Six members of Tota Gang arrested from Dwarka Expressway
The police arrested six men of a gang wanted for a slew of crimes, ranging from illegal water business in newer sectors to extortion, robbery, look, kidnapping and murder, from the Dwarka Expressway on Wednesday night.
The police said that they are members of the Tota Gang, which has more than 30 members, based in Dhanwapur in Sector 104. There are more than 60 cases registered against them in Delhi, Gurugram, Jhajjar and Sonepat for supplying drugs, illegal liquor, kidnapping, robbery, loot and murder. The police had previously announced a reward of ₹5,000, each, for information leading to their arrest.
Preet Pal Sangwan, the assistant commissioner of police (crime), said that the gang controls the water supply to commercial buildings as well as residential societies in the area. “There are more than two gangs that are running illegal water supply and are intolerant of newcomers to the business. They have often resorted to violence against them. They not only threaten newcomers but have assaulted over 15 people, who tried to supply water in these areas, in the last two weeks,” he said.
Illegal water extraction is rampant in Ullawas village, Sector 61, Palam Vihar, Pataudi, Badshahpur, Kadipur, developing sectors located along the Dwarka Expressway, including sectors 104, 109 and 111, the police said.
“The mafia has a lot of muscle power. The developers and people constructing houses are dependent on them for water tankers. They do not share their office address and visiting their spots is not easy for anyone who is not a part of the trade,” said Sangwan.
In an incident of violence on January 13, allegedly perpetrated by the gang, a resident of Garhi Hasaru village in Sector 10, who used to supply water tankers, was severely injured and admitted to a private hospital in Manesar.
Sangwan said that the victim could not record his statement as he was brutally beaten by the gang members after he refused to stop water supply. “Pankaj Kumar’s father, in a statement to police, said that his son worked with a water tanker company and supplied water to areas along Dwarka Expressway and Sector 10. A few men from the area had approached him to quit the job but he refused, following which, on January 12, they assaulted him with weapons and iron rods, and robbed him of his money. When the father reached the spot, they fled in their cars,” he said.
The police said that Kumar has suffered several fractures and is still unable to walk. Similar incidents have been reported from areas along the Dwarka Expressway, following which the police started tracking the gang members. The gang also used to threaten residents if they refused water supply by them, and were also forced to pay extra.
Cases under sections 148 (unlawful assembly), 149 (common objective) 323 (causing hurt), 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation), 395 (dacoity) and 397 (robbery or dacoity with an attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code were registered against them at the Sector 10 police station.
KK Rao, the commissioner of police, said that the Palam Vihar crime unit arrested them from Dwarka Expressway when they were allegedly trying to rob a commuter on Wednesday night. “This gang remains active at night to rob commuters and during the day, controls the water supply. There have been at least 20 incidents, wherein residents from various new and developing sectors have complained that the water mafia allegedly sabotaged civic water supply to stay in business. They are forced to purchase water from this informal sector at a rate 40 times that of the GMDA’s,” he said.
Rao said that there are at least 20 illegal borewells in the area, from which they get their supply.
The suspects were identified as Hitesh alias Sonu, Rahul alias Lambu, Rohit Kumar, Neeraj Singh, Lalit alias Kalu and Neeraj Katiya. The police recovered two revolvers, one countrymade pistol, 28 live cartridges, iron rods and pipes, and a Scorpio from their possession.
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