Gogi vs Tillu: Delhi gangsters’ bond that ended in bloodshed
The life of gangster Jitender Maan alias Gogi,30, shot dead by his rivals inside the Rohini court on a rainy Friday afternoon, is one of dreams, friendship, student politics, money, guns, and gore.
Gogi was once a teenager who excelled in sport (volleyball and athletics), represented his schools at several competitions, and got admitted to Delhi University (DU) on the sports quota. There, he and his closest childhood friend, Sunil Maan, got sucked into student politics. Maan is now better known as gangster Tillu Tajpuria in police records.
The two went on to become deadly rivals, and for more than a decade, their names can be found together in police files and case papers that detail how they have fought a bloody turf war that spilled blood on the streets of Haryana and the national Capital.
Had the two not stepped into he world of student politics, their paths would not have crossed, and their names may not have been in Delhi Police’s most wanted list. Perhaps Gogi would not have been inside court number 207 at Rohini on Friday, where two gunmen, dressed as lawyers, waited for him and then shot him dead.
Tajpuria, who is in Tihar, is now the prime suspect in his friend-turned-rival Gogi’s murder.
CRIME AND COLLEGE
Gogi had at least 19 cases of murder, robbery, extortion and arms act against him. Police believe the actual number of murders that Gogi masterminded could be much more, as the families of several victims did not report the crime out of fear. Police files say Gogi ran an extremely sophisticated organised crime syndicate, was involved in extortion, in collecting ransom and protection money, and in vehicle theft.
A police officer who has questioned Gogi in the past, said, “Before he became a top gangster, he had a name in the Alipur village of outer Delhi, but it was for good reasons. He studied in a local government school and was a budding volleyball ball player and an athlete. He said he had wanted to represent India in the national games. He also claimed to have represented Delhi in the national games as an athlete. But we never found proof of it. Everything was going well for him till he started visiting the campus of the nearby Swami Shradhhanand College in Alipur around 2007.”
Gogi did not spend his time at campus alone. His childhood friend Sunil Mann accompanied him. “They hung out together since their childhood,” the officer added.
The circumstances of how the two friends crossed paths is unclear -- the two never told police about it. But it is clear that they fought during the college 2007 university elections. Police said the two friends ended up supporting two different candidates for the post of the vice president for the college.
“Tajpuria and Gogi did not contest the elections directly, but they were providing muscle power to the candidates. It is unclear why the two decided to support two different candidates, when they were such close friends. This is when they got involved with local criminals. In fact, the first case registered against Gogi is also that of a fight between him and other students outside the college Alipur in 2008. He was booked for attempted murder then,” a second officer said.
Until 2013, Gogi was still a small-time criminal known only in pockets of outer Delhi. His rise to the number 1 on Delhi Police’s wanted list was a result of the death of gangster Neetu Dabodia in 2013, and later arrest of Dabodia’s rival, Neeraj Bawana, in 2015.
Before the Tillu- Gogi gang war, the two other rival gangs --Dabodia and Bawana – fought bloody turf wars on the city streets.
“There was a vacuum after Dabodia’s death and Bawana’s arrest. Gogi and Tillu Tajpuria slowly rose to become the top gangsters after 2015. Around 2013, Gogi met another Delhi university student Kuldeep Fajja (he was shot dead in a police encounter five months ago). They met at the Shraddhanand College during the DUSU election. Unlike Gogi, Fajja was an educated person, with a B.Sc from Kirori Mal College. Fajja taught Gogi how to using internet calls and social media to spread fear. Fajja and Gogi then committed multiple murders, extortion, contract killing. Fajja, too, is responsible for Gogi’s rise. The two men had vowed to finish the Tillu gang,” said the second officer quoted above.
On the morning of March 3,2020 when police arrested Gogi from an upscale housing society in Gurugram, Fajja too, was inside the house, according to police records.
MURDER MOST FOUL
The most notable contract killing that Gogi was part of was that was Haryana singer Harshita Dahiya on October 10, 2017 in Panipat. Though police said it was a contract killing planned by Dahiya’s brother-in-law, Dinesh Karala. Gogi did not take any money from the man but extracted one promise – Karala must kill members of the Tillu gang.
On June 18,2018, during an exchange of firing between Tillu and Gogi gang members in Burari, four people were killed. Of the four, two were passersby who had no connection with the two gangs.
“ Over the years, Gogi become more daring, as was evident from the shoot-outs on the city streets in broad daylight. Less than a month before he was arrested last year, Gogi and his gang members stopped a man, whom they suspected of supporting his rivals, and fired 48 rounds in the middle of the market. Of the 48 bullets, the man was hit with 26 bullets killing him on the spot,” said a third police officer.
For the last 18 months, Gogi was in prison lodged in the jail’s high-risk cell. But police continued to received reports of traders receiving extortion calls from inside prison. In June last year, a businessman in Rohini informed police about receiving WhatsApp calls from Gogi demanding ₹5 crore as protection money. Prison officers had reportedly found three cell phones in his possession.
On Friday, after news reports of Gogi murder broke out, several police officers who met the man said it was ironic that Gogi, once Delhi’s most wanted gangster, was shot dead inside court. The officers cited August 9, 2016 police report prepared. It read -- “there is strong apprehension that Jitender Gogi will eliminate members of rival gang and can attack Sunil Tillu (Tajpuria) at the time of his production before the court from jail.”
Five years later, the notice came true. But, on Friday, September 24, 2021, Gogi was the victim.