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Thursday, 5 November 2015

How Chhota Rajan Was A Sitting Duck in Bali For 11 Days !

Although,  I wanted to write this blog earlier,  I was waiting for Chhota Rajan to be deported from Indonesia. I did not want to give any idea to his enemies on how easy it was to kill him in Bali. For 11 days that Chhota Rajan spent in the custody of Bali police he was a sitting duck for his adversaries. It would not have been a big challenge for the shooters of Chhota Shakeel to bump him off and I'm saying this on the basis of my observations during those 5 days which I had spent in Bali. There was absolutely nil security to him considering his stature in the underworld and the magnitude of threat to his life. Cops in Bali in general had no idea of how big Chhota Rajan was a criminal in India & this was reflected in the behaviour meted out to him by Bali cops.

In India wide security arrangements are being made for him. Arthur Road prison's highly secured Anda Cell is being readied for his arrival, as per reports dialysis machine is to be installed so that he is not required to go to hospital. Videoconferencing facility is arranged so that he is not taken out for physical presence in court. His cell is to be guarded by numerous armed cops. Compare this with the scene at Bali & you will be shocked to know how loosely one of India's most wanted gangster & publicised as an "asset" for Indian intelligence agencies against Dawood was kept.

Scenario Outside Lockup:
At Bali Chhota Rajan was kept in the lockup of police headquarters located at Polda Bali of Denpasar area. There is no security check at the time of entry into the police hqs. No entry is made of the vehicles entering the premises. Vehicles could be parked just 20 metres close to the lockup where Chhota Rajan is kept. At a time only 3 cops guard the lockup & they are without any weapons. It was surprising to see that some cops had brought their kids also while on duty & were playing with them. On Thursdays & Fridays relatives of inmates are allowed to meet them through a small window adjacent to the lockup.

Scenario Inside Lockup:
There are total 3 cells in the lockup of area approx 300 sqft each . One cell is for female prisoners & other 2 are for male ones. There were total 43 prisoners including Chhota Rajan. Most of the criminals were locals arrested for narcotics trade & other crimes. Sunlight couldnt penetrate the lockup & cells were dimly lit. A television set was kept inside the cells.

While being taken around:
Chhota Rajan was being taken out briefly from the lockup for 2 reasons-one for medical treatment and secondly for interaction with Bali Police officers in the adjacent building which is few yards away. On 28th October he was taken to Trijata Police Hospital which is about a kilometre away from Polda Bali. As per my colleague Ganesh Thakur who was the only journo to get his visuals at the hospital, only 3 unarmed cops accompanied him there. Fourth person was his local lawyer Franciscus Passar.
After this he was taken out on 29th October to be interrogated by Bali Police officers in tha adjacent room. This time also only 3 unarmed policemen accompanied him while he walked in and out of the adjacent building. 4 days later on 2nd November he was taken out again to face the CBI led team arrived from India in the same building. Again, there were just 3 unarmed cops for his security while being taken to and fro. ( It was only on his last day in Bali that is today that he was escorted with 10 armed guards to Bali airport for deportation to India.)

So the above was just a general assesment of the negligible security which Chhota Rajan got in Bali. Now my further writing is purely hypothetical & based on imagination.

Dawood's henchman Chhota Shakeel had been desperately searching Rajan since he survived an attack by Shakeel's shooters at Bangkok in September 2000. Earlier this year, Shakeel was successful in tracing out Rajan's hideout in Australia. Rajan escaped on the basis of a last moment tip supposedly by Indian intelligence agencies. Now, when the news of Chhota Rajan's arrest broke out and his visuals were being shown live right from the lockup, the question is were 11 days not enough for Shakeel to send shooters to Bali? Visa is not an issue for most of Asian visitors in Indonesia. Secondly, he could have outsourced the job by hiring shooters locally. In peaceful Bali it would have been difficult to get shooters or weapons, but this seems possible in capital Jakarta which is just 2 hrs flight or 10 hrs drive from Bali and where criminals gangs are very much active.
The shooters of Shakeel would have met with very little resistance if they intended to target Rajan while in lockup or at the time of being taken out. True, that the lockup is inside the police hqs and more number of cops with weapons would have been rushed in but I believe the response time by cops would have allowed the shooters to do their job.

Chhota Rajan was being served prison food in the lockup. Sometimes he also shared food that came from homes of fellow inmates. It was only on Nov 1 that he got Indian food for himself after First Secretary from Indian embassy Sanjivkumar Agrawal met him in the lockup. But before that it was not difficult for anybody to conspire for a poison laced food for him.

It is either that Chhota Shakeel dropped the plan of killing Rajan after his arrest or he overestimated the security of Bali Police.

By the way Bali is not immune to terrorist attacks. In 2002 two night clubs were bombed by a terrorist named Imam Samudra in which more than 100 foreign tourists were killed. Another bombing took place in a night club at Jimbaran beach in 2005. Still looking at the general security scenario in Bali and attitude of cops it seems that no lessons have been learnt. Especially, for an Indian who sees so many things done in the name of security, the experience in Bali is surprising.

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