A class 12 dropout, he earned his living driving an auto-rickshaw at Khanpur in south Delhi before metamorphosing into the country's most wanted car lifter carrying a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head.
Anil Chauhan, declared a Proclaimed Offender by many courts in Delhi, has over 3,000 cases of car lifting, from remote Ladakh to Northeast, in his name.
Chauhan, 41, who has previously been arrested four times by the police in different states, is now in Meghalaya Police custody after he was arrested in a joint raid by Assam Police and Shillong Police from Assam’s Silchar last Monday.
He was once earlier arrested from Guwahati in 2004. While the Meghalaya police was interrogating them, a team of the Assam police too is expected to join them soon.
“He is a prized catch for us. He is involved in thousands of cases across the country. Four of his gang members have also been arrested. We are conducting an investigation to get more details,” East Khasi Hills SP AR Mawthoh said.
In 2004, Delhi police announced a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head after which he shifted base to Northeast.
An expert key maker, Chauhan and his gang used to take the stolen vehicles to Nepal and Jammu and Kashmir, the police said adding his second wife Geeta too was arrested being his partner in crime.
Chauhan’s auto lifting gang was involved in more than 400 cases of auto lifting in Delhi alone and had a disposal chain extending upto Nepal and North-East as well as in the remote areas of Jammu & Kashmir, Uttrakhand etc, according to a Delhi Police website.
In 2005, Chauhan came to the Northeast where his gang members posing as executives hired vehicles and took them to the hilly areas like Shillong and Aizwal before killing the drivers at secluded places and driving away.
Chauhan’s name and address were recently found from the possession of three alleged car lifters who were found dead, which the police attributed to the result of a clash over money, on the outskirts of Guwahati.