Hafta and rangdari became criminals? backbone
THUS PROTECTION racket called ?hafta? and/or ?rangdari? tax became the forte of criminal mafia. To establish their jurisdiction and supremacy or to send a message to others who are not amenable to their overtures, once in a while sensational murder/ kidnapping of a recalcitrant ?protectee? is a normal practice followed by mafia (Hindustan Times dated the 16th April 2006, Annexure III).india Updated: May 17, 2006 01:32 IST
THUS PROTECTION racket called ‘hafta’ and/or ‘rangdari’ tax became the forte of criminal mafia. To establish their jurisdiction and supremacy or to send a message to others who are not amenable to their overtures, once in a while sensational murder/ kidnapping of a recalcitrant ‘protectee’ is a normal practice followed by mafia (Hindustan Times dated the 16th April 2006, Annexure III).
The availability of sophisticated weapons, powerful automobiles, mobile phones, money laundering and above all the growing body of unemployed youth has created a situation where criminality has become acceptable. The invisible hands of a criminal started getting to be visible in liquor trade, land deals, big contracts, allotment of land and flats, in educational institutions and sports and recreational activities. Various predatory groups put their fingers in all lawful and unlawful activities in the State. These groups have areas of influence either in geographical terms or in the field of activity. They move about in motorcade, surrounded by private and police security. Once in a while, they settle their scores through violent means. A clash between two organized criminal groups is averted through mediators, failing which a brief and yet sensational gang warfare erupts.
Such mafia groups wield sufficient clout in corridors of power and, on occasions, police officers shy away from taking action against them.
The following kinds of mafia are, however, less violent but have indirect links with criminals. These mafia groups primarily prefer to use political clout, administrative links, judicial pronouncements, legal loopholes, police helplessness, public apathy and modern technology and, above all, corrupt administrative machinery to amass wealth.
Finance and land mafia
This kind of mafia groups float chit funds, promise exceptional returns on innovative (but fake) investments, which in turn bring money and then they run away. They tamper with shares and stamps. They acquire lands for housing project for the poor to build their own houses, multiplexes and malls. Old couples in bungalows are ‘advised’ to move to flat in their own ‘interest’ and multistoried buildings come up on such places owned by mafia.
First Published: May 17, 2006 01:32 IST