Mafia don Chhota Rajan held in Indonesia

Mumbai/New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) Mafia don Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan — former aide and strongman-turned-foe of fugitive Dawood Ibrahim — has been arrested by the Indonesian police in Bali, top CBI officials said on Monday.

CBI director Anil Kumar Sinha confirmed the nabbing of Chhota Rajan, who operated from Mumbai and is wanted in India for a series of serious crimes and murders.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh thanked Interpol and the Indonesian government for their cooperation. “India was active on this case… I want to thank Interpol and Indonesian government for this. Post-verification, investigation will be taken forward,” he told media persons in New Delhi.

Rajan, 55, operated from Chembur, a Mumbai suburb, and surroundings since the mid-1970s and later became a trusted henchman of Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, the absconding don from Mumbai who is reportedly hiding in Pakistan.

Both fell out after the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts and Chhota Rajan slipped out of India in 1995, remaining on the run till his arrest on Sunday.

According to available information, the mafia don — declared a wanted man by Interpol since 1995 — arrived by flight from Sydney, Australia, to Bali on Sunday afternoon and was arrested.

A CBI official said they have been pursuing the matter with Australian authorities. The probe agency also thanked Indonesia and Australia for their prompt action at their request.

“This is a good and close cooperation between India, Australia and Indonesia,” the official added.

Despite repeated attempts, top police, bureaucratic and political officials in Maharashtra maintained a guarded silence and declined to comment on the developments which have immediate and long-term implications for Mumbai’s underworld as well as Maharashtra’s law and order.

Earlier, for a couple of hours on Monday, confusion reigned in top intelligence and police circles in Maharashtra with some officials claiming that another serial killer from Karnataka, Mohan Kumar alias Cyanide Mohan, had been arrested.

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