Chhota Rajan wields major clout in Mumbai’s Octroi racket: Cops

  • Aritra Hazra, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Nov 11, 2015 21:01 IST
Indonesian plainclothes policemen escort Indian gangster Rajendra Nikalje (C), widely known as Chhota Rajan. (Reuters)

Gangster Chhota Rajan may have got arrested in Bali, but according to sources in the Mumbai police, he has been active in the city for the past two months.

The Sewri police, who have been monitoring unauthorised octroi agents at different checkpoints in the city, said Rajan’s cronies have a big share in the octroi racket, which has caused multi-crore losses to the exchequer.

In the past two months, the evasion has become so brazen that trucks have been passing through without paying any octroi, whereas earlier they would at least pay a minimum percentage.

“While we are investigating the case, someone called Paresh Shah from Gujarat cropped up,” said an officer from Sewri police station.

“He had a major role in starting the racket. Eventually, other gangs joined in,” the officer said.

“Rajan’s involvement in the racket came as a big blow to Shah because he took over most of the areas from where the racket was being operated,” said a senior police officer, on condition of anonymity.

When Shah saw himself getting sidelined in the racket, he took the support of the brother a senior politician in Mumbai to regain the position he once enjoyed.

“Two months ago, Shah, with the support of a politician’s brother and his workers, had close to 500 to 600 people attend a massive inauguration at different check nakas under the nose of the octroi and vigilance officers of the BMC,” the officer said.

The officer said Shah needed a strong force and support to act against Rajan’s muscle power to reclaim the position he once enjoyed in the racket and he acquired that through his political connections.

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