Saturday, 12 April 2014

BAWARIA CRIMES IN TN- HOW JANGID IPS &TEAM PUT END TO IT – ARTICLE FROM TAMILNADU POLICE JOURNAL

A series of cases, very sensational in nature but committed with same modus operandi (MO) had puzzled the State police for the past one decade.  Following MO has been adopted while perpetrating these dastardly crimes -

          I.    Dacoity in the houses located along the National Highways from Gummidipoondi - Chennai - Bangalore.

        II.    Unprovoked violence while committing the crime resulting in killing or causing grievous injuries to the inmates including elderly persons and children.

       III.    Use of firearms and steel rods.

      IV.    Looting of jewels and cash and at times electronic goods like cellphones.

       V.    Attacking the public, if anyone gathers outside hearing the screams of the inmates

2.  SENSATIONAL CASES

2.1. Every  offence committed by them became very sensational mainly due to the cruelty with which they operated.  On the night of 07.06.95, they struck terror in the house of Dr M. Mohan Kumar at Walajapet in Vellore district killing him on the spot and seriously injured his wife and two children.  This followed looting of gold jewels and cash valued at more than Rs.50,000/- and decamped.  The case was referred as undetectable in the year 1998. We reopened the case in the year 2005, arrested the accused, got their finger prints tallied and two of the accused were convicted to death sentence by the fast track Court Ranipet.  They again struck terror in the same town the following year on 23.02.96 by committing dacoity in the house of one Sankar.  And this followed a gap of 5 years and they  re-entered Tamil Nadu only in the year 2001 when they perpetrated dacoity in Avinashi followed by three more dacoities in the same year in the districts of Dharmapuri and Salem with intervals of 1 to 3 months.  The frequency of their commissions increased in the year 2002 with 8 dacoities committed in Tamil Nadu at Avinashi, Kangeyam, Gummidipoondi, Athur, Karimangalam, Burgur, Sriperumbudur and the most sensational of which was the one committed in Salem City dealt with in Annthanpatti in   Cr.No. 575/02 in which on the night of 12.09.02, these daredevils gained entry into the house of Thiru Thalamuthu Natarajan, killed him and his watchman Gopal and injured all the 6 inmates, some of them seriously.  Strangely, the commission of the dacoity was informed to the police who reached the spot and one SI saw the culprits coolly walking away but there was no appropriate reaction by the police, they walked for about 2 kms and boarded the lorry parked there and drove to their destination.  Apart from the jewels and cash they looted one pistol and one DBBL gun belonging to the deceased.

2.2. In the year 2003, they perpetrated dacoities in four occasions in Tamil Nadu at Sholavaram, Walajapet and Natrampalli.  Of the 4, 3 were dacoities with murder.  Subsequently in the year of 2004 also, they operated four times in Tamil Nadu at Thiruverkadu, Vellavedu, Sriperumbudur and Tiruvalam and the most sensational was Thiruverkadu PS Cr.No. 132/04 in which the dreaded criminals killed the house owner Thiru Gajendran by shooting him dead and also killed the watchman and injured 2 other inmates.



2.3. The year 2005 dawned with the atrocities of these daredevils and even before we could celebrate the Pongal, they struck terror in the house of the former Minister and the sitting MLA          Thiru Sudarsanam at his house near Periyapalayam.  They attacked the inmates causing grievous injuries, looted properties and when Thiru Sudarsanam attempted to resist, he was shot dead at the point-blank range.  The gang leader, who positioned himself outside the house guarding the scene, fired at the neighbours who gathered outside the house hearing the screams and chased them.  They made a cool departure by boarding their lorries parked 1 kilometre away from the scene.  On their way back they attempted another dacoity next night, on 10.01.05 at Burgur.

2.4. In these 10 years, they committed 24 dacoities in Tamil Nadu where in 13 persons were killed, 63 were injured, majority of them seriously and properties, mostly jewels and cash valued over  Rs. 2 crores were looted.

3. FORMATION OF THE SPECIAL TEAMS

Following the incident that took place on 09.01.05 at Periyapalayam and in order to dispel fear among the people living along the National highways, it was felt imperative to prevent recurrence of such dacoties and track down the culprits.  With that in mind, a special party was formed headed by me, as I was Inspector General of Police North Zone.  It is to be noted that all the dacoities by these gangs were committed along the National highways falling under the North and West Zones. I selected 4 young DSPs, 10 Inspectors, 10 SIs and 30 other ranks at the outset and left for different directions after initial discussion and briefing.  I also took 4 finger print experts with me.  The initial clues which included use of .315 bore country made revolver, finger prints (which never tallied with any criminals), typical shoes and use of


broken Hindi language in some places indicated involvement of criminals outside Tamil Nadu.  Hence, our search started from Stuart Puram bordering Tamil Nadu.  One team was sent to Karnataka, another team to Andhra Pradesh and I took the remaining teams to Delhi. The first two teams, after getting no clues, were asked to visit Maharastra and Madhya Pradesh respectively.

4. SUSPECTED GANGS/TRIBES

It started with virtually a wild goose chase.  All the teams were instructed to discuss with the police officers of the concerned areas who were experts in handling the criminal gangs and tribes.  With these discussions, we formed initial ideas about involvement of any one of the following criminal tribes -
1.     Pardies (base at Central India)

2.    Bawarias (base at North India)

3.    Shekh Bangalas (base at Punjab and Haryana and  Bihar)

4.    Sansis (Central and North India)

5.    Kanjars (Central India) and

6.    Saperas (Central India).


After elaborate discussions and analysis of modus operandi of all these gangs, the needle of suspicion pointed towards the first two tribes.  Both are equally violent and adopt almost the same modus operandi.  The only difference was that the Pardies always commit rapes while committing such dacoities whereas Bawarias do not commit rapes. Due to this difference only we could zeroed in on the Bawarias as no rape had been committed in any of the incidents in Tamil Nadu.

5. THE CAMPS

5.1. I called back all the teams and reassembled them in the Bawarias dominated states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.          Teams led by one DSP was positioned in each State.  DSP Tr. Jayakumar of Thirukoilur and his teams were positioned at Bharatpur in Rajasthan.  DSP Tr. Vijayakumar of Thiruvallur and his team were positioned at Palwal in Faridabad district in Hariyana.  DSP Tr. Arul Arasu of Hosur and his teams were placed at Agra to move in Uttar Pradesh and Dr. Sudhakar, DSP Madhavaram took care of Punjab with his teams.  I had to personally move between these places mainly because of language problem as only a few PCs who were equally distributed in these teams had little knowledge of Hindi. But the native informants were not even comfortable in Hindi.  Hence I had to introduce the informants to our teams. Yet another problem was to have liaison with the local police.  I contacted all Senior Officers particularly my batch mates working in these four States and got directions to local officers to render necessary assistance to Tamil Nadu Police.  Another biggest problem was that we went equipped with the Finger Prints taken from the SOCs but these North Indian States had no such recording of Finger Prints of criminals.  Punjab has recently started but that is still in primitive stage.  As a result, our Finger Print records were of no avail.  On discussions with lower level officers in Ambala, we were informed the practice of taking the thumb impression of criminals in the Central Jails whenever they were imprisoned.  Hence, we placed our Finger Print teams along with these DSPs at the Central Prisons and commenced comparison with all the arrested Bawaria gangs since 1995. In fact officials of Prisons of these States were surprised the way we were comparing the Finger Prints with their prisoners entry-registers.



            5.2. On 01.02.05 myself, along with the team, was moving in some villages of Dholpur District of Rajasthan.  Our U.P team was frantically trying to contact us on phone, but as there were no signals in these villages, we could not be contacted.  We stopped at village sarmathura I made phonecalls to all the teams from STD booth to ascertain the latest progress.  We had no bounds of joy when DSP          Tr. Arul Arasu from Agra informed that the chance prints were found tallied with that of one accused Ashok @ Lakshman Bawaria of Chandanpura village of Rajesthan recorded at the Central Jail, Agra in 1996.  We distributed sweets to all the team members and immediately proceeded to Bharatpur.  The SP had agreed to have a meeting at the midnight with our Officers despite the chill weather.  He deputed one DSP, 2 Inspectors and some policemen to assist us in securing the said Ashok @ Laksmanan Bawaria.  Next morning we reached Roopwas Police Station in which jurisdiction Chandanpura village lies.  It is only with the help of the Bharatpur Police that we could reach the Chandanpura village and trace out informants in the surrounding areas.  The first to be secured was Dharam Singh Bawaria, the organiser of the gang who would himself not visit the place of occurrences but defend and guide the gang.  On 26.02.05 we were able to nab the said Ashok @ Lakshman Bawaria. He was sent to Tamil Nadu with our escorts.  On the confession of the said Dharam Singh and Ashok @ Lakshman Bawaria all the misteries of the occurrences were unraveled. Hence, the task ahead was to secure the remaining but known gang members.

            5.3. It was also transpired on his interrogation that they used to travel by lorries from North India and go to far off places in South with goods booked by reputed companies. Enroute they used to commit dacoities. That is how the National Highways suited them. They also kept secret chambers in their lorries in which they used to


conceal the weapons and the looted jewels. We recovered 4 such lorries used by these gangs from various places at Secundrabad, Pune, Ludiana and Faridabhad. The seizure of the lorries was one of the connecting evidence as their registration numbers were noted at the transport offices and check posts before and after the incidents. One of the lorries seized at Jalandhar was found with tampered registration number. We were also able to seize cell phones which were looted from the SOCs in Tamil Nadu and used by these gangs and some of the phones were sold to others in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. We used the IMEI numbers technique to trace them.  This was clinching connecting evidence which strengthened the prosecution case.

            5.4. The seizure of various documents containing contacts and cell numbers of the associates of the said Ashok @ Lakshman Bawaria from his house provided us a lead in getting further into the details of the gang members.  We wasted no time to get all the calls and other details of these cell phones. We got the details of the calls made from the places nearby SOCs on the fateful days and the time of the occurrences in Tamil Nadu.  This helped us in connecting the culprits with the crimes perpetrated by them. 

            5.5. With this, we changed the locations of our teams and positioned them at places likely to be frequented by these gang members as they do not stay in a fixed abode.  We stationed our teams with the U.P. STF and bought their assistance.  The U.P. STF had done excellent work in between 2001-2003 after frequent dacoities by Bawaria gangs in Uttar Pradesh and finally killing the MLA of Saharanpur in one of such incidents.  The U.P. STF killed more than two dozens of Bawaria criminals in encounters during these 2 years and several gangs were eliminated.  But unfortunately the Oma gang, which perpetrated dacoities in Tamil Nadu remained


away from the clutches of laws because of their intelligent operation and secret hide-outs, despite the fact that they were also involved in several dacoities in Uttar Pradesh. Because of these encounter campaigns of Uttar Pradesh police they left Uttar Pradesh and switched their major operations to Central and South India and that is how Tamil Nadu also got badly affected.

            5.6. Every arrest was a splendid work of our team because each one followed meticulous planning, liaising with other state police and hard work. For example, securing Oma Bawaria was a dream for the Police force of Uttar Pradesh, Hariyana, Rajasthan and Punjab. Apart from several cases against him he had even fired at Police of Faridabhad and escaped when they tried to nab him. Jagadesh Bawaria had rewards on his head announced in Madhya Pradesh State. He was also wanted in several cases of Rajasthan State. Securing of Oma Bawaria, the gang leader at Kannauj (Uttar Pradesh) on 08.09.05 by a special party led by me and also securing of Jagadish Bawaria at Pune on 14.08.05 by another party led by me were the examples of supremacy of Tamil Nadu police. Both the state police forces worked with us shoulder-to-shoulder making the arrest grand success. Similar was the arrest of Gudu Bawaria near Palwal in Haryana on 30.03.05 whose finger prints tallied with several cases including that of SOC of killing of MLA Thiru Sudarsanam near Periyapalayam. His confession helped us in getting further details of the gangs. Almost each arrest followed litigation by their family members but we were able to defend each of our actions at High Courts and Supreme Court.



            5.7. Meanwhile we were able to follow them and secure the culprits one after other and in all, 13 gang members were caught and incarcerated in the jails of Tamil Nadu.

            5.8. On 01.03.06 I was in Ghaziabad having discussion with Uttar Pradesh STF about the whereabouts of 2 left out criminals i.e. Bhura and Jitendra who had participated in almost every offence in Tamil Nadu. We got information about their movements near Merrut and accordingly we took help of Merrut Police. On the night of 01.03.06 both the wanted criminals were killed in an encounter at the outskirts of Merrut.

            5.9. Arrest of these criminals solved, isteries behind many heinous criminals committed throughout the country.  For example, their finger prints have tallied with the following cases of Andra Pradesh –

S.NO
Police Station
Crime No.
Sec. of Law
1.
Thangatoor
67/01
395 IPC
2.
Suryapet
142/04
396, 397 IPC
3.
Yadumari
77/03
396, 392 IPC 25 Arms Act
6. THE FINAL END – THE JUDGEMENT

            6.1. Subsequently, we concentrated on the prosecution of cases. Investigation teams were formed under the leadership of Thiru Madhavan, DSP, DCRB, Kancheepuram who concentrated on completing the investigations and laying the charge sheets. Some cases have already been taken on file. 3 cases have already been tried and disposed. They are Walajapet PS Crime Nos. 403/1995, 59/1996 and 305/2003 which ended in conviction in the Court of Fast Track, Ranipet on 21.04.2006


and 24.06.2006 in which the Hon’ble Judge had awarded death sentence to the gang leader Oma Bawaria and Ashok @ Lakshman Bawaria. They were also awarded life sentence under remaining sections of law. All the associates were convicted to life imprisonment. Similarly, other 2 cases were also convicted to life imprisonment. I am very proud to quote the judgement in the above case which runs as follows:

“The court also recognizes the achievements of the special team formed under the leadership of IG    Tr. S.R. Jangid, IPS in having detected these crimes wherein the culprits were eluding and the cases remained clueless for over 11 years.”
“The physical efforts made to identify the culprits and the details furnished   by A1 Oma @ Omprkash when questioned u/s 313 CrPC that his brother Bhura A3 was killed in an encounter led this court to commend IG Tr. Jangid and his party. The court is also of view that the Tamil Nadu Police, which was considered on par with the world famous Scotland yard has made similar achievement in this case and decides to commend them highly.”

            6.2. This is how we were not only able to put an end to the heinous crimes that had rocked the state for the past one decade but also brought the culprits to book mainly due to the dedication and hard work of our special police parties.


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