld, the arrest of Rajan is a "major development" and his questioning is expected to shed light on hitherto unknown facts related to cases linked to his syndicate, including his alleged role in murder of journalist Jyotirmoy Dey.

However, former Mumbai Police Commissioner, M N Singh, who had played a key role in cracking down on underworld gangs in the city, said he would rather wait and watch till the 55-yer-old gangster was brught back to the country.

Y P Singh, IPS-officer-turned politician, termed Rajan's arrest as "significant" which will help investigating agencies to bring out "unknown" facts about the underworld-police-politcian nexus."

The details of conspiracy behind the murder of J Dey on June 11, 2011, which was executed allegedly at the behest of Rajan, and firing on another scribe in early 1990s may also come to fore if he is questioned, he said.

Also, police and other law-enforcing agencies could come to know Rajan's connections in the killings of his own hirelings in India and abroad, said a Crime Branch officer requesting anonymity.

Recalling his days of action against the Mumbai underworld, M N Singh said "it has been over 15 years when Rajan was shot in September 2000, landing him in hospital. I was Mumbai Police Commissioner then and along with Home Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and the Additional Home Secretary, I met Foreign Minister Jaswant singh and requested him to send a team of crime branch in Bangkok."

"Jasawant Singhji accepted our request and I sent three crime branch inspectors to keep a watch on Rajan so that he could be arrested and deported. Our officers stayed there for over a fortnight without any weapon and liasioning with local police and keeping a watch." 

But on a day news surfaced that Rajan had escaped from the hospital, which was impossible without the support of the local police, said Singh.

He, however, claimed Rajan's arrest unlikely to yield impressive results as underworld activities have almost died down and secondly he has become too old and sick.

Singh also said that Mumbai police crime branch should come forward and ask for his custody as Mumbai police is the prime stake-holder in the cases registered against him.

Singh, however, is of the opinion that NIA and CBI can also interrogate him to unravel his involvement in international syndicates or operatives. 

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