Gangster Chhota Rajan has told a Delhi court that he was given a fake passport by Indian intelligence agencies who he was helping “fight against terrorists.”
He was given a passport in the name of Mohan Kumar, as don Dawood Ibrahim’s men were trying to murder him in Bangkok 16 years ago, Rajan told the court on Wednesday via video conference from Delhi’s Tihar Jail, where he is lodged.
“I have been involved in fighting against terrorists and those anti-India forces who are bent upon damaging our country and killing innocent citizens… I cannot name people who have helped me or to whom I have extended help to in the fight against terrorism in national interest,” Rajan said.
The gangster, who was arrested last year in Indonesia after 25 years on the run, was recording his statement as an accused in a fake passport case against him and three former passport officers.
He detailed a cross country-chase by “the henchmen of Dawood Ibrahim after they came to know that I was supplying information to Indian agencies about the perpetrators of the 1993 Mumbai blasts.” They had snatched his original passport in Dubai, alleged Rajan, whose real name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje.
He told the court that he has been “working constantly for my country and fighting those persons who want to damage our country” since the 1993 blasts which killed 257 people in Mumbai.
To do that, he said, he had to “keep my identity secret so that I can help those people who are involved in the protection of our territory.”
Dawood Ibrahim, India’s most wanted, is accused of plotting the 1993 serial blasts. He is also accused of masterminding other terror attacks and faces multiple charges of money laundering and extortion. India and the US also accuse Dawood of financing terror groups including al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The Delhi court has charged Rajan with cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy in the passport case.