New Delhi: Three friends, 2 villages and a 3 acre plot, the potential harmless ingredients have cooked up the bloodiest gang war of Delhi, one which has killed over 60 people in the last 25 years.
It all started in the early 1990s when a three acre plot in Najafgarh's Mitraon village was sold off. Three friends, Anup and Balraj of Mitraon village and Kishan Pehelwan of Dichaon Kalan turned bitter rivals and started a gang war which is still going on in rural Delhi, which shares its border with Haryana.
The murder of Bharat Singh alias Bharte, a former MLA and brother of Kishan Pehelwan is seen as a continuation of that same cycle of violence that has been going on in Najafgarh since that property dispute which gave rise to two deadly gangs.
Going back to the history, Kishan Pehelwan early in his game got close to the top INLD leadership and cashed in heavily on the prohibition which came into effect in Haryana between 1996 and 98. The core of his fortune was built in these two years by bootlegging alcohol into the dry state of Haryana. While the state is alleged to have lost somewhere around Rs 1,200 crore during that period, there is no estimate of the money made by Kishan's gang.
Flushed with cash, Kishan Pehelwan's gang began eliminating the rivals. Balraj, the leader of the rival gang from Mitraon village was shot dead in 1998, forcing Anup to reluctantly take up the leadership. But the blood sport continued. After initial hitch, Anup started killing Kishan's men. He fled to Australia in 2003-04 only to return and get arrested by the special cell of Delhi Police for the second time. First arrested in 1998, Kishan was arrested once again when he returned to India. Around 2003, Anup's henchmen took a number of attempts at killing Kishan. He was bumped off in a daring attack in broad daylight while he was being brought to a Rohtak court.
After most of the members of the Anup-Balraj gang were neutralised, Kishan started delving into politics and became a councilor. His brother Bharat Singh alias Bharte became an MLA on INLD ticket in 2008. But sources say Bharte's real rise was in the land grabbing industry. Over the last two decades, property prices in Delhi have sky-rocketed. Bharat took full advantage of the boom and went on acquiring disputed properties. He did not stop at that, he even created dispute where there was none. Such was his writ in the area that a crime branch officer claims, no property could change hands without his blessings.
But around this time a number of other gangs were mushrooming in the lawless outskirts of Delhi. Vicky from Jharodakalan, Sandeep mental, Vikas Lagarpuria have all been trying to challenge the Kishan-Bharat gang. And all of them had a bone to pick with the older dispension. In fact Udaiveer alias Kaale's father and grand father was allegedly killed at the behest of Kishan Pehelwan. Vikas Lagarpuria had a running tiff with Bharte and some allege that he had even slapped Bharat Singh on one occasion. Vikky and Udaiveer had allegedly attempted to bump off Bharte in 2012. The immediate provocation was allegedly a plot of land owned by Vikky's kin which was captured by Bharte.
Bharat, then a sitting MLA, was in his office when he was shot at. He took 2 bullets in his shoulder and abdomen yet luckily he survived. But he lost the elections, and with a stable government in Delhi, his focus was back at the other day job. His rivals, young and old realized that he could now be in a revenge mode. Ten days back he had another property dispute with Vikas Lagarpuria. Bharte was trying to fence a plot behind the Sai Temple in Najafgarh, when Vikas sent fifty to sixty boys, to try and prevent him.
Police suspect it could be any of these gangs who could be behind this shoot out. A buzz going on in the underworld circuit is Udaiveer alias Kaale had paid a ransom of Rs 3 crore to contract killers to finish him off. The crime branch, special cell and the local police are in hot pursuit for a breakthrough in the case. Police fear if immediate action isn't taken then this can spiral into another round of blood bath, something that the police can just not afford now.
But is the fresh, hot blood of the area willing to listen? For these new mushrooming gangs, this is a golden opportunity. As a senior officer, active in curbing the organized crime in the city, summed it up 'nothing grows under the shadow of the Banyan tree. A Banyan tree has just been cut down'.