India’s biggest conman is Mithilesh Kumar Srivastava, popularly known as Mr Natwarlal. The journey of the biggest conman of India started with forging a bank draft of his neighbor to selling the Parliament of India.
Story of India’s Biggest Conman
Natwarlal was born in a typical middle-class family in Bangra village in Siwan district of Bihar. His father, Raghunath Prasad Srivastava was a station master. As a matter of fact, Siwan is also the birthplace of India’s first president, Dr Rajendra Prasad. Natwarlal started his career as a lawyer and later shifted to duping people off their money. He was a smart fraud and used around 50 aliases to cheat people. Surprisingly, he even cheated famous businessmen of India like Tata, Ambani, and Birla.
He was very capable of forging documents and the accurate signature of any person. Because of his presence of mind and quick wit, he successfully managed to pull off the cons. He had sold the Taj Mahal thrice, the Red Fort twice, the Rashtrapati Bhavan once and the Parliament House once. Natwar Lal sold the Parliament by making a fake sign of the then President Rajendra Prasad. Disguised as a government employee, Natwar Lal sold all these monuments to foreigners.
Bollywood movies on NatwarLal
Apart from being known as India’s Biggest Conman, Natwarlal was very famous for his quick wit. Two Bollywood movies were inspired by his life. In 1979, the Amitabh Bachchan starrer movie Mr Natwarlal and in 2014, Emraan Hashmi starrer movie Raja Natwarlal revolved around the life of the biggest conman of India. But surprisingly, NatwarLal was not at all proud of this fact.
As once a reporter asked him, “Have you seen the film ‘Mr Natwar Lal’ based on your story?” To which he replied, “No, why should I look at a fake hero when I am the real hero myself? In fact, when I came to know about this film being released, I filed a defamation suit against its director and producer.”
Daring journey of India’s Biggest Conman
His journey as a conman started from his neighborhood when he forged a draft of his neighbor and looted 1000 rupees. Mithilesh got a bank draft and copied his neighbor signature exactly. At that moment, for the first time ever, Mithilesh felt that he could practise the art of forgery. So, from then onwards, Mithilesh kept withdrawing money from his neighbor’s account for a few days. When his neighbor came to know about this, by then Mithilesh had withdrawn 1000 rupees from the account. After that, Mithilesh went to Calcutta and graduated from commerce. Along with this, he started working as a broker in the stock market.
He was famous for his novel ideas that he used to cheat people. One such instance is from Surendra Sharma’s watch shop in Connaught Place of Delhi. The story goes like this:
An old man in a white shirt and pants walks into a watch shop and introduce himself as Finance Minister Narayan Dutt Tiwari’s personal staff D.N. Tiwari. He tells the shopkeeper that the days of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi are not going well, so he has called all the senior people of the party to Delhi for support. And want to present that watch to all the people attending this meeting. So, I want 93 watches from your shop. The shopkeeper was initially suspicious of this man’s words but could not stop himself from the greed of selling so many watches at once.
The next day the old man reached the shop to get the watch. He took a staff with him to the North Block and gave him a bank draft as payment. After two days when the shopkeeper submitted the draft, the bankers told him that the draft was fake. Then the shopkeeper understood that the old man was Natwar Lal.
And after this, from Finance Minister VP Singh to District Judge of Varanasi Natwar Lal kept using different aliases and continued luring shopkeepers in different cities.
The Infamous Natwarlal
Not only he could forge documents but also was very clever and mentally alert and sharp. After seeing him so many times in his court, a judge of the court got curious. So, he asked him the reason for his loot and the motive behind it. In response, he asked the judge to give him a coin and the judge gave it to him. Very promptly, he said, “See, I never looted anyone. In fact, everyone gave money to me on their own wish, just like you did.” This made the judge speechless.
In his native village, people considered him as a Robin Hood. He would loot from the rich and wealthy and give it to the less fortunate ones. The way he helped the poor with non-violent loots, impressed people. People admired him and gathered in large crowds whenever he would visit them. Occasionally, he would host large feasts in his village and also, gave money to each one of them before vanishing. In his village, nobody addressed him by his name rather called him Mr Natwarlal or Mithilesh babu.
When did Natwarlal die?
Natwarlal was wanted in 8 states across India and was supposed to serve 113 years of imprisonment. Unfortunately, every time he was arrested, he would escape in thin air. Even after tight security and police escorts around him, he would dare to run away. This happened at least 9 times but in 1996, when he escaped, he was never seen again.
Natwarlal’s life was a mystery and likewise, his death also became one. Even now, nobody knows exactly how Natwar lal died. While some say that he died in 1996, some others say that he died in 2009. But anyhow, truth is yet unknown for all of us.