Absconding underworld don Chhota Rajan
Assets Owned By Slain Gangsters Become Don’s BootyMumbai: If crime branch sources are to be believed, Chhota Rajan’s men are losing faith in the underworld don as he has been usurping the estates of several of his slain henchmen. At present, he is said to be eyeing the properties of Balu Dokre, who was murdered in Malayasia on May 20.
“Though Dokre did not own much property in Mumbai, Rajan is eyeing the properties that were bought as benami by Dokre. It is difficult to track all the properties owned by gangsters as they are mostly benami,” a police official said.
A senior crime branch officer confirmed that Rajan had taken over real estate assets owned by several of his former associates. “Rohit Verma, who was shot dead by Chhota Shakeel’s men in Bangkok in September 2000, owned a magnificent jewellery shop in Bangkok. After Verma’s death, Rajan just took over the shop as he was short of money,” the officer said. The other properties of Verma which were re p o r t e d ly taken over by Rajan include a bar in Chembur, a flat at Thane, a plot in Pune and a farm house in Panvel among others.
As a rule, every gang member has to inform Rajan about the use of his extortion money. Most often, they buy property. They have to inform the don about the property, its location, market value and under whose name it is registered. Following the killing of several of his gang members, Rajan is said to have replaced the watchmen of the properties of his slain aides with his own men.
Citing another example, the source said that Rajan aide O P Singh, who was strangulated in the Nasik Jail in November 2002, owned several benami properties at Madh Island, Mira Road and Bhayandar. After Singh’s death, Rajan captured two flats owned by him at Greater Kailash in New Delhi, a mall at Gurgaon, an industrial estate at Noida and a building at Vasai in Thane. Also on the captured list was a hotel in Kathmandu. An encounter specialist who refused to be quoted, confirmed the confiscations saying, “The property of a gangster is the gang’s property. If the gangster hides his property, it is taken over by Rajan after his death.”
Rajan is also said to be taking over the properties of those whom he gets killed for betrayal.
Vinod Shetty, owner of several restaurants and bars, was shot dead in Panvel after Rajan suspected him of tipping off those Chhota Shakeel gangsters who attacked him in Bangkok. Several of Shetty’s hotels are now being run by Rajan’s men in Mumbai and in the outskirts.
Similalry, Mohan Kotian, a Rajan aide, who was killed as a result of inter-gang rivalry in Bangalore, owned two bars in Bangalore and a plot in Mysore, which were later taken over by Rajan.
The Times of India, June 30, 2005