New New: Twenty seven years after he fled the country, underworld don Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan reached Delhi early Friday morning after being deported from Indonesia.
He fled India in the face of numerous cases of murder, extortion and drug smuggling against him almost three decades ago.
Prior to his arrival, the Maharashtra government informed earlier that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will handle all cases related to Rajan, a move which has not gone down very well with the Mumbai police.
The 55-year old don was arrested in Bali on the 26th of October upon his arrival from Australia.
"The CBI is the nodal agency and many cases have all-India ramifications. Maharashtra will transfer all cases to the CBI and we shall offer them all help," Maharashtra's Additional Chief Secretary K.P. Bakshi told media earlier.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government's move to hand over the cases of Rajan to the CBI did not go down well with the Mumbai police which several officers stating that the move raises a question of doubt over their abilities.
"The decision is a slap on the city police force as the government has directly portrayed that they don't trust the city police as well as its crime branch," said a crime branch official, requesting anonymity, as per report.
"This step has, in fact, demoralised the entire force, which has time and again curbed the underworld activities in the city. The city's crime branch was ranked next only to the Scotland Yard police in world," another official is reported to have said.
Rajan, after his arrest, had expressed reservation over plans to lodge him in a Mumbai jail, fearing that his archrival and India's most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim may target him there.
His deportation was deferred by a day as the international airport in Bali was shut down due to spewing of volcanic ash from a nearby mountain.
Rajan, whose real name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, is wanted in over 75 crimes ranging from murder, extortion to smuggling and drug trafficking.
Mumbai Police has nearly 70 cases registered against Rajan, including 20 of murder, four cases under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, one under Prevention of Terrorism Act and over 20 cases under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.
Delhi Police has six cases registered against Rajan, who was a close aide of fugitive underworld don Dawood at one point but split before the 1993 Mumbai blasts were conspired.
In 2000, there was an attempt on Rajan's life when Dawood's men tracked him down to a hotel in Bangkok but he managed a dramatic escape by jumping from the first floor of the hotel.
With Agency Inputs