They were 'bad seeds' used to drunken nights of petty crime and would have remained a menace to three states had they not gone too far on the night of November 24.
Most residents of Dhaujj Village believe the five accused in the gang rape of a 30-year-old BPO employee deserve the severest punishment possible.
"You can go and check their credentials in each police chowki across villages and now across three cities. They have been involved in everything from house theft to murder," said Imtiaz Khan (28), a property dealer of the village.
"While Shamshad was first arrested in a case of cow slaughtering in 2008, Usman has been arrested four times earlier. Shahid, who was driving the Mahindra pick-up van during the crime, is a class five dropout and is involved in three criminal cases along with Usman and another accomplice identified as Shakil since 2005," said a senior police officer.
Dhaujj residents, including those who claim to be close friends of the accused, said they are part of a larger inter-state crime syndicate.
"The main person is Haji Sadruddin an influential tanner and Shahid's uncle. He provides the money and the tip-offs to them. If they get caught in petty cases, he makes sure they are out in no time," said Shabbir Iqbal (66), a village elder.
But the families of the accused staunchly defend them.
"My husband was at home on the night of November 24. I know him better than anyone in the street does," said Mubina (21), Shahid's wife.
Shamshad alias Khutkan: Knows all the roads and routes of the Capital. A Dhaujj native, he allegedly specialises in stealing and slaughtering cattle. He sells the hides of these cattle at a premium. This is the first known case of rape against him.
Usman alias Kale: A resident of Mirpur in Nuh, Haryana, he was allegedly arrested in 2006 for another gangrape. With dacoity and cow theft cases against him in Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi, he has been arrested four times. He is violent and dangerous.
Shahid alias Chotta Billi: The only partially educated man in the group. He surrendered at Ballabhgarh Court in a cow-slaughter case when the Delhi Police was looking for him. He is married and has three children, one of them just over 10 months old.
Kamru alias Mobile: He earned his alias as he was the first one to buy a mobile phone in his group. He was earlier arrested for a gangrape by the Faridabad Police and has an attempt to murder case against him. He is considered armed and dangerous by the police.
Iqbal alias Bada Billi: He is called so due to his height and because the gang already had a man named Chotta Billi. He has been allegedly involved earlier in cattle slaughtering and small-time thefts. The police are trying to find out more about him.