From feeding chicken-flavoured popcorn to dogs to visiting shrines, the south district police did everything to decimate the Bunty biker gang.
The gang had gunned down four persons — at Sangam Vihar, Amar Colony and Andrews Ganj — within a week in July and unleashed terror in the city.
The police, trailing the gang members for a while, had to resort to some tricks to trap the members.
The first success came about a month ago with Nasir alias Zakir’s arrest.
The police ran a story on the local cable network about Bunty’s death.
Both Zakir and Bunty were residents of Sangam Vihar where the network was popular.
“A day later, we flashed a news that Zakir’s girlfriend, Karuna, had committed suicide. This led to a number of calls between Zakir and his local contacts and he was traced to Bijnore in Uttar Pradesh,” the official said.
After the news planted by the police spread, Nasir called up an associate in Sangam Vihar. “He said ‘Bunty to maara gaya, ab hamara kya hoga (Bunty has been killed, now what will happen to us)’,” said a senior police officer.
Zakir was then traced to his hideout and arrested.
“Nasir gave us vital clues about Bunty’s hideout. He told us that Bunty had separate plans for each gang member. He even hit his gang members when they defied his orders and was a terror among them,” said the officer.
On August 23 again, the police laid a trap. This time, it was at Kalindi Kunj in south Delhi.
“We knew Bunty would escape after seeing barricades. We staged an accident and a truck was parked at the roadside. We put up barricades behind it. Sixty policemen were guarding the area. The trap was laid at about 6 pm. At about 10.30 pm, Bunty and Rajesh were spotted on a motorcycle, but the volume of traffic there was heavy,” said a senior police officer.
He said the police team decided to wait, knowing that Bunty was carrying firearms and Rajesh was an expert biker. “They would flee at the slightest doubt and not hesitate to fire. The area was crowded and we did not want innocent people to get killed, so we let them go,” he said.
The otherwise dark stretch had been lit with “yellow lights” to track the movements of the two accused, the officer said.
This was two days before Bunty and Rajesh Sharma were killed in an encounter in Saurabh Vihar.
Sixteen vehicles were deployed to patrol Noida, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Faridabad round the clock. The police also roped in 500 village heads.
“Bunty was very shrewd. So, we folded the posters with his photographs like an album and gave it to the dhaba owners. We got considerable success as we were regularly apprised about the gang’s movement,” said the officer.
Last month, Uttar Pradesh Police had even apprehended Bunty and Rajesh at a police picket.
“They let them go because they had original registration papers of the motorcycle. The police presumed they were students,” said the officer.