Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government has launched a crackdown on dreaded criminals and their henchmen in Uttar Pradesh, which began days after eight policemen were killed in Kanpur by slain gangster Vikas Dubey and his aides.
The UP Police has prepared a ‘hitlist’ of 33 dreaded criminals last week, and launched raids to nab their aides and gang members to effectively dismantle their networks. Some criminals have been arrested too.
The ‘hitlist’ includes names of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, dreaded criminals Atiq Ahmed, Khan Mubarak, Bablu Srivastava, among others.
Eight policemen were killed on the midnight of 3 July when they had gone to Dubey’s house to arrest him. Dubey was killed last Friday in an alleged encounter by UP Police when he was being brought to Kanpur from Ujjain, where he had surrendered.
A police officer, who didn’t want to be named, told ThePrint strict orders have been issued to ensure that incidents like the Kanpur shootout do not recur.
“The police are trying to arrest and punish mafias even before they are able to flourish. Police are also aggressively going after henchmen of some dreaded criminals, who are currently lodged in jails,” said the officer.
Mukhtar Ansari’s gang members arrested
Police have launched an aggressive crackdown on the gang members of BSP’s Mau MLA Mukhtar Ansari, known to be one of the most dreaded criminals of Purvanchal.
He has more than 40 cases of murder, kidnapping and extortion registered against him.
Ansari is currently in jail, but police have attached his properties worth Rs 50 crore in the last one week.
Police have also booked 8 members of Ansari’s gang under the Gangster Act last week and arrested five of them. Police have seized their properties too.
One of Ansari’s aides Ravindra Nishaad was arrested from Jaunpur on the night of 3 July and the rest of the aides were arrested from Ghazipur.
According to police, properties belonging to sharpshooters Brijesh Sonkar and Prakash Mishra, considered close to Ansari, have been seized too. Both Sonkar and Mishra are in jail.
Besides, arms licenses issued to 20 members of Ansari’s gang, including three of his close relatives, were cancelled, police said.
Raids on to nab gangster Atiq Ahmed’s aides
Police are also trying to nab gang members of dreaded criminal Atiq Ahmed, who is the former MLA of Prayagraj’s Phulpur seat.
Ahmed has 109 criminal cases, including murder and fraud, lodged against him. He is currently lodged in Sabarmati jail in Gujarat.
His brother and former MLA Khalid Azim alias Ashraf was arrested earlier this month and now he has been shifted from Prayagraj’s Naini Jail to Bareilly Jail.
Ashraf, who has 33 cases against him, was arrested from his in-laws’ house in Kaushambi district. He carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh.
Police said they are carrying out multiple raids to nab gang members, who worked for both these brothers.
“Several police teams are engaged to hunt and nab Ahmed’s entire gang,” said a second police officer.
Radar on Sundar Bhati and family
In western UP, police have their radar on gang members of criminal Sundar Bhati and his associates, who are infamous in the region for operating a network of organised crime.
Bhati is currently lodged in Hamirpur jail. There are dozens of cases against him, including robbery, murder, kidnapping, etc.
Last week, Noida Police had attached Bhati’s illegal assets.
Just like Vikas Dubey, police said, Bhati has also managed to get a clean chit in several cases due to lack of evidence and witnesses.
“This time, we don’t want to take any chance and, therefore, we are aggressively looking for evidence against him,” said the second police officer.
On 4 July, police announced a reward of Rs 25,000 on his nephew Anil Bhati, who is absconding in a case of extortion. Anil is also allegedly involved in the 2017 murder case of BJP leader Shiv Kumar. He is out on bail in the case.
Bhati’s brother Singh Raj Bhati, who is accused of aiding and abetting his brother’s criminal activities, is currently lodged in Faizabad Jail.
Other mafias and their aides
Police have further launched an intensive search operation to nab henchmen of western UP gangster Anil Dujana.
Dujana, a resident of Greater Noida, is currently lodged in Maharajganj district jail. He has more than 50 cases of murder, robbery lodged against him, and is booked under the Gangster Act and National Security Act (NSA), police said.
“He was notorious for running an extortion racket targeting builders in Noida. The police are working to join all the links connected to his network in order to nab his accomplices,” said a third police officer.
Police are also looking for gang members of Khan Mubarak, who is associated with Mumbai’s Chhota Rajan gang and is currently lodged in Lucknow jail.
This apart, police have also launched raids to nab gang members of gangster Bablu Shrivastava, who is now in Bareilly jail, and Purvanchal’s dreaded criminal Brijesh Singh.
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