Gangster Chhota Rajan ‘not afraid of anyone’


India’s most-wanted gangster Chhota Rajan, who was once a member of Dawood Ibrahim’s gang, said on Wednesday that he was not afraid of his former boss.

“I am not afraid of anyone,” Rajan, 55, said when reporters bombarded him with questions while he was being led away by the police in Denpasar in Bali, where he was arrested on Sunday.

Rajan is wanted in India for at least 17 murders and many cases of arms smuggling, drug trafficking and extortion. He has been on the run for about two decades.

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Police Commissioner Reinhard Nainggolan said that Rajan wanted to go to Zimbabwe instead of India. He said he didn’t want to go to India as his wife and father had died. Rajan’s wife Sujata Nikalje, however, is alive.

The Police Commissioner said, “He asked us to release him as he wanted to go to Zimbabwe. He said that he lived in Australia and before that in Zimbabwe and wanted to go there. He was looking to escape.”

Nainggolan also said that Rajan was kept at a local police station, away from the media. The police officer said that he was very nervous and looked scared, and kept smoking constantly.

Before Rajan was found to be medically fit, there was speculation that he wanted to return to India was because of his liver and kidney problems.

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The Police Commissioner said that Rajan, whose real is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, was using an alias “Mohan Kumar”. He had claimed he was on holiday, but the police find it suspicious, given the Interpol notice and threats from Dawood. “As a detective, I don’t believe he was here for a holiday.”