Gangster Chhota Rajan said he was not scared of threats to his life from underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, even as Indonesian police provided him special commando protection.
“I am not afraid of anybody,” he replied to a reporter’s question while being whisked away by the police in Bali, where he is under custody.
Bali police spokesperson Hery Wiyanto said they were aware of the threats faced by Rajan and that special commandos have been assigned for his protection.
“We have all the measures in place to ensure that the prisoner’s security is not compromised. Since he is a foreigner, we have heightened security for him,” he told reporters.
Wiyanto said Rajan seems to be doing fine and there is no particular behavioural problem with him. “If he is under pressure, he is not showing,” he added.
Rajan, born Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, is wanted in India for several counts of murder, apart from cases of arms smuggling and drug trafficking.
The CBI is likely to send a team of officials to Bali in the next two days to bring back the 55-year old gangster, sources said, though details were not shared because of security concerns.
Bali police commissioner Reinhard Nainggolan said Rajan, once close confidant-turned-rival of Dawood, repeatedly pleaded before interrogators to free him as he wanted to go to Zimbabwe.
Nainggolan rejected reports that the 55-year-old mafia don was suffering from multiple ailments, saying he was medically fit.
Asked when he would be deported to India, where he is one of the most wanted criminals, Wiyanto said the Bali police were waiting for a team of officials from India to interrogate Rajan first.
“We are waiting (for the Indian team). We will coordinate with the Indian authorities to formulate on how to deport Chhota Rajan back to India,” he said.
Bali police commissioner Nainggolan said arrest of Rajan was a serious law enforcement operation under the supervision of the Interpol.
Giving details about the circumstances leading to Rajan’s arrest, he said they had information from the Indonesia Interpol that someone with the name Mohan Kumar has to be arrested based on the passport number.
“(When we got him) We told him not to worry if he cooperates with us. We told him about the red corner notice. We told him that your photo provided is the same. He wanted my help to set him free,” he said.
Asked whether Rajan was accompanied by someone else also, Nainggolan said Rajan came to Bali alone and the arrest was made in Bali as the Interpol was informed by Australia that they cannot arrest someone only on the basis of red corner notice.
Asked whether it was suspicious for the Indonesian authorities to find Rajan alone as police, rival gangs and mafias were looking for him, he said “of course it is very suspicious”.
“When we caught him, he looked scared...He is smoking constantly,” Nainggolan said.
Wiyanto said Rajan’s interrogation in Bali would be confined only to questioning on fake identity charges.
“Enquiry will be confined to ascertain whether the identity is true or not and to ensure that we did not arrest the wrong person,” he said.
The arrest was made on a tip-off from Australian police that Rajan has flown from Sydney to Bali.
Read: CBI to send team soon to bring back Chhota Rajan