Govt looks to bolster case against Dawood, with Chhota Rajan’s help
Brand-new DELHI: With Chhota Rajan in its net, India is looking to strengthen its case versus Pakistan-based Dawood Ibrahim, the main accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts and mastermind of a string of terrorist operations since then that have made him a major security threat.
Though Chhota Rajan has actually been in touch with Indian agencies on a regular basis and is understood to have provided a volume of information on his former comrade in the Mumbai underworld, his presence as a witness and more detailed information regarding the D Company since the 1990s could help thicken the Dawood dossier.
India has actually in recent months focused with Brand-new intensity on tracking the elusive Dawood, understood to be holed up in Karachi, and bringing him to justice. This has actually gone hand in hand with efforts to build a solid case versus Pakistan as was seen in the detailed GPS based information shared with foreign governments to corner Islamabad over the terror strike in Gurdaspur.
Since Rajan will be available for face to face interrogation, he is expected to be quizzed more closely than when he was in a position to provide information at his discretion. Apart from his knowledge about the main conspirators of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts – Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon – he can provide more evidence or corroborate claims.
Top sources said Rajan’s arrest in Indonesia came about after Australia, which was in regular touch with CBI’s Interpol Delhi division and other senior Indian officials, reportedly made it clear that it did not want a gang war on its soil in view of reports that D Company’s Chhota Shakeel was planning to eliminate the don living in Sydney as ‘Mohan Kumar’. Rajan’s travel to Indonesia could have been on the prod of Australian authorities and set the stage for India seeking his return.
“What Rajan can easily help Indian agencies with is documentary and physical evidence of the reports and claims we have versus the Company and its supporters here in the country. The dossier is only going to be strengthened, that’s for sure. The contents of the dossier have been often challenged by Pakistan which has actually cited lack of witnesses or evidence to back the claims,” an officer said.
According to sources, Rajan may help India get further details on Dawood’s hideouts, network and activities in Pakistan and beyond, which he may have withheld from Indian agencies for whatever reasons.
“This will help (us) build a more credible dossier versus our most-wanted criminal, and can be used to corner Pakistan both at bilateral and multilateral forums in the future,” said an intelligence officer.
Rajan, said officials, knows the role of individuals behind the Mumbai blasts and other Dawood operations. “Rajan is the most important person which India could put forward versus Dawood and his handlers. What matters is the stuff which he says in custody now, as his statement before a magistrate, and the evidence he corroborates it with,” an officer said.
Rajan, who split with the D Company after the 1993 serial blasts that were aimed at “avenging” the Babri Masjid demolition, could provide a few additional details on the attacks, although the trial is over in the case.
Who is Chhota Rajan?
Before the NSA-level talks were called off in August, India had prepared a detailed dossier containing multiple addresses of Dawood in Pakistan. The dossier listed telephone bills issued in the name of Dawood’s wife Mehjabeen Sheikh and sent to D-13, Block 4, Clifton, Karachi, one of his identified addresses. A latest photo of the don, showing him as having aged and with a receding hairline, made it to the press just ahead of the cancelled talks.
A team led by CBI and other officials from MEA and MHA are planning to go to Bali in next two days for deportation of Rajan, who could be flown to Delhi in a separate plane. The deportation process, being personally supervised by NSA Ajit Doval, is being kept highly secret and only a handful of officers in the government are aware of the plans.
Union MoS Kiren Rijiju said, “We are exploring all provisions of law and bilateral agreement between India and Indonesia. The process is on to bring back Chhota Rajan to India soon.”
Australia avoided gang-war on its soil
Meanwhile, top sources in the government claimed that Australia, which was in regular touch with CBI’s Interpol Delhi division and other senior Indian officials, didn’t want a gang-war on its soil after it learnt that Dawood Ibrahim’s most trusted aide Chhota Shakeel had tried to eliminate Rajan in Australia.