Age: 62 Years
Hometown: Chembur, Mumbai
Wife: Nikita Baid
|Birth name||Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje Hindustan Times|
|Nickname||Nana Business Standard|
|Famous For||Being the former right-hand of Dawood Ibrahim|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 167 cm
in meters- 1.67 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 6”
|Date of Birth||13 January 1959 (Tuesday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||62 Years|
|Birthplace||Tilaknagar area of Chembur, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
|Hometown||Chembur, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
|School||Amchi Shala Marathi- medium school, Tilak Nagar, Mumbai|
|Educational Qualification||Class 11 The Indian Express|
|Caste||Scheduled Caste DNA India|
|Address||Building No. 6, Tilak Nagar, Chembur, East Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
|Relationships & More|
Daughter(s)- Khushi Nikalje, Ankita Nikalje, Nikita Nikalje
|Parents||Father- Sadasiv Sakharam Nikalje (a mill worker as per some sources, an employee of a Thane-based pharmaceutical company as per some other sources) The Indian Express
Mother- Laxmibai Sadavshiv Nikalje
|Siblings||Brother- Deepak Nikalje (Politician; Associated with the Republican Party of India)
Sister(s)- Sunita Chavan, Malini Sakpal
Note: He has two more brothers.
Some Lesser Known Facts About Chhota Rajan
- Chhota Rajan is an Indian gangster who mostly carried out his operations in Mumbai.
- He was once the right hand of the dreaded criminal Dawood Ibrahim.
- Rajan grew up in a lower-middle-class family in Chembur, Mumbai.
- In his school days, Rajendra was a loner. He used to occupy the front bench in his class. Due to his silent nature, his classmates often bullied him. In one such incident, one of his classmates, who was sitting behind him, splashed ink on his shirt. Once, he was locked inside the school’s washroom by a few of his classmates.
- Rajan was not so good at studies and left his school while he was in class 11.
- After quitting school, he started doing petty jobs to earn some money. Rajan was still in his teens when he started selling movie tickets in black outside Shankar Cinema in Mumbai.
- One day, while he was selling the tickets, the Mumbai police lathi-charged the place to clamp down on black marketing.
- He took on the policeman who came to control the situation and hit him with a stick. Subsequently, he was packed into a police van and taken to the lock-up.
- The incident made him popular among the gangs of miscreants in Mumbai.
- As he was released from jail, gangster Rajan Nair, i.e., Bada Rajan offered him to join his gang.
- Rajan, who started off by committing small crimes, got involved in cases like smuggling, extortion, and drug trafficking after joining Bada Rajan.
- Once, Rajendra got into a brawl with Sanjeeva Devadiga’s gang (Bada Rajan’s rival who ran a country-made liquor shop near the Shankar Cinema); Sanjeeva was also involved in the black marketing of movie tickets. Presumably, Devdiga’s men used to keep some tickets for themselves and then occupied the seats next to women in the cinema. They often harassed women and this became a major reason for clashes between the two groups. During one such fight, Rajendra, along with some other boys, was booked under the controversial Maintenance of Internal Security Act (Misa) in 1975. He served the jail for two years and came out as an accustomed criminal.
- In 1982, after the Pathan brothers and Abdul Kunju got their enemy Bada Rajan killed outside the court, the Rajan gang came in hands of Rajendra. His gang members soon named him- Chhota Rajan.
- In order to avenge the death of his gang leader Bada Rajan, Rajendra went looking for Kunju. However, Kunju in fear of getting harmed by Chhota Rajan surrendered to the Crime Branch in 1983.
- In 1984, Rajan traced Kunju at a hospital and attacked him but Kunju survived.
- Soon, Rajan came into the eyes of Dawood Ibrahim, who offered him (Chhota Rajan) to join his group.
- Rajan joined Dawood and with the help of his men captured Kunju at a cricket ground and shot him dead.
- Dawood handed over many assignments to Rajan which he completed successfully. Rajan also used to receive protection money called ‘hafta’ from the builders and rich people in Mumbai.
