Opposition slams Maharashtra government’s move to hand over Chhota Rajan cases to CBI


The opposition Congress and NCP on Friday criticised the Maharashtra government’s decision to hand over all the cases registered against gangster Chhota Rajan in Mumbai to the CBI and alleged it showed lack of coordination and the government’s “mistrust” of the Mumbai Police.

While Congress said it showed a lack of coordination between the Centre and the state, NCP alleged that the BJP-led government had shown its “mistrust” of Mumbai police by believing Rajan’s claim that some police officers were on the payroll of his rival and fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim.

“Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had time and again said that Rajan will be brought to Maharashtra and even allotted a block in Arthur Road jail (in Mumbai) to lodge him. It seems the CM was making all these statements and taking decisions without consulting the Centre,” senior Congress leader Manikrao Thakre said here.

“This means there is a complete lack of coordination between the Centre and the state government though BJP is in power in both places. This is most unfortunate,” he said. Congress had been talking about this lack of coordination for a long time, and it was now vindicated, Thakre claimed.

NCP leader Dhananjay Munde said the decision was “unprecedented”.

“The government has chosen to transfer all the cases against Rajan at his instance despite knowing that Mumbai police are considered next only to the Scotland Yard. For the first time in the history of independent India a government has paid heed to allegations of a criminal,” Munde said.

With this decision, which followed transfer of Sheena Bora murder case to the Central agency, the Maharashtra government had conveyed that it thought the Mumbai police to be “incapable” of dealing with complex cases, he said.

Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan was brought to India today following his arrest in Bali, Indonesia.

Yesterday, Maharashtra’s additional chief secretary (home) K P Bakshi said the cases against him were being transferred to CBI because of the latter’s expertise in “handling transnational crimes”.

Mumbai police have nearly 70 cases registered against Rajan, including 20 murder cases, four cases under TADA, one under POTA and over 20 cases under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

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