April 16, 2009 2:22:35 am
For the residents of the Chambal and Yamuna ravines,this Lok Sabha elections are a different experience altogether. Once regarded as the den of dacoits,the ravines have witnessed a drastic change in the last five years.
In 2004,dreaded dacoits were calling the shots in the region. But during the last five years,they have either surrendered or have been killed in police encounters. As a result,the 2009 elections will be the first occasion when locals will cast their votes without the fear of dacoits looming large.
For over five decades,dacoits like Maan Singh,Mohar Singh,Malkhan Singh,Vikram Singh,Phoolan Devi,Nirbhay Gurjar,etc have created havoc in the ravines – spread across an area of 300 km. They had strong influence in the districts of Etawah,Auraiya,Farrukhabad and Kanpur Dehat,which come under the Lok Sabha constituencies of Etawah,Farrukhabad and Akbarpur.
The farman (instructions in regard to elections) issued by the dacoits were the final word for the residents of these 400 villages with a population of over four lakh. This time,however,no farman has been issued locals have not been threatened to boycott the election or vote in favour of any particular candidate.
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A resident of Aayana village and Congress district president of Auraiya,Dharmendra Singh Kushawaha,said: No one in the village could raise his voice against the farman. He added that in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections,prominent dacoits like Chandan Yadav,Nirbhay Gurjar,Arvind Gurjar,Saleem Pehlawan,Jagjeevan Parihar had issued farman in Auraiya. The farman also carried the threat of mass massacre if the locals dared to oppose the instructions, said Kushwaha.
Shiv Veer Dubey,Gram Pradhan of Kaithauli village in Auraiya,said that the dacoits could best prove their supremacy in the belt during elections.
Gram Padhan Naresh Gurjar of Mahubasuda village in Etawah,said villages like Aseva,Chaurela Lallupura,Gangdaspur,Randhwakamblan and Pahlan were the most affected by the dacoit menace.
It took nearly five years for the police and Special Operation Group teams of Kanpur,Etawah,Farrukhabad,Auraiya and Kanpur Dehat to end the supremacy of dacoits in the ravines.
Between the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha polls,while over 100 dacoits were killed in encounters,over six surrendered. The police have also been successful in arresting a few notorious dacoits. Inspector General (Kanpur Range) Bhanu Pratap Singh said: The last five years have witnessed the elimination of dacoits like Nirbhay Gurjar,Saleem,Jagjeevan Parihar,Pappu Nadiya,Mohar Singh and Chandan Yadav in encounters. While Fakkad,Renu Yadav and Tehsildar Singh have surrendered,Mangli Kevat and Sadhu Yadav were arrested.
Meanwhile,the leading candidates for the Etawah seat,Prem Das Katheria (SP) and Gauri Shankar (BSP) have lauded their respective parties for the elimination of dacoits. Majority of the dacoits were killed and arrested during the tenure of the SP government. Therefore,the credit should go to Mulayam Singh Yadav,” said Katheria.
On the other end,Shankar claimed: Be it the ravines of Chambal or Banda,Chief Minister Mayawati has been instrumental in the elimination of dacoits.
* June 8: Ram Aashrey alias Fakkad surrendered
* August 27: Shatrughan,Jagram (Nirbhay gang) shot dead 2005
* January 8: Sughar Singh (leader Sughar Singh) killed in police encounter
* March 17: Rajjan Gurjar (leader of Rajjan gang) and Lovely Pandey shot dead
* February 2: Renu Yadav (Chandan gang) arrested
* March 1: Gopal Kachchi (Chandan gang) shot dead
* March 7: Jai Hind (leader of Hind Gang) killed in encounter
* March 15: Deep Narain arrested
* April 4: Nekram and Shyam Singh (Sapola gang) shot dead
* May 1: Chandan Yadav killed in encounter
* May 15: Raja Singh,Veer Singh,Aarti Dohrey,Imamman,Sunita,Amar Singh,Bheema (all Saleem gang) killed in police encounter
* September 7: Sarla Jhatav (Nirbhay gang) arrested
* November 7: Nirbhay Gurjar (leader of Nirbhay gang) shot dead 2006
* February 22: Sadhu Singh Yadav (leader of Sadhu gang) arrested
* July 17: Mangli Kevat (leader of Mangli Kevat gang) arrested
* August 8: Saleem Gurjar (leader of Saleem Gang) killed in encounter 2007
* March 15: Jagjeevan Parihar (leader of Jagjeevan gang) killed in encounter 2008
* April 23: Mohar Singh (Mohar gang) killed in encounter
* June 13: Pappu Nadiya (leader of Nadiya gang) shot dead 2009
* March: Bhan Singh killed,his aide Tehsildar Singh surrendered
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