Key Chhota Rajan aide DK Rao – lodged in judicial custody at the Arthur Road Prison, was shifted to Taloja prison on Sunday, amid fears of a possible revival of his gang operations from the prison.
Superintendent of Arthur Road jail, Rajendra Dhamne, claimed that Rao was shifted to Taloja Jail on administrative grounds, and refused to elaborate.
However, sources in the crime branch claimed shifting Rao was necessitated on three grounds: “First, Rao, was trying to revive his operations from prison. Secondly, he started regrouping a host of Rajan’s sharpshooters, presently in jail. Thirdly, Rao had started recruiting petty criminals lodged in the prison into the Rajan gang,” sources claimed.
Rao had spent ten years in Arthur Road jail, till he was released in 2009. He was then arrested again in July this year.
Rao has a history of recruiting sharp shooters for the gang during his long incarceration at Arthur Road prison.
Top Rajan aide, Satish Kalya, who was arrested for killing veteran journalist J Dey, had been taken into Rajan gang by Rao, at Arthur Road prison, in 1998. Another key Rajan henchman Jitendra Jagtap, who was arrested in connection with the murder of criminal lawyer Shahid Azmi, was also one of Rao’s recruits.
The crime branch arrested Rao on July 11, for his alleged shootout at Pakmodia Street in May this year. It was alleged that he had given Rs five lakh to arrested accused Umed-Ur-Rehman (27) and Aasid Shaikh (41) — for the shoot out, which the body guard cum driver of Iqbal Kaskar — Dawood Ibrahim;s brother — was killed.
Later, the Anti Extortion Cell (AEC) took him into custody on August 4, in connection with an old extortion case, involving a real estate broker from Badlapur. He had been remanded to judicial custody a fortnight ago.