The Madhya Pradesh police have arrested Mukesh Nagda, the alleged mastermind of a thriving transport mafia that has become a major concern for the Neemuch district authorities.
Nagda was arrested from Choti Khadadi village in neighbouring Rajasthan on Wednesday following a tip-off and produced in a court on Friday, said Jeeran police station chief RK Vyas.
However, he was released on bail by the judicial magistrate (first class), he said.
“Police have seized a car and a sword from him,” he said.
In July, Hindustan Times had first reported about the activities of the transport mafia in north and west Madhya Pradesh, prompting the district police and the transport department to launch a joint hunt for absconding Nagda and his gang members.
“Police had registered a case against Nagda and his aides on July 7 after a truck driver Anwar Khan from Nimbaheda village in Rajasthan lodged a complaint against the gang,” Vyas said.
Khan in his complaint had alleged that the gang had approached him and offered help cross the Madhya Pradesh-Rajasthan border through ‘secret routes’ to avoid the check post for Rs 1,000.
When Khan refused to accept their offer, the gang beat him up. Later Khan lodged a police complaint against Nagda and his aides.
City superintendent of police Pankaj Dixit said Nagda has more than 16 criminal cases registered against him at different police stations across the district.
Neemuch transport officer HK Singh said: “The mafia was a matter of big concern for the department as the government is incurring a huge revenue loss every day for failing to curb the illegal activities.”
Mukesh Nagda was arrested from Choti Khadadi village in neighbouring Rajasthan on Wednesday following a tip-off and produced in a court on Friday.
The highway deal
Neemuch connects Rajasthan with several narrow routes apart from the two major national highways--Mhow-Nasirabad National Highway and the Delhi-Mumbai National Highway.
More than 3,000 trucks ply on the Mhow-Nasirabad and the Delhi-Mumbai highway through Neemuch. Truck drivers have to pay an entry tax at the check post, which vary from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 besides overloading charges.
Looking at the heavy traffic on the national highways, Nagda, who has connection with politician and influential people in the district, formed a gang and deployed his people at more than half-a-dozen small routes connecting the two states. He and his gang offered to help overloaded trucks with lucrative deals to cross the inter-state border charging Rs 1,000.