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Ex-dacoit in fray, three robbers keep close watch

Dacoits have emerged as a crucial element in Karera region of Shivpuri district, reports Rajnish Sharma.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2003 12:58 IST

It’s not without reason that the district administration has put Karera in the "very sensitive" category. Dacoits have emerged as a crucial element in this region of the Shivpuri district. A former dacoit is in the fray and at least three dreaded robbers are taking keen interest.

Malkhan Singh, the man who was a terror in the Chambal region in the ’80s, is contesting from this constituency as a Rashtriya Samanta Dal candidate. The "Daku", as he is still known here, will be the deciding factor in the elections.

"I had contested as an independent in the last assembly elections and managed to get over 10,000 votes," said Malkhan. "I was a newcomer then but now I have learned all the tricks of electoral politics."

The former dacoit said he had a clean track record now. Malkhan also said that at one point of time being a dacoit was considered to be a matter of pride in the Bhind-Morena region

Some active robbers too are taking an interest in the Karera election. Three wanted dacoits of Madhya Pradesh — Daya Ram Gadariya, Ram Babu Gadariya and Hazrat Rawat — are keeping a close watch. They reportedly take a daily feedback from their network of informers.

The Gadariya brothers carry a reward of Rs 2.5 lakh, the highest ever for any robber, and are allegedly extending covert support to the candidate of a leading party.

Hazrat Rawat, on the other hand, is said to be a distant relative of sitting BJP MLA and candidate Ranvir Singh Rawat. Ranvir, however, denies the allegations. "Sharing the same surname or caste does not mean he is related to me," he said.

But most residents and political workers in Karera feel the dacoit factor will not influence voters, particularly in urban areas. "They may have some influence in the remote rural areas but they have no influence among urban voters," said Usha Yadav, the Samajwadi Party candidate.

First Published: Nov 26, 2003 23:43 IST