Indian Cops Bust Gangland Party Following Release of Fellow Gang Member

August 12, 2020 Off By Shamani Joshi

Even as Indian cases of COVID-19 continue to spike, a group of 40 gangsters was caught celebrating the release of a fellow gang member who was bailed for medical treatment.

On August 8, police in the India’s capital of Delhi busted a gathering held in honour of gangster Sunny alias Nandi, who is a member of Delhi’s notorious Naveen Khati gang. He was in police custody over an accusation of double murder, attacking police personnel, and robbery. He was out on bail to seek medical treatment until August 31. However, on the night of his temporary release, the police received a tip-off about a party at a venue in the Ponchapur village near Dwarka.

Upon raiding the venue, the police were able to arrest 37 gangsters. However, Nandi, along with two others, allegedly managed to scale a wall and escape.

The police detained five people for carrying illegal firearms. All five had extensive criminal histories. The other attendees were booked for violating social distancing rules, which forbid more than 10 people from gathering in one place. Their criminal antecedents are being looked into.

The bust also led to police seizing a massive cache of illegal arms, including four automatic country-made pistols, one short handgun, 13 cartridges, and three luxury cars.

Further investigations into the matter have revealed that the men had gathered to discuss breaking away from the Naveen Khati gang, and forming a group of their own, under the leadership of Nandi.

Last year, cops raided a similar party organised by the same gang to celebrate the prison release of a fellow gangster named Kapil Sanghwan. Fifteen members of the gang were arrested and a cache of weapons were confiscated after they were in used in a shootout, causing an officer to be severely injured.

Following a Supreme Court directive in March to decongest India’s overcrowded prisons amidst rising cases of COVID-19, jails are releasing 14 categories of prisoners. These include women with severe illnesses, inmates over the age of 65 in states like Haryana and Odisha, undertrial prisoners and convicts nearing their parole hearings.

More than 42,000 undertrials and 16,000 on parole were released between March and June. However, reports reveal that many have resumed a life of crime. In June, at least 129 prisoners from the 2,800 released in Delhi were re-arrested and taken back into custody. Most of these were housed in Tihar jail, South Asia’s largest prison complex.

This has also led to a rise in petty crimes since the lockdown, including pickpocketing and vehicle thefts.

Despite India’s status as the world’s third worst-affected country, police across the nation have busted multiple large social gatherings. In July, 31 people were arrested at a party at a Delhi club ironically called Playgue, while 33 others were booked for hosting weekend parties in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony.

Even a few politicians have been caught hosting parties in the world’s strictest lockdown. While a local corporator from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was caught in Mumbai in April, the former chief minister of the south Indian state of Karnataka broke social distancing rules for his son’s wedding in May.

At the time of writing this, India has more than 2.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, and over 45,257 deaths.

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