The five were ‘bad seeds’, used to drunken nights of petty crimes and would have remained a menace to three states had they not gone too far on the night of the November 24, 2010.
When HT had visited their village after the Dhaula Kuan gang rape incident, it had found that Shahid, Usman, Shamshad, Kamru and Iqbal were a gang of illiterate conmen involved in criminal cases ranging from illegal cow slaughtering to attempt to murder. The cases were registered in Delhi, Noida, Faridabad and even their own village.
Residents of Dhauj village had said that the five were part of an inter-state crime syndicate which was never unearthed. Their families were poor, education was difficult to access and transporting goods for a living was the most viable option for able-bodied men.
Four years later, the police force — which had ignored their threat — now has its hands full with criminals from Haryana’s Mewat, perhaps one of the most backward districts in the country.
The past four years have seen at least three encounters in which cattle-snatchers from Mewat have violently confronted Delhi policemen and the surfacing of an alleged module of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) in its vicinity. “Criminals from Mewat were always known for their violent streak,” said HGS Dhaliwal, who now heads the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police and was then the DCP of the south district.
“And while they are involved in criminal activities within their district too, sexual crime is traditionally looked down upon in their immediate society. That’s why they prefer to travel far to execute it,” Dhaliwal added.
On August 8, HT had reported about a dangerous build-up of Rohingya Muslims in the district which, according to the intelligence bureau (IB), did not augur well for the Capital.
While criminals continue to be arrested from the district almost on a routine basis by the Delhi Police, cattle snatchers wanted in cases registered across the capital hail from Mewat.
So much so, that the police have a database of truckers travelling to and from the region on a daily basis - 121 of them were arrested in 2013. Even the elite special cell is usually on the job to track and arrest criminals from the region.