Real Estate Spurs New Gang War In East UP
Times Of India [ 05-07-2013 ]

The crime scene in east UP region has undergone a paradigm shift. After coal, railway scrap and extortion trade, it is the turn of real estate business to be targeted by the gangsters of this region.<br /><br />

The region's underworld history shows that though mafia don Brijesh Singh entered the crime world in the name of avenging the killing of his father in 1984, after earning notoriety by 1989 he had also succeeded in maintaining a monopoly in the coal trade. It was the same time when mafia don Mukhtar Ansari emerged as his rival and the series of gang wars started.

A pause in gang wars was noticed for few years after the rivals of Brijesh also succeeded in getting their share in the coal trade, which was mainly related to extorting money from coal traders, though some dons formed a syndicate to maintain flow of money while others were satisfied with their 'vasuli' (extortion money).<br /><br />

After a gap of a few years, gangs clashed once again in the region, primarily to have a monopoly on scrap trade. The guns fell silent only for a few years again when the turf was clearly demarked and share of all was fixed. Similar gang wars were also noticed on regular intervals for breaking monopoly of various dons in sectors like contracts of government departments.<br /><br />

Between 2000 and 2007, the extortion trade of mafia gangs flourished. In this period, the lieutenants of Munna Bajrangi gang operated fearlessly. This was the only time when instead of targeting each other, the gangsters targeted the traders and other individuals to create panic among their fraternity and have their business flourishing.<br /><br />

Sources belonging to different agencies, including police, said that when other gangs were busy in these trades, only the lobby of Brijesh had realised the importance of investments in real estate and by 2000 it had already introduced many group housing projects and some commercial complexes. When the noose was tightened on gangsters between 2007 and 2011, the trade of mafia gangs like extortion from businessmen, doctors, engineers and capitalists, was checked impressively.<br /><br />

This was also the time when dons like Brijesh and Bajragi, who were absconding for long, went behind the bars and earnings of rival gangs of Brijesh suffered badly.<br /><br />

In the meantime, a surprise growth in the price of land was noticed in the district while thousands of people, especially those having links with musclemen, white collared and also the mafia dons of the region became builders, colonizers or 'dalals' (brokers). Up to what extant the people engaged in the trade of colonising and plotting could go, had become clear when a hooch tragedy took place at Soyepur in February 2010.<br /><br />

During the investigation of this case, it had become clear that land mafia had supplied hooch among Soyepur natives to stop protesting their removal from a pond, which was filled for plotting.<br /><br />

With the change in guard at Lucknow in 2012, the old mafia dons started a bid to revive their gangs. It was also established when during his recent visit ADG (Law and Order) Arun Kumar admitted that there were intelligence inputs that mafia dons were operating their gangs from jails. Before the ADG's statement, a report prepared on the directives of DIG (Range) A Satish Ganesh had brought a surprising fact to light. It made it clear that only a few families were engaged in most of the big land deals.<br /><br />

How these big land deals were being done by paying meager amount became clear when two FIRs were lodged against Munna Bajrangi and several others, including his family members and some renowned builders, in April 2013. Not only this but the pressure of mafia dons on land owners also got exposed when Anant Kumar Shah was found missing since January 27. Despite all efforts, the rivals of Brijesh gang failed to succeed in expanding their empire in real estate.<br /><br />

It is considered that due to these reasons, the series of attacks started on the close associates of Brijesh. When the police were investigating the case of attack on Ajay Khalnayak, the close aide of Brijesh on May 4 it had come to light that he was engaged in property dealing and also had dispute with some persons who were associated with rival gangs.

The timing of killing of Satish Singh, the cousin and henchman of Brijesh, also hints clearly that the incident was aimed at creating panic in Brijesh gang instead of being a revenge act. After the killing of Satish, the Lanka police took one of the accused persons, Sudhir Singh, under custody for interrogation on Wednesday. In his personal details it is mentioned that he was also engaged in property dealing, confirmed IG Zone GL Meena.

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