Sunita Chavan and Malini Sakpal met Rajan, 56, at the headquarters of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after Special CBI judge Vinod Kumar gave the go ahead. The occasion that brought the sisters and brother together was the festival of 'Bhai-Dooj'.

The emotional reunion lasted some 25 minutes, before which Sunita Chavan, the younger of the two sisters, told reporters that they had not spoken to him during the last three decades when he married crime.

Chavan and Sakpal live in Maharashtra, and reached New Delhi on Thursday with a lawyer with the intention of meeting Rajendra S Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan, who is in a CBI lock-up here. "We are meeting him after 30 years," a visibly excited Sunita Chavan told reporters.

"We never knew where he was living all these years. We never spoke to him even on telephone,"she said. Chavan said both sisters are feeling very good that he is back in India, even if he is in custody.

Asked if they had any view on Chhota Rajan being in custody in Mumbai or Delhi, she said,"He is in custody, which custody doesn't matter. The CBI is a bigger agency, so we feel he will be treated well."

Sunita Chavan insisted that her brother was being framed on most cases he is accused of. "If he was living in Australia all these years, how could he be involved in crime here (India)?" she asked.

"In any case, he has not done anything against the country," she told reporters, trying to draw a line between an underworld involved in crime and an underworld with terror links. "So he should be treated well," she told.

Chhota Rajan, a former close associate of now India's most wanted man, Dawood Ibrahim, was brought to New Delhi on November 6 after his arrest in Indonesia on October 25. He is presently in 10-day CBI custody.

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