Fingerprints from early ’80s nailed Chhota Rajan

New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) Fingerprints o0f Chhota Rajan the Mumbai police collected in 1980 and 1983 provided the clinching proof that led to the deportation of the underworld don from Indonesia.

Establishing Chhota Rajan’s identity was the most difficult of the four conditions Indonesian authorities wanted to be met if he was to be sent to India, official sources here said.

The only way out was to match his fingerprints. Unfortunately, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the nodal agency for Interpol in India, didn’t have them.

That’s when the Mumbai police came to the rescue.

Rajan was arrested in Mumbai in 1980 for a murder and in 1983 for an attempted murder. His fingerprints were taken on record then, an official told IANS.

“We got those fingerprints and matched them with some of the fingerprints taken six months ago in Australia where Rajan had lived since September 22, 2003,” the official said.

Eleven of the 18 features of the fingerprints matched perfectly.

“We at once provided the fingerprint details to Indonesian Police and got the okay for his deportation,” the official said.

The CBI had to satisfy three other points too before it could get hold of the long absconding don, who was once a close aide to Dawood Ibrahim, now India’s most wanted fugitive.

Rajendenra Sadashiv Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan, who left India in 1988, was finally deported to New Delhi on November 6, after his arrest in Bali on October 25.

Rajan, as claimed by the CBI, easily landed in Indonesian net but his deportation was not that easy.

The fugitive was caught when he accidentally blurted out his real name at the Bali airport although the forged document he carried had Mohan Kumar as his name.

The Indonesian Federal Police then asked Indian authorities to prove four points of identity about Rajan.

Officials close to the investigating team told IANS they had to first prove his nationality.

Then, the Indian authorities were also asked to prove Rajan’s identity. The Indonesian police also wanted the Red Corner Notice issued against him and, finally, proof of his involvement in criminal cases.

Proving Rajan’s identity that posed the most difficult task.

There was enough evidence to show that Rajan was an Indian national. As he was involved in over 85 criminal cases in India, the details of his criminal activities were easy to come by.

As for the Red Corner Notice, the Indian Interpol had issued one in 1995.

Rajan was involved in criminal cases including murder, extortion, smuggling and drug trafficking in Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

Once the fingerprints matched and were sent to Indonesia, he was handed over to the CBI, which is the Interpol nodal agency in India.

Rajan has been in 10-day custody of the CBI, which has booked him under the Passport Act and the Prevention of Corruption Act. He has also been charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating, impersonation and forgery.

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at

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