After financial capital Mumbai, Delhi seems to be fast on track towards becoming a hub of organised crime.
In the past three months, Delhi Police have registered six cases under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA). Contract killers, robbers, land grabbers, snatchers and car thieves —the list includes all kinds of criminals.
But Police commissioner chief Y.S. Dadwal vehemently denied the existence of any "organized crime" in Delhi.
Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat echoed his views, “There is no organized or underworld crime in Delhi. Sometimes local criminals join hands with interstate criminals to commit offence in Delhi. To keep a check on such criminals, we book them under MCOCA.”
But going by the figures, it is quite evident that there has been an increase in the number of cases registered under the Act that exclusively deals with organised crime.
Last year, five cases of MCOCA were registered across Delhi, while in 2007 there was no such case.
This year, one case has been registered so far.
Former Congress councilor Ashok Jain and eight others, who face charges of allegedly running a "syndicate crime of contract murder", are among those on whom the Act has been invoked. Jain and his aides are allegedly involved in 19 cases of murder, robberies and criminal conspiracy.
One of the killings that attracted widespread media attention was the murder of builder Vijay Dahiya on September 29, 2007. Dahiya was reportedly engaged in a property dispute with Jain and a lobby of other builders for gaining control over prime property locations in Delhi. Jain and the builders allegedly hired contract killers to eliminate Dahiya.
In a fallout of this case, early this year, a police inspector posted with the Crime Branch was arrested by the anti-corruption branch for allegedly demanding bribe from one of the accused.
Then, there was this gang of thieves —including a woman —on which MCOCA was slapped in December last year for allegedly running a "syndicate of stealing luxury cars".
"Each member of the syndicate is involved in a number of cases of theft of luxury cars in different parts of India, including Delhi. The gang steals luxury cars and changes the chassis and engine number. The woman helps in transporting the car to Assam and other NE states. The cars are sold to gullible customers by forging registration papers. The proceeds of the sale are transferred through bank accounts," the FIR registered at Yamuna Vihar police station reads.
The southeast district police have also slapped MCOCA on a gang of robbers who killed a senior citizen couple in Sukhdev Vihar in November last year.