Underworld don Chhota Rajan, who has been arrested after being on the run for over two decades, claimed Thursday that he did not surrender and wants to return to India.
There is intense speculation that the arrest of the gangster, who is wanted in over 75 heinous crimes ranging from murder, extortion to smuggling and drug trafficking, was part of a “deal” with Indian security agencies.
“I never surrendered. I want to go back to India. Don’t want to go to Zimbabwe,” the one-time trusted aide of terrorist and crime boss Dawood Ibrahim told reporters.
Rajan, one of India’s most wanted gangsters, was arrested in Indonesia’s tourist destination Bali on a Red Corner Notice issued by Interpol after eluding law enforcement agencies for over two decades.
Of these 75 cases, Rajan is facing four cases under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA), one under Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and over 20 cases under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
Indian security agencies are likely to send a team of officials to Bali to bring back the gangster who has been in custody since Sunday.
The sources are tight-lipped about the arrangements to bring him back because of security concerns arising out of his fierce rivalry with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his gang.
They said agencies are working on more than one plan to bring back 55-year-old Rajan, once known as Dawood’s right hand man, factoring various permutations and combinations.
Rajan was traveling with the identity of Mohan Kumar with passport number G9273860 when he was apprehended at the airport in Bali, after arriving there on a Garuda Indonesia flight GA715, by the Indonesian Police on a tip-off from Australian authorities, they said.
The sources said Rajan was in touch with various police officials for the past six months seeking a passage to return to India as he feared for his life in Australia from Chhota Shakeel, a henchman of Dawood.
In 2000, there was an attempt on his life when Dawood’s men tracked him down to a hotel in Bangkok but he managed a dramatic escape through the hotel’s roof.
According to serving and former police officers, who have dealt with the Mumbai underworld, arrest of Rajan is a major success and his questioning is expected to shed light on hitherto unknown facts related to cases linked to his syndicate.