From Haji Lala, Dawood Ibraham to Atiq Ahmed: A look at India’s most dreaded criminals and how their reign of terror ended

Apr 22, 2023

Yash Sharma

Dawood Ibrahim is one of the richest gangsters of all time.  He was named the main perpetrator of the 1993 serial blasts. He escaped to Pakistan after this and started to operate from there.

Chotta Rajan began as a ticket scalper and thief. He then joined Rajan Mahadev Nair’s gang and took it over after his mentor’s death in 1983. At present, he is serving a life imprisonment sentence at Tihar Jail in Delhi.

Haji Mastan came to Bombay when he was eight. He developed an underworld empire in 1960 and ruled the city for two decades with the help of Varadarajan Mulaidar and Karim Lala. He died in 1994 at the age of 68.

Varadarajan Mulaidar came to Bombay in 1945 when he was just 19 years old. He used to work as a porter at VT station. However, later he became a criminal after engaging in the theft of cargo at Mumbai’s docks. He died of a heart attack in 1988.

Karim Lala became one of the most feared and powerful gangsters, along with Haji Mastan and Varadarajan Mulaidar. He was a part of the Pathan gang and worked as a recovery broker. In February 2002, he died of a heart attack at the age of 90.