Fugitive underworld don Chota Rajan alias Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalaje, who was once upon a time Dawood Ibrahim’s Man Friday and is booked for heinous crimes ranging from murders to extortion, drug- trafficking, smuggling, was arrested jointly by the Australian and Bali police team in Bali on Sunday.

According to sources, Rajan was hiding in Autralia since the last seven years under the alias of Mohan Kumar.

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Chota Rajan was nicknamed as the “Hindu Don”, after his relations with Dawood Ibrahim turned sour post the 1993 bombings in Mumbai on 12th March, 1993. Rajan is now being touted as an asset by the Indian agencies for countering the infamous D-Company gang.

Though Chota Rajan started his career by selling movie tickets in the black, he soon graduated from street-level hooliganism to being Bada Rajan’s most trusted aide. In the year 1983, Bada Rajan was shot dead at South Mumbai’s Esplanade Court, where his hearing was in session. After his mentor’s assassination, Chota Rajan came in contact with the most notorious dons of our times and terror mastermind, Dawood Ibrahim, who by then was an established gold smuggler. Once Dawood escaped from India to Dubai in 1984, Chota Rajan operated Dawood Ibrahim’s syndicate till 1988, post which, Chota Rajan fled to the Gulf City too. After the 1993 serial bomb explosions in Mumbai, Chota Rajan became Dawood Ibrahim’s arch-rival. Chota Rajan was arrested for the first time in Thailand in the year 1998 but he somehow managed to escape at that point in time. In 2000, Dawood Ibrahim’s men tracked down Chota Rajan at a hotel in Bangkok and attempted to assassinate him. In order to make an attempt to escape, Chota Rajan fell from the hotel’s roof and broke his back. He was admitted to a hospital in Bangkok but managed an escape from there and couldn’t be traced since then. As an act of retaliation, Chota Rajan’s gang killed one of Dawood Ibrahim’s most trusted lieutenants, Sharad Shetty, in the year 2001.

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Chota Rajan after his arrest in Bali

A Brief Background

*Born as Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje in Mumbai in the year 1960

*Commenced his criminal career in the mid-1970’s by black marketing movie tickets at Sahakar Cinema in Mumbai’s Tilak Nagar area, reportedly due to illiteracy and poverty.

*Got nicknamed as Chota Rajan, after his crime mentor, Rajan Nair, who was called “Bada Rajan”.

*Wife Sujata is booked for extortion and money laundering.

*Runs dance bars, discos and night clubs in Jakarta, Malayasia, etc. as benami property.

*Has 68 cases to his credit in India. The latest one is the murder of journalist, Jyotirmoy Dey, in the year, 2011

*Has been on run ever since Interpol named him as a wanted man in the year 1995 and remained on run till his arrest on Sunday in Bali.

Dawood Ibrahim’s key aide and henchman, Chota Shakeel (Shakeel Babumiya Shaikh), who is reportedly holed-up in Pakistan, took credit of Chota Rajan’s arrest. Chota Shakeel called-up a leading newspaper TOI and stated that, “D-Company is not happy with Chota Rajan’s arrest. Our enmity does not end here. I want to eliminate him and will not spare him, wherever he is”.