Mumbai Crime: Chhota Rajan's aide hiding in plain sight in Vasai arrested
On the run for 23 years, Chhota Rajan aide had constructed an entirely new identity as a Muslim man and had even started a new family
The crime branch has arrested a close aide of gangster Chhota Rajan after more than two decades, discovering in the process that he had changed from 'Hindu don' Amar Baburao Wagh to Yasin Mohammed Khan.
Wagh, who had been absconding since being granted bail in a dacoity case in 1996, lived in plain sight at Nalasopara for the past 23 years after converting to Islam and changing his name to Yasin Mohammed Khan. He was declared a proclaimed offender in 1997 after he vanished following his bail.
He married a Muslim woman the same year and converted to Islam, said the crime branch officers. With a fresh identity, he lived a normal life at Nalasopara but frequently changed his residence within the area. However, his identity started falling apart two months ago when the crime branch's unit VIII received specific information about a man wanted since 1996.
"Based on the tip-off, we started looking into the person two months ago and after collecting a lot of details, we were able to identify him as Amar Baburao Wagh, who was declared proclaimed offender by the court as he never turned up at the police station after getting bail in a dacoity case. The case was registered at Samta Nagar police station in 1993," said Ajay Joshi, senior police inspector of unit VIII.
The officers said he was initially detained as Khan based on the identity cards he furnished. However, the police interrogated him on the basis of documents that proved he was Wagh.
Wagh was reluctant to admit his true identity until the officers showed him the documents establishing his association with Chhota Rajan's other close aides — Kashinath Pashi, who is dead now, and Anil Nandoskar alias Andya. "He then confessed that he was Wagh," Joshi added.
The crime branch also recovered the affidavit that Wagh submitted before a court in Nalasopara to change his name and religion. The officers also seized their nikah nama which mentions both his old and new name.
Akbar Pathan, deputy commissioner of police, detection, crime branch, said, "Wagh was arrested from his Nalasopara residence after it was confirmed that he is a proclaimed offender. He was later handed over to Samta Nagar police for further investigation."
The crime branch officers said he had destroyed all his previous identity cards and other documents to evade arrest. The police seized his Aadhaar and PAN cards and driving licence from his home during the arrest.
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