BY ARCHANA SHARMA
Jaipur, June 28 (IANS) In the rural belts of Uttar Pradesh adjoining Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, his trail of loot and terror evoked images of Gabbar Singh, the iconic dacoit of ‘Sholay.’ Jagan Gujjar had 100 cases registered against him in these states, including looting, dacoity and attempt to murder.
Finally, luck ran out for Gujjar on Friday when he surrendered to the Rajasthan police — his fourth since the mid-nineties when he took to crime.
His three previous surrenders were in 2001, 2009 and 2018.
Sources said such was his audacity that earlier this month when he found out that a villager in the ravines near Dholpur in Madhya Pradesh had squealed on him, he reached that village and forced two village women to walk naked as reprisal. Later he denied the charge.
Since June 12, however, he was untraceable, police said.
Rajasthan police sources said Gujjar was hiding in the ravines as many police teams, including Rajasthan Armed Constabulary teams, trained commandos and emergency response groups were combing that area.
A demand for action against Gujjar was made in Parliament by Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal.
On Thursday night, Gujjar informed a media house about his planned surrender the next morning. Police sources said his community members had warned Gujjar about the impending “police encounter” and persuaded him to surrender.
Sources said the Gehlot government was wary of the encounter as a similar one in 2017 had created a law and order problem for the then Vasundhara Raje government. The state’s Rajput community had demanded a CBI probe into Anandpal’s death after violence broke out.
Anandpal was one of the most wanted gangsters with a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head. Accused of multiple murders and extortion, his alleged encounter led to protests by Rajputs in the state as his community, family, and lawyers alleged that he wanted to surrender, but the police had either killed him after his surrender or forced an encounter instead of letting him to surrender.
In Gujjar’s case, police personnel belonging to his community played the role of mediators, asking him to surrender. Former MLA Bhairon Singh Gujjar also played a role in facilitating his surrender.
Gujjar belonged to Daang in Dholpur. In 1994, he created a gang with his wife and brother after his brother-in-law was murdered.
Thereafter, the entire gang took shelter in the Chambal ravines and became synonymous with crime.
BY ARCHANA SHARMA