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Chhota Rajan arrival delayed, likely to be back in India today

india Updated: Nov 04, 2015 10:09 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
Chhota Rajan

Indian fugitive Chhota Rajan is escorted by plain-clothed police officers for questioning in Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. Rajan may be brought to India on Wednesday. (AP)

Mumbai’s fugitive gangster Chhota Rajan’s deportation to India has been delayed to Wednesday after volcanic ash spewing from Mount Rinjan in Indonesia resulted in the Bali airport being closed.

“Rajan may land in India on Wednesday evening or late night as, though the paper work for his deportation is complete, but the Bali airport is closed due to volcanic ash. Bali being an international tourist destination, we have all options – of taking chartered as well as commercial flights – available with us,” said a government official requesting anonymity.

Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan was arrested October 25 when he arrived at Bali’s airport from Sydney. He was allegedly hiding in various Australian cities for the past six years. Rajan was scheduled to be deported Tuesday night from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. But AP quoted Bali police official Maj. Pande Sugiarta as saying that the deportation was delayed until Wednesday because of volcanic ash spewing from Mount Rinjan on nearby Lombok Island.

Sources in the home ministry said National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is likely to take a final call whether Rajan would be taken to Mumbai first or the Delhi police should be allowed to question him.

Read | Decks cleared for Chhota Rajan’s return, lawyers get ready

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Tuesday that Rajan will be brought to Mumbai, but he didn’t give any further details. Fadnavis may meet Doval on Wednesday, said sources.

Meanwhile, three senior officers of Delhi police’s special cell held a meeting with the top brass of the CBI on Tuesday evening at the agency’s headquarters. According to an agency source, the meeting was held to brainstorm over aspects connected to Rajan’s deportation to India including arrangements related to his flight details, security and stay in the city before being taken to Mumbai.

CBI officials were also seen conducting a review of the security arrangement at its ground-floor lockups and surveillance measures including a centralized control room that monitors closed-circuit television cameras dotting the agency’s 11-storeyed headquarters’ campus, indicating that Rajan could be held temporarily here before his eventual departure to Mumbai.

Read | Underworld don Chhota Rajan held in Indonesia, govt confirms identity