By KS Reddy
He has more than 100 cases against him, wanted by Police in 8 states, sentenced to 113 years in prison and escaped from prison eight times. This is not just his track record, it’s an all time record. Let’s look at the greatest conman of India – Mithilesh Kumar Srivastava, better known as Natwarlal. He was a master of disguises and used novel ideas to cheat and was also a master in forging signatures of famous personalities. There were many films that were inspired by him. Tanikella Bharani’s character in Ammo! Okato Tareekhu where he sells CHARMINAR, HITECH CITY, RAMANAIDU STUDIOS was inspired from this character.
Facts about the Conman:
1. He was a lawyer by profession before he turned into Conman .
He realised that he had the skills to replicate signatures inch perfect. In a world without pin numbers and passwords, signatures surely did the trick. Also he had duped many shop-owners with lakhs of rupees, paying them by cheque and demand drafts, which were later found to be forged.
2. He Sold Taj Mahal Thrice !!!!
He used to pose as a government official and dupe foreign tourists by selling them famous Indian monuments. He is known to have repeatedly sold the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort and even the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
3. He was at times the president, at times a business magnate
He was a master of disguise and had over 50 different aliases. He had even forged the signatures of Dr Rajendra Prasad and Dhirubhai Ambani. He duped the likes of Dhirubhai Ambani, the Birlas, and the Tatas for tons of cash by disguising himself as a social worker or a needy person.
4. They sentenced him to 113 years in prison
He had 100 cases charged on him and was wanted by the police of 8 states. He was arrested as many as 9 times but each time he managed to break away. The last notable escape he made was when he was 84, at New Delhi railway station, while he was being escorted by police from Kanpur jail to AIIMS in Delhi. The date was June 24, 1996, after which, he was never seen again.
5. He even duped us in death.
While his brother claimed that he had buried Natwarlal in 1996, the conman’s lawyer says he was alive till 2009. i.e. Natwalal could have very well been alive till the age of 97.
6. Monument for him
The people of his native village Bangra in Bihar take a pride that he belonged to their village and have decided to put up a statue of him as his monument, at the place, where his house once stood.
There were many movies inspired by him in different languages and special programs on him.