The Uttar Pradesh special task force (UP-STF) on Monday night arrested alleged gangster Mukeem Kala, who is accused of 30 serious crimes, and his accomplice Sabir from Noida Gate.
The STF had got information that Kala was travelling in a Maruti Swift on Greater Noida Expressway towards Loni (Ghaziabad) via Delhi.
Superintendent of police, UP-STF, Ajay Sahdev said Kala carried a reward of Rs. 1 lakh each -- from UP and Panipat in Haryana -- and another Rs.25,000 from Yamuna Nagar in Haryana for his arrest.
Sabir carried a reward of Rs. 1 lakh from Yamuna Nagar and another Rs.50,000 from UP for his arrest.
“The duo was arrested from Noida-Delhi border and arms were recovered from Kala’s village in Jahanpura, Shamli. We also recovered one AK-47 assault rifle with a magazine and 93 live cartridges, which they said was purchased from gangster Anil Dujana. Another 114 live cartridges and weapons such as .30, .38 and 9mm calibre pistols were also recovered,” Sahdev said.
“Kala’s is one of the most dreaded gangs and his arrest will close an important chapter of crime in western UP. The gang had also killed three policemen in different incidents,” he said.
Kala was arrested barely hours after the Ghaziabad police nabbed his accomplices Firoz and Israr on Monday afternoon following a gun battle near NH-58.
Firoz had a prime role in running the gang, police said. Police sources said what Firoz revealed during questioning helped then zero in on the gang’s hideouts and arms storage locations.
Following his questioning, 8-10 police teams, including those from UP-STF, headed out to trace Kala.
His gang is allegedly known for robberies, extortions and murders across western UP, Haryana and Delhi. They are also known to have shot policemen from close range during encounters.
In one such instance in 2013, the gang was escaping after robbing a petrol pump at Yamuna Nagar. A police team, headed by a circle officer in the Saharanpur jurisdiction, was chasing them in a police car. Later, when the gang’s car got stuck near a culvert, Rahul Dhaka, a constable, closed in on them.
“Kala’s gang fired at him from inside the car at point blank range. Dhaka’s head was ripped apart by the bullet,” said Dr Ajay Pal, superintendent of police (SP), Ghaziabad.
The Ghaziabad police’s investigation has revealed that the gang members were travelling in a Honda provided by Shahzad Mama - a member of the Anil Dujana gang.
However, Kala was found travelling in a stolen Maruti Swift at the time of his arrest.
“We have also got information that Kala was helping gangs in NCR get rid of their rivals,” Dr Pal said.