Mumbai: Shakeel Shaikh alias Chhota Shakeel on Monday claimed credit for the arrest of absconding mafia don Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan, a trusted aide-turned-bitter foe of mob boss Dawood Ibrahim.
Talking to The Times of India, Shakeel, however, said he was not happy with Rajan's arrest as he wanted to “eliminate” the gangster.
Notably, in September 2000, Dawood's men led by Chhota Shakeel tracked down Chhota Rajan to a hotel room in Bangkok. Posing as pizza delivery boys, they opened fire at him. A stunned Chhota Rajan jumped out of the hotel's first floor room and escaped but was seriously injured in the fall, breaking his back. But he survived and slipped out of Thailand.
"My boys were on the job in Fiji last week, and we had jammed him in his hideouts. He was forced to flee to Indonesia, which led to his arrest. The D Company is not happy with his arrest and our enmity does not end here. I want to eliminate him, and I will not rest. Even if he is deported my operation against him will continue," Shakeel told the daily.
On Rajan’s probable extradition to India, the gangster added: "We don't trust the Indian government which has been pampering him and taking his help against us. What is the guarantee that he will face trial and be convicted? His detention or arrest is not our subject. Our funda (motto) is very clear: Dushman khatam ho (elimination of rival). I will not spare him wherever he is.”
CBI director Anil Kumar Sinha had on Monday said Chhota Rajan, who once operated out of Mumbai and was wanted in India for a series of serious crimes, was taken into custody on Sunday when he was travelling under a false identity -- Mohan Kumar.
Sinha said the 55-year-old gangster was also involved in the killing of veteran Mumbai journalist J Dey in Mumbai on June 11, 2011.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh thanked Interpol and the Indonesian government for nabbing Chhota Rajan, who began life as a black marketer of movie tickets before embracing murders, extortion, kidnappings and more.
It was not clear how and when Chhota Rajan would be brought to India. Some reports said he would be deported to India later this week.
This is billed as the biggest victory for Indian security agencies after the arrest of mafia don Abu Salem Ansari in Portugal in September 2002. He was deported to India in November 2005.
Also Read: Reasons why Chhota Rajan got arrested
Rajan’s arrest has raised possibilities of the Indian authorities catching up with the infamous Dawood, police sources said.