The murder of Ashok Kumar, driver of gangster-turned-politician Binder Gujjar, and the counter attack on Manish Khurana, who allegedly belongs to Sandeep Gadoli gang, on Sunday have once again brought to the fore the failure of the police to check gangs operating in the city.
Despite tall claims by the Gurgaon police and the Haryana government that no gangs are operational, nearly six shootouts in the recent past prove otherwise.
Though the Gurgaon police was able to arrest Sanjeet Kumar who shot at Ashok Kumar, the main accused Sandeep Gadoli, who heads the gang, is still absconding.
Police sources say control over real estate deals, extortion, gambling and other illegal means of income are some of the reasons why Gurgaon has become the ground for gang wars.
Senior police officers and crime records show that it was one Bunty alias Fauji, an advocate, who formed one of the first criminal gangs in the city. He formed a gang in 1995 and was soon followed by Rajje, a resident of Jharsa. The two gangs were involved in shootouts ever since.
In one such shootout at the Jharsa bund, Fauji shot Rajje in 1996. Rajje’s killing also marked the formation of new gangs and battles to mark their territories. With Gurgaon transforming into a real estate hub in the 90s, the number of gangs increased and so did the gang wars.
Gangsters backed by musclemen were called in to settle disputes over land. Hiring of shooters from across NCR, and particularly UP, is the new trend because of the high stakes involved.
After Fauji, came a gang led by Dilip, a dismissed Delhi police constable. This gang was primarily involved in extortion cases, police said. The gang fell apart when Dilip was arrested in 2001. Dilip, police sources said, is believed to be living in anonymity as he was not convicted in any of the cases.
In the years since 2000, several such gangs emerged in Gurgaon. These included Sunil Takla gang, Dharambeer Ullahwas gang, Sudesh alias Chailu gang, Kuldeep alias Neetu Gahlot gang, and Raju Langda gang, among several others.
However, the Gurgaon police have a different story to tell. “Haryana does not have a culture of organised gangs dictating terms to people or business. Also, there is no fertile ground for organised crime to emerge and sustain. The police have been strict in such matters,” Navdeep Singh Virk, commissioner of police, Gurgaon, said.
“Today, there is no major gang leader in the city who can call the shots or dictate terms to anyone,” Virk claimed. Police records belie the commissioner’s claims. They show that there are at least 10 gangs in Gurgaon dealing in real estate, extortion, gambling, betting, and other activities.
These gangs are led by Sandeep Gadoli, Surjeet, Harender alias Heavy, Bindar Gujjar, Ashok Rathi, Kaushal, Mahesh Attack, Rakesh Banjara, Koushalpal, and Rakesh Hayatpur.
“These youths do not have influence beyond their local area of operations and we keep a strict tab on their activities,” an officer involved in crime prevention said.