With the arrest of gangster Chhota Rajan, the city crime branch is now closely watching the movements of his henchmen and those who worked with him in the past.
Currently, the police are compiling the required documents on Rajan to send them to the Centre. The police also have a list of 353 men who have been associated with Rajan, which was compiled in the late 1980s when Rajan entered the crime scene. The police are now getting all details on their activities and whereabouts.
According to sources, some of the men on police radar are Rajan’s past associate Santosh Shetty, who is currently in the city; Santosh Sawant alias Abu Sawant, who operates out of a south-east Asian country; Vicky Malhotra, who is currently in Kolkata; Naresh Thakur, who is based in Wadala and is associated with a developer.
Over the years, Sawant has become one of the most trusted lieutenants of Rajan, and handles the gangster’s real estate business. The police will also look out for Nilesh Paradkar, who is also based in Mumbai; and Shiva Patil, who allegedly handles the gang’s operations in Thane and Navi Mumbai.
Other associates of Rajan who are currently behind bars are DK Rao and Rohit Thangappan alias Satish Kalia. While Rao is lodged in the Taloja prison in connection with the Asif Dadhi murder case, Kalia is in the Arthur Road jail in connection with the murder of journalist Jyotirmoy Dey.
“There is a bleak possibility of any repercussions in the backdrop of Rajan’s arrest. But the vigilance has been stepped up. We will keep track of the gangster’s aides to avoid any untoward incident after Rajan’s arrival in Mumbai,” said a crime branch officer.
The crime branch officials said Rajan would be first tried in the relatively recent cases, as the chances of gathering evidence in such cases will be high. The number of cases against him has now increased to 75, officials said. “We have formed a team of officers to do the paper work and compile the documents that will be sent to the Centre to bring back Rajan,” said Atulchandra Kulkarni, joint commissioner of police (crime).