Even when Chhota Rajan was a rising criminal and, later, on the run from investigating agencies, he kept in touch with his large extended family, say relatives from his mother’s side. They say he repeatedly made it clear that he would not like anyone from his family to get into “his field”.
Chhota Rajan was born in Mumbai to Sadashiv and Laxmi Nikhalje. Sadashiv hailed from a Dalit family in Girvi, a small village in Phaltan taluka of Satara district located around 130 km from Pune. Laxmi, whose maternal surname was More, hailed from Pimpare village in Pune district.
Today, a plush bungalow stands at the spot where a small house of the Nikhalje family was once located in a predominantly Dalit locality in Girvi. On a stone platform inside the premises of the bungalow is a bust of Sadashiv. “Every year on March 3, which is the birth anniversary of Sadashiv, all his (Chhota Rajan’s) family members, including his wife (Sujata) and brother (Deepak), come here to pay their respects. Some of them keep coming here every two months,” said Vikas Nikhalje, a resident of Girvi.
Daulatrao More (64), the youngest among the four maternal uncles and six aunts of Chhota Rajan, lives in Baramati near Pune and is a civil lawyer. “He used to come here during holidays when he was in school,” he said
A family member, who did not wish to be identified, said they used to get calls from unidentified international numbers from which Chhota Rajan used to talk to them.
Daulatrao’s son Hemchandra, who is also a lawyer and an active MNS member, said, “He (Chhota Rajan) has large extended families from both sides and has always kept in touch with most of them. Though he would speak to only a few, he is aware of what everyone was doing.”
Source: The Indian Express