The long and short of the Chhota Rajan story

Chhota Rajan


Chota Rajan, also known as Nana, is the leader of an extensive crime syndicate based in India. Known for various crimes committed in and outside the country, this former key assistant and lieutenant of Dawood Ibrahim, was arrested in Bali, Indonesia by the Indonesian police on October 25, 2015. He was on the run for over 20 years since the Interpol Red Corner Notice was issued against him in 1995. According to news reports, this notorious gangster is likely to be brought to India before Diwali.

His background
He was born in a Marathi Buddhist family in Mumbai, living in the suburbs of Mumbai in Chembur. His actual name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje. In 1980s, he started his criminal activities, initially by scalping cinema tickets at Sahakar cinema hall. Later, he became a small time thief and a bootlegger by working for Bada Rajan, formally known as Rajan Nair. After Bada Rajan’s murder, he took over the leadership of Bada Rajan’s gang and came to be referred as Chhota Rajan. Later on, he came in contact with Dawood Ibrahim and became his close aide. He even got involved in a number of criminal activities in Mumbai at the behest of Dawood. In 1988, he fled to Dubai from India and then to Australia.

Why Chhota Rajan is a trouble to the Indian Police?

From a petty criminal, Rajan moulded himself into a Hindu don, who was admired by the Shiv Sena.

His criminal cases include murder, mafia killings, extortion, property disputes, smuggling, drug trafficking and film finance.

There are 17 murder cases against him and several others for attempted murders. These include murder of senior journalist J Dey in 2011, the shootout in Kala Ghoda in 2006 and the Chhote Miyan murder case of 2009.

He is a big catch for intelligence agencies, with as many as 75 criminal cases registered against him in India.

He has been registered in cases relating to the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA), the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

There are almost 50 cases registered against him in Mumbai alone.

Though a close associate of Dawood, he began to drift away from Dawood in 1990s, especially after the serial blasts in Mumbai in 1993.

Rajan protested against Dawood’s involvement in “anti-national” activities.

It is also reported that Rajan would pass on information about Dawood to police and the separation of Rajan and Dawood ignited bloody shootouts between the two gangs. He vowed to eliminate the “D” gang.

In September 2000, Chhota Shakeel, another associate of Dawood attacked Rajan in a Bangkok hotel and fired at him, and he was hit by bullets, but escaped.

Sources said that once brought back to India, Rajan will be handed over to the CBI and not Mumbai or Delhi Police.

However, every investigating agency, starting from the Mumbai Police and Delhi Police to the CBI and the External Affairs Ministry are waiting to interrogate Rajan.

Mumbai Crime Branch plans to interrogate Rajan about the sourcing of the hi-fi weapons used by the underworld in the 1990s.

Mumbai Crime Branch is also expecting to get answers for some hidden aspects related to the murder of Mid-day journalist J Dey murder case or the Pakmodia Street firing case of May 2011.

They also expect to get information of people who run Rajan’s hawala operations.

Mumbai Police officials estimate Chhota Rajan’s present net worth to be around 4,000-5,000 crore.

After his arrest, gangster Chhota Rajan told news reporters that there are some corrupt Mumbai police officials who are in association with wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim. Will he be able to give more information relating to Dawood Ibrahim?

After his arrest, Rajan said, “I am not scared of Dawood and I will continue fighting against him and terrorism”.

It has also been said that Rajan planned his own arrest due to age and ailments that he is suffering from. At 55, he is suffering from kidney-related issues and also a bigger problem of paranoia.

Rajan’s return to Mumbai will definitely trigger unrest and security threats in the country as a whole. Rajan has already received death threats from Chhota Shakeel.

The Indian agencies have a herculean task ahead of them concerning Chhota Rajan’s security. Also, it is a Herculean task for Mumbai police and others to divulge information on the many criminal cases registered against him.