Some youth chatting near a public telephone booth outside Tilak Nagar police station were talking about how Chhota Rajan associate Farid Tanasha had been relieving his “private security” after reaching home for the last few days.
“Ghar mein kuch nahi hoga [nothing will happen to me at home],” he would tell his aides.
On Wednesday night, when Tanasha was in the safe confines of his Tilak Nagar home, unidentified men barged in and shot him before stabbing him to make sure he was dead.
“Had his bodyguards been there he probably would have escaped or some of his attackers could have been killed too. Worse, there could have been a gunfight with casualties on both sides,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Dilip Sawant (Zone VI).
Sources say the attackers had come in a large gang because they expected Tanasha’s boys to be there.
One of three brothers, Tanasha grew up in Govandi and was a software engineer. He started working in Mazagaon Dock 15 years ago. His father also worked at the dock. “Complaints started coming in after he got into union activities,” said a police officer.
A tiff with a local goon led him to gangster Bada Rajan who sorted the matter out. That was the beginning of Tanasha’s association with the underworld. “He was studious and intelligent so he rose up the ranks fast,” an officer said. Tanasha had planned the killing of Nepalese Member of Parliament and alleged Dawood Ibrahim associate Mirza Dilshad Beg in June 1998.
A crime branch officer said although the police knew Tanasha was involved in underworld activities, his name did not feature actively until July 2005 when a team led by then Deputy Commissioner of Police Dhananjay Kamlakar picked him up for gangland activities.
When Tanasha was arrested, he was allegedly with a former Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer. This had led to speculation that the IB was using the Chhota Rajan gang to fight its war against Dawood.
Tanasha last made news when he was seen dancing with some policemen at a party last Christmas.
“He was one of the pillars of the Chhota Rajan gang. His killing will definitely have an impact on the gang’s activities,” a police officer said.