New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday got the custody of long-absconding underworld don Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan, who was brought to the national capital from Indonesia on Friday morning.
The 55-year-old gangster was remanded in CBI custody by a magistrate who conducted the proceedings at the CBI headquarters in view of security reasons.
“CBI has got the custody of Rajan in one of the cases against him,” a CBI spokesperson said without elaborating.
The fugitive don – arrested by the Indonesian Police on October 25 – arrived at the Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport at 5.30 am in a special aircraft, accompanied by officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation, Mumbai and Delhi Police. He was taken straight to the CBI headquarters here under tight security.
Security at the CBI headquarters, where Rajan has been lodged, has been beefed up with deployment of more Central Industrial Security Force personnel. The traffic on roads near the CBI office here has been restricted.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government’s decision to hand all of Rajan’s cases to the CBI assumed political overtones.
In Maharashtra, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party slammed the BJP-Shiv Sena government’s decision to hand over around 75 cases relating to Rajan to the CBI. However, the central government said handling of all cases by one agency was helpful.
Rajan is wanted in over 85 crimes, ranging from murder, extortion, smuggling and drug trafficking. Apart from Maharashtra, he has cases against him in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and with the CBI.
Rajan, 55, who fled India in 1988 for Dubai, reached Delhi from Bali after a delay of a few days as flights could not take off from the Indonesian island due to cyclonic storms.
Officials said Rajan is considered a “friendly don” because of his earlier tip-offs to Indian security agencies about the movement of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.
Rajan, once a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim, parted ways with the latter before the conspiracy for the 1993 Mumbai blasts was hatched. There was an attempt on Rajan’s life in 2000 when Dawood’s men tracked him to a hotel in Bangkok but he managed a dramatic escape by jumping from the first floor of the hotel.
(With Agency inputs)