After prison van killings, Bawana stakes claim to top mobster’s slot

  • Ananya Bhardwaj, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 26, 2015 00:15 IST

The two rival gangsters Neetu Dabodia and Neeraj Bawana started together as one. As friends coming from the same area, they executed and planned a series of murders, kidnappings and robberies together for over 12 years, before mistrust crept in and led to a split.

It all started when one Sonu Pandit joined the gang. As Bawana and Sonu grew closer, Dabodia started having doubts about the two planning to eliminate him and Sonu taking his position.

Paras alias Goldy, who was killed in the Tuesday’s gang war in a prison van, was the right hand of Dabodia and his operation chief. Goldy had told Dabodia, that he must kill Sonu, if he wanted to keep his position intact. They realised that with Sonu, Bawana’s power in the gang was also rising. In order to pre-empt a takeover by Bawana, they killed Sonu in 2012. This sparked off a rivalry that is going on even after the death of Dabodia.

Sources said Paras, who was heading the Dabodia gang now, was the only threat to Bawana’s supremacy among Delhi’s gang. With Paras’ death, Bawana has stamped his authority and taken revenge for his once close aide, Sonu.

“After Dabodia was killed in an encounter with the police, all that Neeraj feared was an attack by Paras. In Tihar, they were lodged in high security ward of jail number 5 in separate cells. The two gangs had clashed inside the prison in the past but due to immense security, escalation of violence was averted,” police sources said.

Pradip alias Bhola, the second person killed on Tuesday, was also on Bawana’s target for long. In April last year, police had arrested 10 members of Bawana’s gang from the Rohini court complex, who had reached there posing as lawyers to murder Bhola.

Police officers said the incident has come as a shock because Neeraj Bawana had travelled with Pradeep alias Bhola in the same jail van and also shared a court lock up in Rohini on August 10. On Tuesday afternoon, Bawana and his aides were spotted laughing with the two victims while entering the jail van.

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