Deported gangster spills underworld’s secrets | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Deported gangster spills underworld’s secrets

Interrogation of deported gangster Santosh Shetty has provided vital clues about the murder of Chotta Rajan aide, Farid Tanasha, last year. Debasish Panigrahi reports.

mumbai Updated: Aug 16, 2011 00:39 IST
Debasish Panigrahi

Interrogation of deported gangster Santosh Shetty has provided vital clues about the murder of Chotta Rajan aide, Farid Tanasha, last year.

On June 2, 2010, Tanasha was shot dead by eight men at his Tilak Nagar residence. Mumbai police rounded up the gang, which claimed to have been deputed by another Rajan aide, Bharat Nepali, for the job. However, the cause for feud between two comrades from the same gang wasn’t ascertained.

Highly-placed sources in the crime branch, where Santosh is presently being grilled, told HT that Tanasha’s proximity to Rajan had made Nepali insecure. Nepali, who was holed up in Bangkok along with Shetty, was peeved that Rajan would not reply to his calls for months.

On the contrary, he would answer calls made by Tanasha or Abu Sawant —Rajan’s mafia manager — within a day. “Tanasha and Sawant’s clout dried up Nepali’s extortion channels. That is why he eliminated Tanasha,” Shetty told interrogators.

Shetty reportedly revealed that a section of corrupt officials in Bangkok police had facilitated Rajan’s escape from the hospital where the don was recuperating after being shot at by rival Chhota Shakeel’s men in September 2000. Rajan paid USD 1 million to a senior intelligence officer in Bangkok police for facilitating his escape to Cambodia.

In 2009, a team from Rajasthan police went to Bangkok on Shetty’s trail after he kidnapped a marble dealer from Chandresiya, Rajasthan for a Rs1 crore ransom.

“Shetty was living in an apartment opposite the building where the Rajasthan police was lodged, but the Bangkok police never gave away his location. This was perhaps because Shetty gave a 20% share of the ransom money to the local police,” police sources said.