ven Revealed Their Names To The VictimsRajshekhar.Jha@timesgroup.com
A tattoo on the right hand and a pistol in the left — that’s how gangster Rajesh Bharti’s profile was known among policemen in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. Bharti was also known for his menacing line when he made his extortion calls. “Namaskar karega ya chamatkar dekhega (Do you want to cough up the money or face the consequence)?” he asked his victims, among them businessmen and bookies in south, south-west and outer Delhi areas. He had used this line in an extortion call he made just two days ago.
“The gang had become so notorious and so confident that the members used to leave handwritten notes at the crime spots and also reveal their identities to their victims,” disclosed Sanjeev Yadav, DCP (Special Cell).
“We are from the Kranti gang. We attack traitors, gamblers and thieves who are looting the public. We do not fear anyone,” boasted one of such notes. Bharti also disclosed his name to people he robbed from or attacked. These went a long way in creating an aura around the gang.
Son of a farmer in Jind in Haryana, Bharti was the youngest of three siblings. He quit studies after primary school, an early sign that he wouldn’t lead a regular life. When a teenager, he began with petty thefts. Then on a visit to Jharkhand, a secret police report on the gangster says, he allegedly stayed and trained with Maoists. On returning to Delhi, Bharti graduated to crimes like murder, kidnappings, extortion and car robberies.
According to DCP Yadav, Bharti stepped into organised crime when he associated himself with the gangs led by Manoj Morkheri and Nandu Sangwan. On June 12, last year Sandeep, alias Sanjeet Vidrohi, and his associates fled from Hissar jail and met Bharti. From that meeting emerged their own group, which they grandly named the Kranti gang.
The gang was notorious for intercepting families travelling on national highways and robbing their cars. If stopped, they wouldn’t hesitate to shoot at the cops. Bharti was fond of using Chinese Star pistols, and two of them were found in his car after the Saturday afternoon shootout in Chhatarpur.
For a year now, all units of Delhi Police were on the gang’s tail. Bharti and his henchmen were involved in a series of heinous crimes at this time. They fired at the house of Puneet, a real-estate businessman, in Chhawla to scare him. When Puneet did not bend, they killed him. The gang then opened fire on a businessman’s car in Sector 23 of Dwarka, and audaciously left behind a letter with information about the assailants. In July last year, the gang murdered a trader named Pradeep in Kanjhawala in what the police described as a road rage. They also fired at Pradeep’s brother.
Two months ago, they snatched an i20 car from Dwarka after shooting the driver. Last month, the Kranti gang murdered an Army man, who was witness in a murder case in Jhajjar. Just 10 days ago, the gang killed a former village pradhan in Gurgaon’s Bilaspur area.
Bharti is also accused of murder (2014), attack on policemen, abduction from Delhi University’s South Campus, extortion in Vasant Kunj (all in 2011), and robbery in South Campus (2010). Vidrohi is an accused in eight incidents of attacks on policemen, robbery, rioting and murder in Delhi, Gurgaon, Hissar and Rohtak.
Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik had special words for his men who prevailed over this notorious gang on Saturday. “The Special Cell was tasked to track down this group and the team displayed immense bravery in the operation,” Patnaik said.