An Indian Conman, Natwarlal

TajMahal, RedFort, Indian Parliament Sold

Mithilesh Kumar Srivastava was a lawyer by profession who was born in Bangra village in Siwan district, Bihar in 1912. He was better known as Natwarlal and was noted as an Indian Conman. He was known for having repeatedly sold Taj Mahal, the Red Fort, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, and the Parliament of India along with its 545 sitting members.

Natwarlal was a master of disguises that he used more than 50 aliases to disguise himself. He duped hundreds of people of crores of rupees. He used novel ideas to cheat people. More than this, he was a master in forging signatures of famous personalities.

Some of the industrialists like the Tatas, the Birlas, and Dhirubhai Ambani were some among those people who were cheated by Natwarlal. He took from them huge money in cash making them believe him as a social worker or a needy person. Not only these industrialists, he also had cheated many business persons and shop owners by paying them by check and demand drafts. Later, these checks and Demand drafts were found to be forged.

More than 100 cases were filed against him over 8 states police. He was sentenced to 113 years imprisonment as he was convicted for 14 forgery cases. But he was caught and was imprisoned 9 times and he made clever escapes from the jail 8 times.

natwarlalThe last time when he was arrested was in 1996 and he was 84 years old then. The wheelchair-using octogenarian escaped from the escort of police while he was being transported to the AIIMS hospital from Kanpur jail for treatment. He vanished from New Delhi railway station and was never found again to anyone.

In 2009, his lawyer claimed that Natwarlal has died on July 25, 2009. And so he requested to drop the pending cases against Natwarlal. As a witness, Natwarlal’s brother, Ganga Prasad Srivastava claimed to have cremated him in 1996. But the actual date of his death remained uncertain.

Natwarlal was survived by his daughter, who was married to a soldier and lives in Ranchi. The people of his native village Bangra in Bihar take a pride that he belongs to that village. They decided to put up a statue of him in the place where once his house stood.

Natwarlal is considered to be the greatest conman of India. Many fraudsters are said to be inspired by his brave fraud ideas and the life of Natwarlal.

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