Murder spate pushes UP cops into ‘informer protection programme’

The recent murders of four persons who were believed to have helped the UP police track down dreaded dacoits — Rajjan Gujjar,Nirbhay Gujjar and Ambika Patel alias Thokia — has sent the cops into a tizzy.

Written by Manish Sahu | Lucknow | Published:February 27, 2009 3:51 am

The recent murders of four persons who were believed to have helped the UP police track down dreaded dacoits — Rajjan Gujjar,Nirbhay Gujjar and Ambika Patel alias Thokia — has sent the cops into a tizzy.

Alarmed,the government has deployed a company of Provincial Armed Constabulary in four villages under Attrauli police circle in Auraiya.

Also,a gunner has been provided to Ram Naresh Singh alias Lalla,who had helped the Special Task Force in eliminating Nirbhay Gujjar. He has also been granted the license for a rifle.

On record,the police are not ready to accept that those killed were police informers. But the clearance of Lalla’s gun license on a priority basis reflects the panic that has gripped the police. They fear loss of credibility among the informers in the dacoit belt.

On the night of February 2,dacoits struck at the house of Tilak Singh,former gram pradhan of Guhani Kala village in Auraiya district,and killed him,his wife Sarojni Devi and neighbour Balbeer Singh Yadav.

Dacoit Bhan Singh and his gang members,including Tehsildar Singh and Vinod Singh,were named in the case.

Krishna Nand,Station Officer of Attrauli,said dacoits suspected Tilak Singh was a police informer. “Rajjan Gujjar’s brother Tehsildar Singh thought he was passing information about his brother to police,” he said. Rajjan Gujjar,his wife Lovely Pandey and two other dacoits were killed in an encounter on March 5,2008.

While Rajjan was wanted in over 100 cases and carried a reward of Rs 1.5 lakh on his head,Lovely carried a reward of Rs 30,000.

Krishna Nand confirmed that the PAC has been deployed in four villages — Guhani Kala,Guhani Khurud,Shigrohi and Jagpur — and security has been provided to Ram Naresh.

Nachiketa Jha,Superintendent of Police,Auraiya,dismissed the claim that Tilak Singh was a police informer and said the murders were fallouts of personal enmity.

“We have arrested two associates of Bhan Singh — Tehsildar Singh and Vinod Singh — and a hunt has been launched to trace Bhan Singh,” he said.

But Ram Naresh insisted that Tilak Singh had passed information about Rajjan Gujjar to the then SP of Etawah,Daljit Singh Chaudhary,while another informer,Mahabir Gujjar,who has also been killed,had provided information about Nirbhay Gujjar’s gang to the Special Task Force.

“It was because of this that security was deployed in these villages,” he said.

Daljit Singh Chaudhary,currently on deputation with the Centre,however,denied that Tilak Singh was his informer.

About Mahabir Prasad,who belonged to Jagpur village,gram pradhan Vidhyawati’s husband Firangi Lal said he had passed on vital information about Nirbhay Gujjar to the police,but had stopped passing information after the killing of Nirbhay Gujjar on November 8,2005.

Mahabir’s younger brother Sukhbir said his brother was killed by Bhan Singh and his gang members Tehsildar Singh and Vinod Singh on January 28.

“A few days before the murder,Bhan Singh had threatened my brother and he had complained to the police,but still he could not be saved”. Sukhbir said he had now applied for a gun license.

Nirbhay Gujjar was wanted in over 150 cases and carried a reward of Rs 2.5 lakh on his head. After his death,Ram Naresh was felicitated by the STF for helping to track him down. “The STF had promised that they would share the reward with me,but till now they have not done so,” he said.

On October 20,2008,Ramjee Pandey and his brother Ram Milan were shot dead outside their home in Lodhapurwa village in Chitrakoot.

The murder was allegedly committed by Deepak Patel,brother of dacoit Ambika Patel alias Thokia,who was killed by the STF on August 4,2008.

Deepak suspected they had passed on information about his brother to the police.

Former Director General of Police Shri Ram Arun said there was no policy to provide security to police informers,but “it is the duty of police that the informer’s name should not be disclosed even after the arrest or elimination of a dacoit.”

Another retired police official said generally when a district police chief is transferred,he shares his informers with his successors.

“Since transfers are being done frequently,the practice has almost fallen in disuse,” he said.

timeline
* October 20,2008: Ramjee Pandey and his brother Ram Milan killed. Allegedly passed information about Thokia
* January 28,2009: Mahabir Prasad killed. Allegedly passed information about Nirbhay Gujjar
* February 2,2009: Tilak Singh,his wife Sarojni Devi,neighbour Balbeer Singh Yadav killed. Allegedly passed information about Rajjan Gujjar.

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