Ghaziabad and Noida – the two NCR towns - are increasingly becoming safe havens for notorious criminals. Several instances in the recent past corroborate this fact.
On Sunday, Bihar gangster Amit Mandal was arrested from Noida. Mandal, who had escaped from police custody in Patna in June last year, had been running an extortion syndicate from Noida Phase II for the past several months.
Experts say criminals take advantage of porous borders and lack of information sharing between police forces to seek refuge in NCR towns.
In December last year, Jharkhand gangster Akhilesh Singh was arrested from Noida. He was on parole when he had escaped in 2008.
Sing, carrying a cash reward of Rs 40,000, was convicted for the murder of a jailer. A total 33 cases had been lodged against him in Jharkhand. He had also chosen Noida to run an extortion racket.
The National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) says it is often found that after committing crimes elsewhere, criminals take refuge in Noida. "More than 50% of the criminals committing crime here belong to other towns and cities," said an IPS officer, recently transferred from Noida.
In June 2011, the murder of builder Vinod Kumar Gupta of Delhi’s Greater Kailash — whose body was recovered from Noida — had highlighted the trend of Noida becoming a safe haven for executing murders, hiding kidnapped victims or simply taking refuge.
An NCRPB report says in view of the similarity in pattern of crime and operation of inter-state gangs in Delhi and its surrounding areas, there is a need to prepare a perspective plan for police modernisation in the NCR. This entails improvement of human and material resources of police.
In April last year, criminals abducted two Ghaziabad property dealers from Delhi, brought them to Greater Noida and killed them.
In March, criminals abducted a seven-year-old school student, Rahul, from Mathura and hid him in Greater Noida. The accused arrested in this connection hailed from Bulandshahar. In the same month, two boys — kidnapped from Faridabad — were rescued from Noida.
"Surrounded by intense crime pockets such as Meerut, Bulandshahr and Ghaziabad, Noida has many challenges. Plus there is a floating population. Unlike Delhi, there is not much regulation here," said a former SSP of Gautam Budh Nagar district.
In April 2011, ex-MP Ateeq Ahmad’s brother, Khalid Azim alias Ashraf, was arrested from Greater Noida. Ashraf was the prime accused in the murder of Raju Pal, a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator.