Crime in India

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CRIME IN INDIA Sanjiv Kumar Upadhyay *
I. CRIME IN INDIA A. General There were 61.8 million criminal cases reported in 1998 with a rate of 6366 per million population. 77.8% of cases investigated were chargesheeted in a court of law. There were 5.7 million cases pending in courts of which trail was completed in 15.8% of cases and of these, 37.4% cases ended in conviction. There are 41.6 police personnel per sq. kilometers and 1360 per million population. 634 police personnel were killed on duty during 1998. B. Organized Crime In India, organized crime is at its worst in the commercial capital of India, the city of Mumbai. The first well-known organized gang to emerge was that of Varadharaj Mudaliar in the early sixties. His illegal activities included illicit liquor, gold smuggling, gambling, extortion and contract murders. Three other gangs emerged shortly thereafter namely, Haji Mastan, Yusuf Patel and Karim Lala. Haji Mastan and Yusuf Patel resorted to gold smuggling whereas Karim Lala operated in drugs. During Emergency in 1975 when there was crackdown on the Mafia, new gangs emerged. Dawood Ibrahim, the most successful, came in conflict with the Pathan gangs of Alamzeb and Amirzada which led to bitter internecine gang warfare. The Pathan gangs were liquidated to leave the field free for Dawood Ibrahim. In 1985, there was increased police pressure which made Dawood Ibrahim to flee. In March 1993, Dawood Ibrahim was behind the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai in which 257 persons died and 713 were maimed. Public and private property worth several millions of rupees was destroyed. Investigation revealed transnational character of the conspiracy the objective of which was to cripple the economy, create communal divide and spread terror in the commercial capital of India. Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and Mohammed Dosa are operating from Dubai. Their field of activity is to extort money from builders and film producers, mediate in monetary disputes, and undertake contract (Supari) killings. There have been instances of investment of the dirty money in business with the result that unsuspecting businessmen have fallen prey to the Mafia warfare. The killings of Thaquiuddin Wahid of East West Airlines in 1996, Sunil Khatau of Khatau Mills in 1994, Om Prakash Kukreja of Kukreja Builders in 1995 and Ramnath Payyade, a prominent hotelier in 1995 are grim reminders of Mafia in Mumbai. The other gangs of Mumbai indulging in organized crime are those of Chhota Rajan (Drug Trafficking and Contract Killings), Arun Gawli (Contract Killings and Protection Money), Late Amar Naik (Protection Money) and Chhota Shakeel. State of Maharashtra has enacted Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, 1999.Other forms of organized crime in India are kidnappings for ransom, gunrunning, illicit trafficking in women and children, money laundering etc.

* Joint Director, Anti-Corruption Headquarters, Central Bureau of Investigation, India


RESOURCE MATERIAL SERIES No. 58 Organized crime exists in other cities too, though not to the same extent as in Mumbai. Ahmedabad city has been the hotbed of liquor mafia because of Prohibition policy (Banning of liquor). The Mafia became synonymous with the name of Latif who started in mid seventies as a small time bootlegger and grew up to set up a 200 strong gang after eliminating rivals with intimidation, extortion, kidnappings and murders. He won municipal elections from five different constituencies with strong political patronage. He was killed by police in an encounter in 1997. There are several gangs operating in Delhi from neighbouring State of Uttar Pradesh indulging in kidnapping for ransom. The going rate was around Rupees 10-50 millions. Land Mafia has political connections and indulges in land grabbing, intimidation, forcible vacation etc. Of late, the ganglords of Mumbai have started using Delhi as a place for hiding and transit....
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