Bhaiya Raja is no more now, but he always remained in news for one reason or the other, ranging from sexual assaults to using pythons to overpower women. His feudal dominance spread from his native place, Gaharwar to adjoining areas in Chhatarpur district.
There were many legends surrounding Bhaiya Raja and his ancestral palace, the Garhi at Gaharwar (Chhatarpur), about 344 km east from here.
Raja, who was booked in scores of cases in the past, was dubbed ‘terror of Bundelkhand’ in Srikanta Ghosh’s book ‘Indian Mafia’.
Ghosh wrote, “He (Bhaiya Raja) is reputed to have used pythons to terrorise women to submit to his will. There were many other legends associated with him. When he was first elected independent legislator, he came to Bhopal, and rode an elephant to reach the assembly.
Bhaiya Raja’s name had figured in dozens of cases in the past. But, he would manage to get away as people feared to depose against him.
People who worked for him remained loyal to him. One of his domestic help, Tijji Bai, who later set herself afire, had earlier run away after living in his Garhi for years. But she was traced and brought back from Delhi by his henchmen.
In Tijji suicide case, initially he was booked and charged for abetment of suicide. However, during the course of investigation of the case, the police found that Tijji had been sexually abused for years. It was, however, murder of his grandniece Vasundhara, which finally sent him to the jail.
Raja was arrested in 2009 for the murder. The 20-year-old girl who lived in a private hostel in Bhopal was found dead at Ratanpur in Misrod on the outskirts of Bhopal.
Later, during the investigation, it was found that she was killed at Bhaiya Raja’s behest, because she had threatened that she would expose him and reveal how he sexually exploited her. Last year, he was convicted and awarded life imprisonment.
It was on December 11, 2009 that the murder had taken place. Nine days later, on December 20, he was arrested. Exactly five years later, Bhaiya Raja, died after he was brought from jail to Hamidia Hospital for treatment.