Dwarka Expressway shoot-out accused gangsters were wanted for over 16 crimes in Delhi
Three of them were declared proclaimed offenders by the district and sessions court in Gurugram and Sonipat in 2016, police said.Updated: Jul 19, 2019 00:45 IST
A day after the police arrested three most-wanted gangsters and an aide after a shoot-out on the Dwarka Expressway, the police said the gang was allegedly involved in at least 16 cases of snatching, robbery, and dacoity in the city.
The police said three of them were declared proclaimed offenders by the district and sessions court in Gurugram and Sonipat in 2016. The accused are undergoing treatment at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi as they had suffered gunshot injury to their legs during the shoot-out.
The police said Lokesh alias Surya, the kingpin of the gang, Neeraj and Pradeep used to snatch vehicles and were booked for the offence at Rajendra Park, Palam Vihar and Sector 14 police station, after they were identified in a CCTV footage, which was recovered by the police from locations, including the defunct Sirhaul toll and Kherki Daula toll plaza.
Surya was allegedly involved in demanding protection money from businessmen, doctors, hospital owners, hoteliers, bookies and illegal arms dealers in Delhi, Haryana, and Rajasthan. The police said his ultimate goal was to strengthen the presence of the gang as its former kingpin, Manjeet Mahal, was lodged in Tihar jail since 2017 and people had refused to pay them protection money.
Bijender Hooda, inspector, crime investigation unit, Palam Vihar, said they were involved in many crimes in Delhi as well. “The Delhi police has termed Surya’s gang the most powerful gang involved in the majority of murders and extortions. He was handling all the operations in the absence of Mahal,” he said.
Surya had set up base in Gururgam and Rajasthan after Delhi and had proclaimed on social media in 2017 that he was a right hand of Mahal, the police said.
During questioning, it was revealed that the gang members had moved across three different states over the last two years to evade arrest. “He has extorted nearly ₹50 crore so far, although the amount is likely to increase once more extortion cases come to light,” said Hooda.
The police said that Surya had made inroads in the NCR and was carrying out operations for a period of at least two years. He mostly operated out of Delhi, where he enjoyed a lot of clout.
“The rival criminals are unable to operate with ease in the area dominated by Surya and his aides. Hence, several attempts by rival gangs to eliminate him failed in the past. He has a limited number of people in his gang but they are young, sharp and active, compared to other veterans,” said Hooda.
The Delhi police have filed several cases against Surya and his gang members and kept a watch on him. Realising that the police had upped the ante against him, Surya slipped out of Delhi in 2016 and set up bases in Gurugram and an area near Jaipur in Rajasthan.
“The gang was also involved in various extortion activities on behalf of the Mahal gang and they tried to extort money in Gurugram, but failed as people didn’t know about Mahal. He even tried to join hands with Kaushal but before they could partner up, he fled the country to evade arrest,” said Hooda.
Police said his gang started snatching vehicles in 2016 from Dwarka Expressway, Hero Honda Chowk, Signature Tower and Golf Course Extension Road, and sold these in Uttar Pradesh.
The Delhi Police will take the criminals on production remand once they are discharged from the Safdarjung Hospital for investigation in their pending cases, the police said.
First Published: Jul 18, 2019 21:28 IST