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Men-in-khaki turn criminals? protectors

COPS IN the city may not have succeeded in containing crime but one thing which they have been doing with unfailing alacrity is to clear the road by pressing the hooters for none other but criminals. Call it a quirk of fate or anything but cops, who till yesterday were hounding these criminals, are now in a reverse role. When the sound of gun fire and deafening sounds of crude bombs was heard on Wednesday in Baluaghat, cops were in the process of getting the road cleared.
None | By BK Singh, Allahabad
PUBLISHED ON JUL 28, 2006 12:21 AM IST

COPS IN the city may not have succeeded in containing crime but one thing which they have been doing with unfailing alacrity is to clear the road by pressing the hooters for none other but criminals. Call it a quirk of fate or anything but cops, who till yesterday were hounding these criminals, are now in a reverse role. When the sound of gun fire and deafening sounds of crude bombs was heard on Wednesday in Baluaghat, cops were in the process of getting the road cleared.

Incidentally, they were the first to be at the receiving end.

The convoy of Javed alias Pappu Ganjia, a dreaded criminal, they were escorting, was suddenly under attack with crude bombs and shots fired from guns. They did manage to save themselves at the hands of a gang of another hardened criminals but only after one of them was critically injured along with Javed and another person. The attack was the result of a gang war.

It was Bachcha Mahara, son of one-time outlaw Gulab Mahara, who had ambushed the convoy of Javed to eliminate him. The story dates back to three decades when grandfathers of both the ganglords clashed over the issue of sand mining in the Naini belt. Since then several persons have been murdered.

Both have taken the protection of Samajwadi Party and call themselves active members of the outfit. They have a group of guards and the administration has provided them with official gunners.

Attempts had been made for a rapprochement between them but the thirst for each other's blood still seems dominant.

Both have their separate history sheets at the Naini police station with cases of murders , attempted murders and land grabbing.In the Industrial belt of Naini, both these gangs have their terror. However, Bachcha Mahara is reported to be more aggressive than Javed and has, on several occasions, forced him to go on the defensive, say the locals, who foresee much bloodshed in the days to come.

Clash between them is feared before the Ardh Kumbh in which both are planning to grab contracts.

Two local Samajwadi Party MPs are said to have sheltered Javed while Bachcha has his own contacts in the party who act as his saviours, said sources.

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