- In 1987, Dawood sent Rajan to Dubai to complete a project. With his honesty and daring nature, Rajan soon became the right hand of Dawood.
- Dawood’s growing faith in Rajan popped in the eyes of many including Chhota Shakeel, who later formed a team with Sharad Shetty and Sunil Rawat to conspire against Rajan.
- From 1984 to 1993, Chhota Rajan and Dawood Ibrahim together ruled Mumbai’s underworld; they were considered a powerful combination.
- In 1993, after the serial blasts of Mumbai, their friendship broke, and there was a split between Dawood and Rajan.
- Apparently, the grounds on which the duo fell out was the murder of Ibrahim Parkar, husband of Dawood’s sister, Haseena Parkar, by Arun Gawli’s gang. Dawood ordered Rajendra to take revenge for Ibrahim’s death, however, Rajan took it lightly, and got indulged in his everyday tasks. This combined with the jealousy of Chhota Shakeel became a reason for their split.
- After the split, Rajan made his separate gang and the gang wars between the two groups became normal.
- After noticing Rajan’s growing popularity, Dawood framed a plan to kill him. He sent Chhota Shakeel to assassinate him while Rajan was attending a party in a hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. However, before Shakeel could reach the venue, Rajan got the information and ran away from there. He took the help of an Indian Embassy Officer and went to Kathmandu, Nepal, and then to Malaysia.
- In retaliation, Chhota Rajan shot dead two of Dawood’s associates, Vinod and Sunil Soans, in Mumbai in 2001. Two years later, he killed Sharad, the chief finance manager, and money laundering agent of Dawood Ibrahim, at the India Club in Dubai. The murder costed heavy for Dawood as it was attempted at a location that Dawood considered his operational backyard. Reportedly, Dawood never fully recovered the financial and monetary information of the crime syndicate operations managed by Sharad.
- Following Sharad’s murder, Chhota Rajan moved to Dubai, lived there for a while, and then moved to Australia.
- While in Australia, Rajan hired a gunman for Rs. 5 lakh to shoot dead the senior crime reporter Jyotirmoy Dey in Mumbai. Apparently, Rajan was upset with his portrayal as a small-time crook in a book that Dey was planning to launch.
- He resided in Australia for seven years and thereafter, relocated to Bali, Indonesia, on a fake passport (the passport bore the name of Mohan Kumar).
- As soon as Rajan fled Australia, the Australian police informed the Indian authorities that he has travelled to Bali on a fake passport. The Indian police with the help of Interpol got successful to capture him in Bali, Indonesia.
- While Rajan was clearing the immigration, the authorities asked him his name to which Rajan replied- Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje. On realising, he had a fake passport, Rajan soon corrected him and said, “Mohan Kumar.” This sounded unusual to the police and they took him to a separate room to conduct the identification process using his fingerprints. During the process, his fingerprints matched the identity of Rajendra, confirming he was Chhota Rajan.
- On 6 November 2015, he was extradited from Bali to India.
- In 2017, he was sentenced to seven years of rigorous imprisonment in the fake passport case by a special CBI court in New Delhi.
- The following year, the Maharashtra MCOCA court held him guilty in journalist J. Dey’s murder case and announced life imprisonment to him.
- As of 2021, Rajan is serving life imprisonment at Tihar Jail in Delhi. He is facing trials in over 70 cases of murder, extortion, and drug smuggling.
- It was the dreaded gangsters Haji Mastan, Karim Lala, and Vardha Bhai, who inspired Rajan to step into the world of crime.
- According to some sources, Chhota Rajan used to earn around Rs. 80 lakhs per month in the ’90s. He also owned 122 unknown hotels and pubs in Mumbai.
- In 2002, Vivek Oberoi‘s character of ‘Chandu’ in the film “Company” also had a resemblance to Rajaan’s life.
- In 2021, Chhota Rajan tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) owing to poor health conditions. A few days later, he recovered from his illness and was taken back to the Tihar Jail. There were rumours of his death due to COVID-19, while he was admitted at AIIMS, Delhi.