Three names have been surfacing to succeed Chhota Rajan including Vicky Malhotra, D K Rao and Santosh Sawant. However, if one declared as successor then the gang will split.
After the arrest of underworld don Chhota Rajan names of his aide Vicky Malhotra, D K Rao and Santosh Sawant are cropping up to take charge of the gang’s Indian operations. Sawant, a native of Chembur, a suburb in eastern Mumbai, handles Rajan’s work in Australia and Indonesia. During 90s, he was active in real estate sector in Mumbai. Later, at the behest of Rajan, he moved to Malaysia and then Indonesia where he looked after the financial transactions of the arrested gangster. Sawant had in past survived two deadly attacks. The first attack was launched by Rajan’s ally Vijay Shetty when Sawant was in Indonesia whereas the second attack was launched by D Company when Sawant was in Australia.
If D K Rao and Santosh Sawant succeed Rajan then it will result into split of Rajan gang. However, reports claimed that Malhotra, a close associate of Chhota Rajan, is most likely to be annointed the new leader of the multi-crore extortion, real-estate and drug trafficking business run by Rajan. Malhotra is the last surviving aide of the Chhota Rajan gang who is powerful enough to take over the mantle of the gang in the country. By handing over the reins of the gang’s operations to Malhotra, Rajan aims to counter his rival Dawood Ibrahim gang’s network. This move also will pave way for gang wars if Dawood tries to stop Malhotra.
Rajan, who was on the run for nearly two decades, was arrested in Bali by Indonesian police acting on a Red Corner Notice issued by Interpol.
The arrest was made on a tip off from Australian police that 55-year-old Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje alias Mohan Kumar alias Chhota Rajan, the powerful aide-turned-rival of terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, flew from Sydney to Indonesia’s popular tourist destination Bali, where he was arrested on Sunday.
Malhotra has been Rajan’s closest associate who has been with him for the last two decades through thick and thin. Malhotra’s loyalties did not waver even when the don split with confidantes like Ravi Pujari and Santosh Shetty after the Bangkok attack on him in 2000. Malhotra was last arrested from outside Ashoka Hotel in Delhi in 2005 but jumped bail in 2010.
He is since learnt to be juggling between Dubai and Africa. Interestingly, Africa is a relatively a new hunting ground for Dawood who now also dabbles in blood diamonds.
Giving the business to Malhotra is seen as an attempt to prevent Chhota Shakeel from gaining supremacy in Mumbai’s underworld.
“The D-Company has been trying to break Malhotra away from Rajan for long but has failed in the past. Early this year too, there was buzz that Malhotra and Rajan had split but the two were in touch through VOIP,” an official pointed out.