Updated: September 25, 2021 4:40:00 pm
It was in 2016 that gangster Jitender Maan alias Gogi managed to escape from police custody and, in the hopes of killing his rival Sunil alias Tillu Tajpuriya, formed a gang with two key lieutenants — Kuldeep alias Fajja and Rohit Moi.
But the balance of power shifted against him when the trio were arrested from a flat in Gurgaon even as Tillu joined hands with other prominent gangsters — Neeraj Bawana, Naveen Bali, Sunil Rathi and Cheenu.
Earlier this year, Gogi was booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) for hatching a conspiracy to aid Fajja’s escape — a last ditch attempt to revive his gang.
“Gogi had a ‘signature move’ — of shooting his victims in the face. But his arrest last year, his rivals joined hands and started targeting his associates. Plus, police arrested 16 of his gang members and six months ago, Fajja was killed in a police encounter,” said a senior officer.
Around four months ago, Gogi was shifted to solitary confinement and got further disconnected from his associates.
“His rivals were looking for an opportunity to kill him, and they found one when they discovered that he and Tillu’s associate Sunil Mann had to appear before a Delhi court in the same case. Two of Tillu’s associates, Rahul Tyagi and Jagdeep Jagga, were asked to execute the murder. Tyagi was wanted in a murder case and Jagga had killed Gogi’s associate earlier,” said the officer.
Police said Gogi’s most high-profile victim was Haryanvi singer Harshita, who was shot dead on October 17 last year by four men, led by Gogi, in Panipat.
They pumped seven bullets into her chest at the behest of Karala, her brother-in-law who was lodged in Haryana’s Jhajjar jail on the charges of killing his wife. Harshita was not changing her statement against Karala, and police said that Gogi became friends with him in jail and killed her as a favour.
Gogi’s mother Padmeshwari had earlier told The Indian Express, “He had won medals in volleyball, representing his school at competitions in Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir. When he was 17, he injured his right shoulder in an accident, and could never play again.”
While Gogi and Tillu’s rivalry began over college supremacy, it had another angle, police said. Deepak, a close associate of Tillu, had been pursuing Gogi’s cousin. “He would tease Gogi, saying he would become the family’s damaad (son-in-law),” said a police officer, adding that Deepak was killed on January 20, 2015.
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