Hyderabad: Rivalry between criminal gangs vying for control in the city has resulted in a series of murders, kidnappings and extortions. After going underground for quite some time, several criminal gangs, many with political backing, have surfaced again in the city and Cyberabad commissionerate limits.
Though the police has intensified measures to check gang wars, these are not yielding any results. The land mafia, particularly, is settling scores on the streets, giving cops a tough time. The police has identified 17 gangs, some of them linked to notorious gangsters Dawood Ibrahim and Chota Shakeel.
It was the attack on the MIM MLA, Mr Akbaruddin Owaisi, that shook the city police officials out of their slumber and they began digging out the history sheets of known criminals. But the murders have continued with five killings reported in the past two months. Land disputes, revenge killings, turf battles, are reasons behind the gang wars. Many criminals enjoy political patronage and benefit from the lack of commitment on the part of the police to deal with them.
Each gang has around seven to eight members who are armed with country-made firearms or proper licenced weapons obtained by making false declarations. The gangs are involved in extortion, kidnappings and murders. Police said there are around 1,060 history-sheeters (those who have some criminal record) in the city and 337 in Cyberabad. The South Zone deputy commissioner of police, Mr Vineet Brijlal, reels off several names: “There are seven gangs in our zone. They are Ayub Khan of Kalapthar, Fayaz of Rein Bazaar, Najaf Ali of Shalibanda, Mohammed Jado of Falaknuma, Khaiser of Habeenagar, Mohammed Ilyas of Chandrayanagutta, Mota Khaleel and Kala Khaleel of Chandrayanagutta.”
He claims that they are all being dealt with. “We are neutralising and controlling the rowdies and unsocial elements with an iron hand. In the past one month we conducted raids and surprise checks on the houses of history-sheeters. Out of 502 history-sheeters in the old city, we have proposed externing 307. Around five rowdies are identified to be detained under the Anti-Goonda Act. We have opened 20 new history-sheets,” said Mr Brijlal.
One of those he named, 38-year-old Ayub Khan, is involved in eight cases of murder, eight cases of attempt to murder and several cases of extortion. So powerful is he that he is able to run the show even from jail. “The strength of Ayub’s gang is a strong network of active members most of whom are listed history-sheeters, and the sound finances of the gang acquired by land grabbing and brokering private settlements,” said a city police officer. Ayub Khan was arrested in May 2008 and is still in custody.
Recently, Ayub Khan tied up with the Fayaz gang and was planning to eliminate Khuddus Ghori, a witness in the murder of Mannan Ghori. He is also involved in a rivalry with the Najaf Ali gang. The Khaiser gang is another rival gang initially involved in acts of rowdyism and organised pocket picking, but which has now evolved into a crime syndicate and is accused of involvement in murders, land grabbing and extortion.
“Khaiser, a resident of Habeebnagar, used to settle civil disputes. While Khaiser was in Chanchalaguda jail he developed enmity with Ayub Khan gang members. Ayub Khan vowed to take revenge and eliminate him. Khaiser has learnt about this plan and is trying to settle scores with Ayub Khan,” said a police official.
Mohammed Fayaz of Ganganagar in Yakutpura also started out as a small-time pick-pocket and chain snatcher and then graduated to having his own gang of 40 to 50 persons. “Of late they are involved in land disputes, eyeing the big money. However, they haven’t given up pick-pocketing and snatching,” said a police source. The Fayaz gang supports Ayub Khan and made an attempt on the life of Najaf Ali.
Another gang working directly under Ayub Khan is Omer Quadri, a notorious history-sheeter of Begum Bazaar, involved mainly in land disputes. The gang led by Omar Quadri is at war with Ahmed Bin Salam, a notorious history-sheeter of Banjara Hills who is alleged to have killed Omar’s elder brother in connection with a land dispute in Miyapur. Omar has made several attempts on the life of Ahmed Bin Salam.
Ahmed Bin Salam, alias Chaoosh, is said to be involved in land grabbing and claims ancestral rights over a huge property in Hafeezpet and Miyapur worth hundreds of crores of rupees. The fight over this land has led to several murders. Police found that Ahmed Bin Salam’s gang obtained firearms by furnishing false information and misrepresenting facts to the authorities. Deccan Chronicle