The Arrest of Chhota Rajan
The arrest of Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, alias Mohan Kumar alias Chhota Rajan in Bali while he was holidaying there could be a major step forward for India despite the political equations and the wheels-within-wheels character of the operation. A former aide of Dawood Ibrahim, Chhota Rajan subsequently turned an adversary of Dawood and there was an unsuccessful attempt on his life by Dawood’s men in a hotel in Bangkok in 2000. The underworld don’s arrest in Bali (after futile attempts of two decades) came about on the basis of a red-corner notice issued by the Interpol to the Indonesian police and the help of the Australian police after he flew to Bali on a holiday trip from Sydney. Chhota Rajan is no ordiry crimil. He is an accused in at least 17 murders and a whole gamut of other crimes like extortion and drug snuggling. Both Chhota Rajan and his former boss Dawood Ibrahim have mounted a series of unsuccessful assassition attempts on each other and their aides. Apart from the law-and-order aspect of his arrest and his likely deportation to India this week, there are major political facets that cannot be ignored. He is privy to sensitive secrets of a whole lot of Maharashtra politicians now sitting on the fence, and this information could be vital to different political parties. He is also an asset as a source of information on Dawood Ibrahim who is now said to be in Africa and not as securely protected as he was when he was in Karachi. Indian security agencies like the RAW that have been trying in vain to capture Dawood Ibrahim should be able to get a great deal of help from Chhota Rajan. They have better chances of capturing Dawood Ibrahim when he is in Africa than they would when he is in Pakistan.