A special MCOCA court in Mumbai on Tuesday sentenced mafia don Rajendra Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan and five others to eight years rigorous imprisonment after convicting them for attempting to murder a city hotelier in 2012.
Special Judge A. T. Wankhede, who earlier in the day found the six guilty on various counts of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act and the Indian Penal Code including attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy, also slapped a fine of Rs 5 lakh on each convict.
Rajan, who was deported from Indonesia in October 2015, is currently incarcerated in Delhi's Tihar Jail. The other accused are Talvinder Singh, Selvin Daniel, Nityanand Nayak, Dilip Upadhyay and Rohit Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalia.
The case dates back to October 2012 when hotelier B.R. Shetty was attacked in Andheri.
The Mumbai Police's Anti-Extortion Cell, which investigated the case, contended that Chhota Rajan had ordered his sharpshooter Kalia to kill Shetty.
However, Kalia, who was in custody for his involvement in the killing of Mumbai journalist J.N. Dey on June 11, 2011, asked an aide to deploy Singh and Upadhyay for carrying out the murder assignment.
Nayak and Daniel had conducted recces to identify the target. On October 3, 2012, Singh and Upadhyay, on a motorcycle, trailed Shetty as he left his Andheri office in his car for his home in suburban Malad.
Around 9.45 p.m., Shetty reached a mall in the posh Oshiwara where Upadhyay fired four bullets at him from point blank range and sped off.
Shetty took two bullets in his arm and shoulder but survived. He drove down to the Oshiwara Police Station which rushed him to the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital nearby.
After investigations, the police said the attack was a pre-planned conspiracy by Chhota Rajan and others with the purported motive being extortion from Shetty who owns a chain of prominent restaurants in Mumbai and abroad.
Subsequently, the two shooters, besides Daniel and Nayak, confessed to their crime and spilled the details of the entire conspiracy and the operation.
The police had filed a voluminous charge sheet running into over 1,300 pages in which it said Chhota Rajan had ordered the attack on Shetty to settle business scores with his opponents.
Incidentally, Chhota Rajan - a bitter rival of absconding mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar - has already been sentenced to life imprisonment in the murder case of Dey, and other cases are pending against him in different parts of India.