Indonesia: Chhota Rajan’s deportation delayed due to airport closure

  • PTI, Bali
  • Updated: Nov 04, 2015 15:11 IST
Police escort Indian gangster Rajendra Nikalje, widely known as Chhota Rajan, at police headquarters in Denpasar, Bali. (Reuters Photo)

Underworld don Chhota Rajan’s deportation has been delayed by another day as Indonesia on Wednesday extended the closure of an international airport till Thursday, due to spewing of volcanic ash from a nearby mountain.

Officials said local authorities have informed them that no flights can take off from the Bali airport till 8:45am Thursday.

“In such a situation, it is natural that it is not possible for Rajan to be deported today,” a senior official said.

Rajan, 55, was scheduled to be deported to India by a special aircraft last night but it was deferred for a day due to volcanic eruption. He continues to be in detention at Denpasar.

Local authorities had closed the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali late on Tuesday due to a large ash cloud drifting from Mount Rinjani, an active volcano on a nearby island.

Indian officials said the Indonesian authorities had extended full support in the process.

It is expected that Rajan, who was arrested in this popular tourist town on his arrival from Australia on October 25, would be deported on Thursday if conditions allow, sources said.

Indian agencies have been keen to enable Chhota Rajan’s deportation at the earliest and had put in a request to Indonesian authorities on Sunday, sources said.

Formalities for deportation have been almost completed, they said.

Rajan, whose real name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, was wanted in India for several years and was arrested following a tip off from Australian authorities.

An Indian Police team, which arrived in Bali on Sunday, has completed all formalities for taking custody of Rajan and flying him to India, where he is one of the most wanted criminals.

Rajan is wanted in over 75 heinous crimes, ranging from murder, extortion, smuggling and drug trafficking.

Rajan was arrested in Bali on the basis of a Red Corner Notice from Interpol and a tip off from Australian authorities to the Indonesian police.

In 2000, there was an attempt on Rajan’s life when his arch rival and India’s most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim’s men tracked him down to a hotel in Bangkok but he managed a dramatic escape.

In the absence of an extradition treaty, the Indian authorities have already provided documents to their Indonesian counterparts about his identity to facilitate his deportation.

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