There is a possibility that Dawood and Rajan aides may become active once again.
The rivalry between underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Rajan is likely to revive the gang war in Mumbai once again. Mumbai Police is taking no chances this time and is keeping a close watch on the proceedings. The city is already known for the encounters which used to occur in the 90’s. Chotta Rajan whose real name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje was a trusted aide of Dawood Ibrahim. However, things changed after the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts as Rajan parted ways with Dawood over the latter’s role in the city blasts. Both of them have tried to control their India operations through trusted deputies in Mumbai.
A DCP rank police official spoke to AV on the condition of anonymity and said, “The city is likely to witness the gang wars once again and we are keenly following the proceedings. There is a possibility that Dawood and Rajan aides may become active once again thereby paving way for gangwar in the city.”
Differences had arisen in 1992 itself after Dawood henchman Subhash Thakur killed three Chhota Rajan groupies. But after the blasts, they fell out completely, with Rajan positioning himself as a ‘patriotic don’ not wanting to betray his country, and challenging the hegemony of Dawood as a “people’s gangster”. Over a hundred men have been eliminated in five years since the inter-gang rivalry started in Mumbai. Dawood Ibrahim’s right-hand man Chhota Shakeel reportedly tried to kill Chhota Rajan. He also had managed to find Rajan’s whereabouts but failed once again.
The calls, intercepted by Indian intelligence agencies, found that Rajan was informed about the assassination attempt and he went underground immediately, thwarting Shakeel’s attempts.
Chhota Shakeel had said that he had gone to Australia for killing Chotta Rajan. The move, an officer said, indicates Dawood’s growing desperation to eliminate Rajan who is suspected to be leaking D-Company’s information to the Indian intelligence establishment. The desperation has only increased since BJP came to power last year, sources said.
With the passage of time, Rajan has slowed down and he no longer poses a major threat to Dawood. But the plot underlined D-Company’s seething anger against him, as well as the determination to eliminate him.
In 2000, Dawood tracked down to Rajan in Bangkok and Chhota Shakeel leading a team of gangsters posing as pizza delivery men, led the hit. They gunned down trusted Rajan hitman Rohit Varma and his wife.
However, their plan to kill Rajan failed, with the gangster escaping through the hotel’s roof. He then recovered in the hospital and slipped away to evade capture.