Officials may leave soon to bring back Chhota Rajan from Bali

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 31, 2015 01:50 IST
Indonesian plainclothes policemen escort Chhota Rajan, as they walk at Denpasar police office October 29, 2015. (REUTERS Photo)

The process of deportation of gangster Chhota Rajan has started as an Indian team, comprising around half a dozen officials, may fly to Bali in Indonesia as early as Sunday to bring him back.

The team is likely to consist of officials from the ministries of home, external affairs, the CBI and the Mumbai police.

The nations are in the process of making operational two treaties — one on extradition and the second on mutual legal assistance for sharing evidence — that were concluded earlier.

India’s ambassador to Indonesia Gurjit Singh said an extradition treaty and a treaty for mutual legal assistance have already been concluded and letters for their implementation would be exchanged during the visit of vice president Hamid Ansari beginning on Sunday.

Singh said the process relating to the two treaties is “coincidental” to the visit of the vice president and not being hurried up. The ambassador said the process of Rajan’s deportation to India has begun but there is no deadline for it and termed as “speculative and hypothetical” reports that Rajan had surrendered to the Indonesian authorities.

The India-Indonesia extradition treaty was signed in 2011 but has not been implemented yet.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the ministries of external affairs and home were working together to bring back Rajan “as early as possible”.

The team going to Bali is likely to carry summons for Rajan under a notification issued by the home ministry in August with regard to a pact it had with Indonesian authorities. That allows both countries to deport criminals on either side, based on a court warrant.

Meanwhile, Fransico Prassar, the lawyer who has been hired by Rajan, met him at the detention centre where he is lodged but he refused to make any comment on his client, one of India’s most wanted criminals.

“I have met him and discussed about the case. Beyond that I have no comment to offer now,” Prassar told reporters. In New Delhi, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the external affairs and home ministries were working together to bring back Rajan from Indonesia “as early as possible”. 55-year-old Rajan, whose original name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje, was questioned by the Indonesian police for six hours on Friday about his identity and criminal acts in India.

Bali police commissioner Reinhard Nainggolan said Rajan has been allowed to communicate to the Indian mission in Bali besides allowing a meeting with a lawyer.

Rajan, who has more than 70 cases of murder, extortion, and running a crime syndicate registered against him, was arrested in Bali on the basis of an Interpol Red Corner Notice issued over two decades back. He had arrived from Sydney in Australia, where he had been hiding for more than six years.

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