New Delhi: The heads of India’s two most powerful intelligence services on Tuesday held a meeting with officials of the Home Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office to discuss the course of action following the arrest of mafia don Chhota Rajan in Bali, Indonesia. Since the successful hunting down of Rajan in Sydney, whispers in the intelligence community hinted that the entire operation was planned by spymaster National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, a revered figure in the security establishment.
According to sources, India’s external espionage agency, Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), had alerted the Indonesian government about Rajan’s arrival in Bali as early as October 12.
Sources said that a team of Intelligence Bureau and R&AW counter-terrorism officials had already reached Indonesia and was in touch with the authorities there to complete the formalities for Rajan’s deportation.
When asked if Rajan’s arrest was planned in advance by India, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju declined to comment.
However, sources said that for several months, fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim’s men conducted an exhaustive reconnaissance of Rajan’s house on the outskirts of Sydney. Access roads, points of entry and escape routes were monitored. Shooters hired by Dawood’s henchman Chhota Shakeel watched Rajan’s meeting with acquaintances.
A week before the serious attempt to assassinate Rajan earlier this year at Newcastle, Indian agencies had begun their own surveillance and decided to share information they were gleaning with their Australian counterparts before it was too late.
Nevertheless, Dawood’s shooters continued to dog Rajan’s movements.
“Sometime in early August, a decision to settle the game by ensuring Rajan’s extraction was made,” a highly placed source said. The source added that preparation for Rajan’s relocation were underway almost for the past two months and it was necessary to avert danger to his life from Dawood’s henchman Chhota Shakeel. In Delhi, intelligence chiefs and the NSA closely followed every move for bringing Rajan out of the shadows and into the public domain.
A source said that Chhota Rajan’s passport in the name of Mohan Kumar issued on July 8, 2008, also bolsters the claims that he was secured. It indicates that he was constantly under the scanner and in touch with Indian agencies. All the parameters of passport number G9273860 issued by the Indian High Commission in Sydney are correct. But questions remain on how one of the most-wanted fugitives, who faced an Interpol Red Corner Notice, could escape intelligence scrutiny that even verifies fingerprints and was issued a passport in the fake name of Mohan
Kumar. Certainly, for Indian agencies, Rajan perhaps remains one of the best bets to dismantle Dawood Ibrahim’s empire.
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