Two close associates of absconding gangster Anandpal Singh were rounded up by the Rajasthan Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) and Special Operations Group (SOG) during a joint operation late on Saturday night, while a third member of the gang was arrested from Nagaur district on Sunday morning.
The accused – Mahipal Singh alias Monty and Azad Singh – were present in the car in which Anandpal had escaped last year. The ATS have seized a passport and visa for Dubai from Mahipal.
Additional director general of police (ATS) Umesh Mishra told reporters that both the men were considered to be the right hand of Anandpal, whose escape had given sleepless nights to the Rajasthan police.
“Azad was rounded up from Mauli near Panchkula in Haryana, while Mahipal was nabbed near Udaipur… This is the biggest success for the security agencies since the gangster (Anandpal) had escaped in September last year,” Mishra said, adding that more searches were on to nab the other members of the gang.
The ATS are also questioning Panchkula-based property dealer, Sanjeev Chauhan, for providing shelter to Azad. Another member of the gang was also arrested from Degana in Nagaur district on Sunday based on the inputs provided by the two, Mishra said.
According to the ATS and SOG, both Azad and Mahipal were part of the inner coterie of Anandpal gang and could have valuable information about the gangster’s whereabouts.
An ATS officer, on the condition of anonymity, told HT that Mahipal was trying to elude the police from Nepal. “He arrived in Gorakhpur from Nepal. Thereafter he went to Ambala where he stayed with Azad in Mauli. From there, Mahipal boarded a train to Mumbai, but got off at Delhi and boarded a train to Mewar and reached Kota. We nabbed him when he was on his way to Udaipur from Kota,” the official said.
A sharpshooter and a mastermind
According to the ATS, Mahipal was the brain behind the operations of Anandpal’s gang, while Azad was a sharpshooter who has a number of cases registered against him. Both the accused carried a bounty of `1 lakh.
According to the ATS, the men have confessed that Jaipur property dealer Himmat Singh was murdered by the gang in May last year.