The last of the Chambal dacoits — Pappu Gujjar — has finally been finally gunned down in Satanwada, Shivpuri district, in Madhya Pradesh.
Termed “baaghi” (rebel) by locals, the era included dreaded names and larger-than-life figures — Man Singh, Malkhan Singh, Phoolan Devi and more recently, Nirbhay Gujjar, Rambabu Gadaria and Thokia.
Many played Robinhood in the infamous ravines. Their caste groups considered them demigods.
But Gujjar had been a terror in Morena, Shivpuri, Sheopur and some other adjoining districts in Gwalior-Chambal region.
He issued diktats and threatened massacres, forcing villagers to live in perpetual fear. He abducted traders, engineers and government officials for ransoms of Rs. 15 to 20 lakh. And thanks to him, many government schools in the area had to be shut — the teachers having openly refused to turn up for work.
They had reason enough to fear. He had 18 cases of robbery, murder and dacoity against him. Last year, he slashed the ears and nose of a man he suspected to be responsible for the death of former dacoit Rajendra Gatta.
Even the police suffered at his hands. From threats to attacks and robbery, Gujjar walked all over them. A self-loading rifle he looted from the police was recovered from the encounter spot after his death.
Gujjar was shot dead along with three members of his gang—Ramkishan, Ramnath Gujjar and Ramkhiladi at Satanwada in the early hours of Tuesday.
After dacoits Sundar Patel, Raj Narayan and Gatta were killed, Gujjar’s was the sole active band of bandits.
“Now that he is dead, there is no other bandit left in the region,” said Director General of Police (DGP) Nandan Dubey.