Chhota Rajan, a 'Spent Force'

Cops say Dawood aide-turned-enemy has only one case against him, will be of little help in tracking the don, can retire in safety behind bars

Published: 27th October 2015 04:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th October 2015 04:08 AM   |  A+A-


File photo of Underworld don Chhota Rajan. He was caught by Indonesian police in Bali on Sunday. (PTI)

MUMBAI: The timing of underworld don Chhota Rajan’s arrest in Indonesia on the request by the CBI has left many tongues wagging in the city. Former officers with the city police believe that Rajan, a spent force, has received an opportunity to live in a “safe” atmosphere instead of running from pillar to post to protect himself from his arch enemy Dawood Ibrahim.

Chhota.JPGM N Singh, who was the City Police Commissioner when Rajan, 56, was shot in Bangkok by the Dawood gang in September 2000, said that all the halla bolla on Rajan’s arrest will turn out to be a big disappointment. “Chhota Rajan is a spent force now. Getting hold of him now will not be as useful as it was a decade ago. He is an old, sick man now. If he is lodged in the jail he will get a sense of safety. He will have a relief from the dramatic life he has been living,” Singh told Express.

He maintained that Rajan’s arrest will help the city police to have a better control on organised crime and extortion activities. The city police had cracked down Rajan gang’s activities and had managed to nab some of his most trusted sharp shooters after the murder of senior crime journalist J Dey in June 2011.

With the end of gang wars in the city, Rajan’s activities are limited to extortion and financing of films. His wife, Sujata, runs a big business of cable TV in the eastern suburbs. Rajan’s men are also involved in real estate projects in eastern suburbs and Navi Mumbai. His younger brother Deepak is a film producer and a politician. He unsuccessfully contested the Maharashtra Assembly election in October 2014 from Chembur on a Republican Party of India (RPI) ticket as an ally of the BJP.

Singh recalled that the local police had helped Rajan escape from the Bangkok hospital when he was arrested. “I had sent a special team of my officers to get hold of him. They were made to wait for long days. One fine morning, he slipped away.”

Singh, however, denied that Rajan’s arrest could be used as a pressure tactic to get hold of Dawood Ibrahim, who is hiding in Pakistan. “I don’t think it will pressurise Dawood. Illegal activities concerning Dawood are more powerful than the Rajan gang. Rajan wanted to return and settle down in a semi-retirement life,” Singh said.

Another top cop echoed Singh saying that Rajan’s “planned” arrest is an indication he was not helpful to tracking Dawood as it was assumed all the way. “It was said that the security agencies were using Rajan against Dawood. I think that is not helping them to get hold of Dawood,” the officer said. He pointed that there was only one case of serious offence against Rajan in the city in which his direct involvement could be established. “He had claimed on several TV channels that he had ordered killing of journalist J Dey. Except this case, it will take a long time to prove his direct involvement in other cases,” the officer said.

Dawood and Rajan were once close friends and associates till 1992. Dawood attended Rajan’s wedding. Rajan left Dawood’s gang after the serial bomb blasts in the city on March 12, 1993. After the split, Rajan formed his own gang and started targeting members of Dawood’s gang. In 2000, Dawood’s men succeeded in shooting him in Bankok but he slipped out of the hospital to which he had been admitted. Dawood’s aide Chhota Shakeel claimed three months ago he had sent shooters to kill him, but they had failed.


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