Media reports had stated that underworld don Chhota Rajan died at AIIMS New Delhi on Friday after he was infected with Covid-19.
However, soon after, ANI quoted AIIMS staffers saying that Rajan is still alive and is being treated for Covid.
Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan was admitted to AIIMS on 27th April after testing positive for Coronavirus in Tihar jail. He was lodged in the Tihar jail in New Delhi since his arrest after he was deported from Bali in Indonesia, in 2015.
On April 27, an assistant jailor of the Tihar jail informed a sessions court in Mumbai that they could not produce Rajan via video conference before the judge for hearing in a case, as Chhota Rajan has tested positive for Covid-19 and he has been admitted to the AIIMS in Delhi.
He was facing several criminal cases which were shifted to the CBI, and a special court was constituted to try them. The former underworld don is facing as many as 70 criminal cases relating to various crimes like extortion, smuggling, drug trafficking, murder etc in Mumbai. In 2018, Rajan was convicted in the 2011 murder case of journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. In March this year he was also sentenced to 10 years in jail in attempted murder case of bookie-turned-builder Ajay Goslia.
Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje had started his criminal career as a black marketeer of cinema tickets in Mumbai. Later he joined the joined the Bada Rajan gang in 1982. After Bada Rajan was shot dead, Chhota Rajan took over the gang. He had worked for Dawood Ibrahim who had fled to Dubai.
During the gang ward between Arun Gawli and Dawood’s gangs, Chhota Rajan had become the right-hand man of Dawood. But he had left the D-Company in 1993 and had formed an independent gang, and had regularly clashed with his former gang.
In 2000, Dawood Ibrahim’s men had attempted to kill Chhota Rajan in Bangkok, but it was not successful.
In October 2015, Rajan was arrested in Bali in Indonesia acting on a tip-off from Australian police. He was extradited from Bali to India on 6 November 2015 after 27 years on the run, and was awaiting trial in several cases against him.