Two families, 19 murders: Decade-old Rohtak blood feud not over
Far from over: Began in 2002 over one person slapping another, there has been no stop to deaths in Rohtak’s Karor villageUpdated: May 06, 2018 09:20 IST
It all started with two slaps in 2002, and now, 16 years later, 19 people have been murdered in the blood feud between two families of Karor village in Rohtak.
This is the native village of Commonwealth gold medallist wrestler Sumit Malik, but he didn’t live here because his parents sent him away to his maternal uncle’s house in Sonepat. At least 30 other families from the village have moved out in fear of coming in the crosshairs of this deadly feud that refuses to get over.
The recent blow was the murder of 35-year-old Anand Malik, allegedly by “30 men” of the rival gang last Friday.
One of the sides
The gang war involves families of former sarpanch Jai Bhagwan, a Jat, and Rame Kumar, a Chhipi — both of whom have been murdered. As per villagers, both were notorious elements and had many criminal cases registered against them.
Jai Bhagwan’s gang comprised him and his six brothers, out of which, only one is alive. Of the six dead, only one died a natural death while the rest were murdered, with latest casualty being Anand.
Dharampal Malik, 45, Jai Bhagwan’s alive brother, is now after Chippi blood. “Whenever we end the gang war, they resume it. Things were peaceful since 2013, but they attacked us out-of-the-blue in December last year. We escaped the attack and complained to the police. But they did nothing. Now, they killed my younger brother,” said Dharampal, who has now been given police protection.
Flashback: The trigger
As per Dharampal, in 2002, his brother Jai Bhagwan placed two slaps at a youth belonging to Chippi family “over his misbehavior”. Keeping a grudge, Chippi gang shot dead their brother Shirak Ram at Kharawar Railway Station in Rohtak when he was boarding a train to go to his shop in Delhi. This, as per him, started one of most deadly ‘gang wars’ in Haryana.
“To retaliate my brother’s killing, we shot dead three of Chippi gang’s members in 2002. My brother and I were jailed for it,” said Dharampal. This was not enough revenge for Bhagwan brothers, who in next two years shot dead Rame Kumar and his elder brother Ramesh Kumar as well.
While almost all Bhagwan brothers were now in jail for murders, they came out after Rame Kumar’s wife Roshni Devi promised to turn hostile in court as she feared they might attack her two young sons as well. “She left the village with her two sons and turned hostile in court. In return, we gave her ₹3 lakh and called it a truce,” said Dharampal.
But the pain of losing her husband ran deep in Roshni Devi’s veins. As per police sources, she trained her two sons — Anil and Sombir — to turn gangsters and take revenge of their father’s killing. They got a chance in 2008, when Phool Malik, one of Bhagwan brothers, shot dead two ladies in the village on the night of Diwali “in an inebriated state”.
Knowing the enmities between Bhagwan brothers and Chippi families, the families of two killed ladies allegedly paid the Chippi brothers money to take revenge of their loss. So in 2009, the Chippi gang shot dead 20-year-old Bantu Malik, the son of eldest Bhagwan brother Rohtash. Same year, Bhagwan brothers shot dead village resident Jhajja Ram, whose grandson in Chippi gang was allegedly involved in Bantu’s killing.
In 2010, the Chippi gang shot dead Phool Malik and his driver Surender Kala. Phool’s son, who was with them at that time, managed to escape. In 2011, Bhagwan brothers shot dead a Dhaba owner in Rohtak whom they alleged was giving monetary help to Chippi gang.
In 2012, the Chippi gang shot dead Jai Bhagwan, his brother Dilbagh and another member of their gang in an attack on police van in Gurgaon. In 2013, the Chippi gang allegedly shot dead Dharampal’s brother-in-law’s son Praveen, who was doing the paper work to bring Dharampal out of jail. Now, five years later, they allegedly shot dead Anand.
Whether the Bhagwan brothers also attempted an attack on Chippi gang in the last five years is not certain, as the members of Chippi gang are all inaccessible, but Dharampal claimed they did nothing.
For Anand’s murder, the police booked 20 members of Chippi gang. But none has been arrested so far.
“The houses of all those booked are locked. A hunt is going on,” said Parveen Kumar, the SHO of Sampla police station. “The blood feud has been going on from a long time. But except for this case, we have made arrests each and every time,” he said. The SHO, however, said he did not wish to comment on witnesses turning hostile in courts and almost all those arrested coming out of jail without convictions.
Being out or in jail did not really affect the two gangs, as Dharampal said even when all of his brothers were in jail, they continued to execute killings from inside by ordering their members. In Anand’s murder too, the prime suspect Anil is already in jail.
“Till the time they all get arrested, I fear for my life. The police have left some three-four cops outside my house with a 19th century vehicle that doesn’t even start most of the time. If the police do not do anything, I will have to do it myself for my brother Anand,” said Dharampal.
Karor village has a population of over 2,500. But during a recent visit in the evening, it came across as a secluded village where not many live. A few who were out for important errands refused to speak about the blood feud as fear of both the gangs runs deep inside those not associated with either.