The three families, which the Shamli administration has claimed are the only ones that have left Kairana following extortion threats, have shifted to neighbouring Muzaffarnagar district after two relatives were allegedly shot dead by Muqueem Kala gang members in August, 2014.
Cousins Rajender and Shiv Kumar were allegedly murdered at their shop on Panipat Road in Kairana after they did not pay extortion money to the gang. Now, the families of Rajender and Shiv Kumar, along with Rajender’s brother Mukesh, live in Muzaffarnagar in rented accommodations. While relatives are helping Shiv’s family financially, Rajendra’s wife runs a small tailoring shop. Following the murders, Muqueem Kala — booked in several cases — was arrested.
According to the families, Rajender and Shiv Kumar had received calls from the gang members, demanding an extortion of Rs 10 lakh. The victims had informed police about the threat, following which security cover was provided to them.
Shiv Kumar’s younger brother Vineet said: “My brother used to get extortion calls from Muqueem Kala and his men even when he was under police cover. He had recorded the calls and handed the same to the police, but no action was taken. The security cover was withdrawn after eight months of Shiv Kumar receiving threat calls.”
Two months later, on August 24, 2014, four youths riding two motorcycles arrived at their iron shop and fired at Rajendra and Shiv, resulting in their deaths. Following this, Shiv Kumar’s father Mahesh Chand got an FIR lodged against unidentified persons at Kairana police station. Police later booked nine persons, including Muqueem Kala, in the case and filed the chargesheet in December, 2014.
“We shut our business after the murders. A few months later, Shiv Kumar’s wife Anu and her three children (two daughters and a son) shifted to Muzaffarnagar,” Vineet said.
When contacted, Anu said: “I am staying on rent in Muzaffarnagar and doing stitching work. I shifted around a year after my husband’s murder. There was no point of staying in Shamli under threats.”
Meanwhile, Rajender’s wife Rekha has shifted to Muzaffarnagar with her children Harshit (14) and Taneesha (19). Rajender’s younger brother Mukesh, who was running a shop of machine parts in Kairana, has also shifted to Muzaffarnagar along with his wife and two children.
“I shifted to Muzaffarnagar in October last year and have opened a machine parts shop here. We were not feeling safe there and hence decided to shift from Kairana,” said Mukesh.
When contacted, Kairana Sub-divisional Magistrate Ram Avtar Gupta said it has been learnt during investigation that only these three families have shifted from Kairana after the two murders.
Meanwhile, a Kairana resident, Vinod Kumar Singhal, was shot dead at his shop at Begumpura area on August 16, 2014 for helping another shopowner Mala Pansari, who had received extortion calls from gangster Furqan. Vinod’s brother Varun now runs the shop located on ground floor of their house. “Vinod’s wife Neetu Rani is preparing to shift from Kairana along with her two sons and a daughter,” he said. Police have filed chargesheet against Furqan and his aides in December same year. Wanted in several cases, he was later arrested.