Rajasthan pulls out stops to check dacoits | india | Hindustan Times
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Rajasthan pulls out stops to check dacoits

The Rajasthan government is going all out to ensure that dacoit gangs do not influence voting in the state’s newly created parliamentary constituency of Karauli-Dholpur, reports Srinand Jha.

india Updated: May 04, 2009 00:56 IST
Srinand Jha

The Rajasthan government is going all out to ensure that dacoit gangs do not influence voting in the state’s newly created parliamentary constituency of Karauli-Dholpur.

Dacoits move around in groups either on foot and sometimes on motorcycles or jeeps, intimidating people to vote for candidates belonging to their caste during panchayat elections, said a police officer requesting anonymity.

During the state assembly elections last year, dacoit Jaggan Gujjar had shot into the national limelight by issuing a sensational threat to blow up the Dholpur Palace owned by former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. Gujjar, however, surrendered before the police last month.

“There is a nexus of politicians, mine owners and dacoits. The dacoits have influenced assembly and panchayat elections in the past,” said 54-year-old teacher Om Prakash Kushwaha.

Over the past few weeks, however, the government initiated a series of measures to counter the dacoit menace. These include replenishment of forces to the inter-district and inter-state Anti-Dacoity Force, creation of a crack Emergency Response Team and deployment of 19 additional units of the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary for the region.

Given the peculiar topography of the region adjoining the Chambal area of Madhya Pradesh, dacoit gangs have traditionally lived and worked out of the gorges and ravines of the badlands of what is known as the Kama (dry land) region comprising the districts of Bharatpur, Karauli and Dholpur. There are no roads to some areas in the region.

The special drive by the state police has brought some tangible results. “The top 20 leaders of dacoit gangs, including dreaded names such as Jaggan Gujjar, Nihal Singh Meena, Narain Singh Meena and Asha Ram, have either been eliminated, arrested or have surrendered over the past month,” Dholpur SP Vijendra Bidari told HT.