Mob boss Chhota Rajan, arrested in the Indonesian resort of Bali on Sunday after being on the run for decades, said on Thursday he wants to return to India.
“I want to go back to India. I don’t want to go to Zimbabwe,” he told Indian reporters in Denpasar.
Amid speculation that his arrest was part of a “deal” with Indian security agencies, Rajan also said: “No, I did not surrender.”
Earlier, media reports had quoted Bali Police Commissioner Reinhard Nainggolan as saying that Chhota Rajan, whose real name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje, had pleaded with interrogators to free him as he wanted to go to Zimbabwe.
Reports have suggested that Rajan, for whom the Interpol issued a Red Corner notice in 1995, is scared of returning to India because of threats to his life from Pakistan-based mob boss Dawood Ibrahim, his former associate who has made several attempts on his life.
Asked by reporters about these fears on Wednesday, Rajan had said: “I am not afraid of anyone.”
Indonesian authorities are bound by law to deport Rajan within 20 days. Mumbai Police have started documenting offences committed by him, mostly in the city and its outskirts, and translating them into English and Bahasa, the official language of Indonesia, so that a dossier can be provided to Indonesian authorities.
Work on the documentation began after Mumbai Police received an official communication from the Union home ministry about Rajan, who is wanted for more than 75 offences in Maharashtra, including murder, extortion and drug trafficking.
Atulchandra Kulkarni, joint commissioner of police (crime branch), said Mumbai Police had formed a team to “compile the history of the offender” after the Union home ministry sought detailed documentation on offences committed by Rajan.
“Apart from compiling his records of over 75 criminal cases, we are also documenting the fine prints of each case, evidences available and status of each of them in different courts, not only in Mumbai city, but in Navi Mumbai and Pune...,” he said.
CBI sources said they were waiting for documentation from Mumbai Police, which will be scrutinised before sending a team to Indonesia to bring back Rajan.
Deportation of Indian nationals from Indonesia has become easier since the two countries signed an agreement to hand over criminals on the basis of a court warrant. The Indian government issued a notification on August 21 to facilitate repatriation of criminals from each other’s territory.