CBI takes over probe in murder of Datta Samant

Indonesian police escort Indian national Chhota Rajan (C) from Bali police headquarters to Ngurah Rai Airport during his deportation from Denpasar on Bali island.(AFP Photo)

The CBI has taken over the investigation into the killing of famous trade union leader Datta Samant in 1997 in Mumbai, in which the role of jailed gangster Chhota Rajan is suspected, officials said on Thursday.

This is among the 10 cases registered by the probe agency pertaining to the alleged involvement of Rajan in cases related to extortion, murder, and threats among others spread over a 14-year period since 1992, they said.

Samant, an influential trade union leader, was shot dead on January 16, 1997, when he was traveling in his Jeep towards his office in Pant Nagar, Mumbai, officials said.

The assailants, who came on a motorcycle, had fired 17 bullets, killing the labour leader responsible for the famous 1981 Mumbai textile mill workers' year-long strike.

The case was registered by the Mumbai police which was handed over to the CBI in 2015 along with 70 other cases after the capture of Rajan in Indonesia and his subsequent deportation to India.

One of the alleged shooters in the murder, Vijaykumar Chaudhary, was killed in an encounter with Mumbai police in 2007 in Kolhapur.

According to the procedure, the CBI has taken over the FIR of Mumbai police registered on the basis of the statement of Samant's driver and re-registered as its case.

The other cases registered by the CBI pertaining to extortion, Bhandup rioting, and murder in 1992, firing and attempt to murder an Andheri resident in 2004 among others.

Rajan, who has been convicted in a of cases, is lodged in Tihar jail in Delhi after his deportation in 2015.

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