A young man, who calls himself the badshah of snatchers and pickpockets and was allegedly involved in at least 73 cases in the capital and surrounding areas, was arrested from Uttar Pradesh.
Raju, a resident of Sultanpuri, was apprehended in Pilakhwa in western UP yesterday on a tip off in connection with a murder of a 55-year-old Delhi man, Chhaya Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer), said.
"Raju is the undisputed king of various gangs of snatchers and pick-pocketers operating in various parts of Delhi. All gang members regularly pay a major amount of their earnings to Raju.
"He knows almost every pic-pocket and snatcher. If any gang member is arrested, Raju provides him all sorts of assistance such as hiring of a lawyer and and all. He also resolves jurisdictional disputes between gangs," she said.
He along with his associates had allegedly murdered Roomal Lal at his residence in Prem Vihar on November one last year. "The deceased's wife had met the brother of Raju's friend Rakesh with regard to the marriage of her daughter. The daughter and Rakesh were in a relationship and she became pregnant. However Rakesh refused to marry her.
"Rakesh along with Raju and others went to her house and started beating the family members and when Lal intervened, he was also beaten mercilessly and later he succumbed to his injuries," Sharma said. In this case, five people, including Rakesh, were earlier arrested while Raju was absconding.
Raju also allegedly attempted to kill one Rajesh, who, one of his associates claimed, had murdered his brother while another claimed he had implicated him in false cases.
Since Raju is a "desperate and notorious" criminal having more than 73 cases registered against him, five teams of Delhi Police and various teams of UP Police had been deployed to track him down.
Police got information that Raju along with his wife Parveen is residing in Pilakhwa in UP but when a police team went there, they could not trace him there. But later he returned to the village and was nabbed.
Raju allegedly used to carry an identity card of an NGO 'All India Crime Reforms Organisation' in a bid to avoid being caught by police on pickets.
"While going to collect his share from the gang members in different part of Delhi, for the last 3-4 months he also had started travelling with his wife on a motorcycle to avoid police checking and to prevent any suspicion," Shamra said.
Interestingly, recently 3-4 snatchers have named themselves as Raju, apparently as he exercises "influence", she said.
Raju claimed that he entered the world of crime as he was neglected by his father and step mother, police said.