Turf war takes 2 gangs of ATM thieves to police
The police recovered some tools and ATM parts from the accused.Updated: May 17, 2019 02:40 IST
Thanks to inter-gang rivalry over area of operation, the police have been able to bust two Nuh-based gangs involved in more than 100 cases of ATM thefts across various states. The breakthrough came when the police were called by members of both the gangs—one led by Junaid and another by Shakir—to intervene as they had abducted each others’ aides to exact revenge. The police rushed to rescue the abductees, but both were found dead, making the police chase and arrest the complainants-cum-gang members.
The turn of events that led to the two murders started unfolding on Tuesday evening when 15 members of Junaid’s gang allegedly abducted 32-year-old Shakir around 12:30am from his house in Bhopawali village. The police said Junaid’s gang suspected Shakir to be the police informer who had led the Mathura police to them in January leading to the arrest of four of their men.
Shakir was asleep when Junaid’s gang shot rounds of fire in the air, entered his house, beat him and took him at gunpoint, threatening his family that they would be shot if they intervened, police said. They pulled Shakir into an SUV and headed towards Bharatpur Road, but one of the abductors, Sapaat, slipped from the car and fell as the vehicles sped away.
Nuh superintendent of police Sangeeta Kalia said members of Shakir’s gang who were chasing the three vehicles picked up Saapat. “They held him hostage in Shakir’s house and assaulted him till he died,” she said, adding that when Junaid realized Saapat was missing they called the police seeking help as did Shakir’s family. Both groups alleged that the other gang was trying to kill their men in fit of rage.
A team from Nuh police station reached Shakir’s house and rushed a severely injured Sapaat to Civil Hospital, where he was declared brought dead, police said. Shakir’s family and gang members had allegedly fled from the scene by then.
On the other hand, four police teams were formed to trace Shakir, who was finally tracked to outskirts of a village on Bharatpur road around 3pm on May 14. Shakir was found a man lying in a pool of blood, said police. He was taken to Mandikhera hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead.
The police registered two cases under section 148 (unlawful assembly), 149 (common objective), 307 (attempt to murder), 365 (kidnapping), 302 (murder) and other relevant sections of the Arms Act against the complainants— Shaikul from Shakir gang and Dhinu from Junaid gang.
By Wednesday night, they had been arrested from their village and were produced in the Nuh court. Dhinu was sent to 14-day judicial custody and Shaikul was taken on one-day police remand.
The police recovered some tools and ATM parts from the accused. Police said they were yet to find out which ATMs were targeted by them that night and where they had hidden the stolen cash.
“The interrogation of both the accused revealed that their gang was into crime for past five years and they had targeted many states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Delhi-NCR. They were also involved in cattle smuggling cases,” Kalia said, adding that raids were on to nab the other gang members.
Kalia said both the gangs wanted to execute a series of ATM thefts to stamp their supremacy in the area.
“Earlier there used to be just one gang in the village, but they split after a fight over dividing the spoils. They divided their areas of operation. Right now, there are 17 such gangs from the same area, involved in blowing up ATMs or uprooting them, operating out of Nuh,” she said.
“The rival gang members are also involved same crime cases. To eliminate their competition, gangs often inform the police about each other’s whereabouts leading to their arrest. The police of different states often conducted raids in the village,” she said.
First Published: May 17, 2019 02:37 IST