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Chambal’s most wanted dacoit in police net again

Jagan Gurjar has 92 cases against him in 20 years, and carried an award of Rs 5,000 on his arrest for six cases.

jaipur Updated: Aug 22, 2018 04:49 IST
Suresh Foujdar
Suresh Foujdar
Hindustan Times, Bharatpur

Jagan Gurjar, the most wanted dacoit of the Chambal ravines in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, was arrested again. The 38-year-old criminal, with 92 cases against him in 20 years, carried an award of Rs 5,000 on his arrest for six cases.

The six cases were registered against him in Dholpur, Sawai Madhopur and Karauli districts after his release from jail in March 2017. He was in Dholpur jail after his surrender to police in 2009 during the Gujjar agitation for reservation in the presence of Congress leader Sachin Pilot, a Gujjar.

Later, in a 2008 case registered at Basaidang police station in Dholpur, Gurjar was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in jail. The case was registered for rioting, unlawful assembly, assault to deter a public servant from discharging his duty, and attempt to murder. He came out of jail when the Rajasthan high court suspended his sentence pending appeal.

On August 19 evening, Bharatpur police got a tip-off about his presence in Kodapura forest area under Gadhibajna police station. Police cordoned off the area and cornered him. “Finding himself surrounded by us, he gave up his arms (a 315-bore rifle) and offered to surrender. We arrested him under the Arms Act,” said Bharatpur superintendent of police Kesar Singh Shekhawat.

Jagan Gurjan was produced in a Bayana court on Monday and remanded in police custody till August 24.

“We need to interrogate him for information about absconding members of his gang and to find out about an AK-56 automatic rifle that he once had. He has told us that he sold it to someone in Madhya Pradesh for Rs 3.5 lakh,” the police officer added.

Shekhawat had also arrested the dacoit for the first time in 2001 when he was the circle officer of Bari in Dholpur. Gurjar was released on bail in January 2002.

Gurjar plunged into the crime world when he was 18 years old. In 2009, when he surrendered to police, he carried a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his arrest. The reward was announced after he threatened to blow up Vasundhara Raje’s palace in Dholpur during the Gujjar agitation.

“In eight years that he was in jail, he got free from all pending cases – in some he was acquitted because witnesses turned hostile or he got benefit of doubt, in others, he was simply discharged. He was inactive in crime for some time after his release from jail in 2017 but again took up arms and resorted to crimes,” said a police officer who has served in Dholpur and was recently moved out. He didn’t want to be named.

Jagan has three wives — Omesh Devi (30), Mamta Devi (35), Manisha Devi (25) — and four children. His youngest child is six-month-old daughter from his first wife. The first wife also has a 14-year-old son. From the second wife, he has two sons, Rajendra, 15, and Prashant, 10. The third wife doesn’t have a child.

Mamta Devi fought the assembly by-election from Dholpur in April 2017 but got 112 votes out of 1,47,202 polled. She lost her deposit.

The dacoit’s parents — father Shiv Charan Gurjar (90) and mother Ram Shri (85) — live in Bhavutipura village in Dholpur. One of Gurjar’s three brothers, Paan Singh, is in Sewar Central Jail on charges of murder and extortion.

Bharatpur police chief Shekhawat said Gurjar’s reign of terror spread across Rajasthan’s Dholpur, Karauli, Sawai Madhopur districts, Uttar Pradesh’s Agra and Madhya Pradesh’s Morena, Shivpuri and Sheopur districts. “For the last one year, police of three Rajasthan districts were hot on his chase,” he added.

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 04:49 IST