Lawrence Bishnoi & Aides: 1 Worked From Abroad, Another Has 40 Cases Against Him
Shahrukh, an aide of Bishnoi, allegedly told the police that he was asked to eliminate Moose Wala a few months ago.
The Quint DAILY
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A day after Punjabi singer and Congress leader Sidhu Moose Wala was shot dead near Jawaharke village in Punjab's Mansa district, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police "questioned" Lawrence Bishnoi – a gangster who is currently lodged at Delhi’s Tihar Jail no 8 – as confirmed to The Quint by a source in Delhi Prisons.
His accomplice, 28-year-old Shahrukh, who was arrested last month and is lodged in Tihar Jail no 8, was also questioned, said the source. The Indian Express reported that Shahrukh allegedly disclosed to the police that he was asked to eliminate Moose Wala a few months ago but failed to do so due to the latter's heavy security cover.
On Monday, 30 May, Bishnoi's other two aides Kala Jathedi and Kala Rana, too, were interrogated in connection to Moose Wala’s murder.
News reports indicate that Moose Wala’s murder plan was plotted, allegedly inside prison premises, by Bishnoi and his aides.
A Delhi Police source told The Quint that “a few times, Bishnoi’s name has cropped up in connection to use of phones or VoIP (voice over internet protocol) inside prison premises.” VoIP is a way of making voice calls via the internet and are harder to trace in comparison to routine phone calls.
The Delhi Police source said, “Big gangsters like him don’t use phones or VoIP themselves to contact their associates outside prison. They usually get their aides inside prison to make these calls.”
With this piece, The Quint aims to answer questions around the modus operandi of Bishnoi and his aides, the kind of crimes they are accused of, and their alliance that has kept the police force of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan on their toes.
Gang Leader Bishnoi Expanded Base Geographically & in Numbers
Bishnoi, 30, was arrested in 2016, and is accused of at least two dozen cases ranging from murder, attempt to murder, trespassing, assault, extortion and robbery, among others. After his arrest, Bishnoi was lodged in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur jail but was moved to Delhi’s Mandoli jail a year ago in connection to a Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) case. He was later shifted to Delhi’s Tihar Jail, where he is currently lodged.
Hours after Moose Wala’s murder on 29 May, Punjab DGP VK Bhawra had claimed, "The Lawrence Bishnoi gang is involved in this murder.”
Bishnoi, who studied at Chandigarh’s DAV College, was the president of Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) over a decade ago. The first two FIRs against Bishnoi were lodged in 2010, under IPC sections pertaining to “attempt to murder,” and “trespass.”
Since his “student leader” days as part of SOPU to being accused of over a two dozen cases, Bishnoi expanded his “gang” in numbers, and geographically.
Since 2020, three close aides of Bishnoi – Kala Jathedi, Kala Rana, and Shahrukh – have been arrested. Another aide, Sampat Nehra, who had allegedly revealed plans of eliminating Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, allegedly at the behest of Bishnoi, was arrested in 2018 in connection to a murder case.
There are over 25 criminal cases against Bishnoi, over 40 cases against Kala Jathedi, over 48 cases against Kala Rana, and at least 10 cases of murder, attempt to murder, and extortion, among others, against Shahrukh.
While Bishnoi and his main aides are in prison, another aide of his, Goldy Brar – who allegedly took responsibility of the high-profile murder via a purported Facebook post – is said to be in Canada. As per the purported Facebook post, Moose Wala was targeted allegedly to “avenge the death of Vicky Middukhera,” a Youth Akali Dal leader who was killed in August 2021.
Shahrukh: Out on Emergency Parole Due to COVID Since 2020, Arrested Last Month
The 28-year-old, allegedly tasked with eliminating Moose Wala a few months ago, was nabbed by the Delhi Police Special Cell on 25 April this year, while he was roaming around Delhi's Chhatarpur area in his Bolero.
At the time of his arrest, DCP (Special Cell) Manishi Chandra had said that Shahrukh was earlier a part of the infamous Shakti Naidu gang of south Delhi, and later joined the Hashim Baba gang of northeast Delhi. The DCP had said, "In the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shahrukh was released from jail on an emergency parole in May 2020." Soon after, his "mentor" Hashim Baba was arrested, and Shahrukh "disappeared from the police radar in order to take reins of the syndicate and committed a spree of heinous crimes."
Inside jail, meanwhile, Hashim Baba joined hands with Bishnoi and Kala Jathedi, and by that accord, so did Shahrukh.
A month after he was out on parole, Shahrukh allegedly killed a man in broad daylight in east Delhi's Preet Vihar, claimed police. In March 2021, he executed a gang rivalry killing, and "pumped 24 bullets in the body of a gang rival's brother" in south Delhi's Ambedkar Nagar, said police. There are at least 10 criminal cases against him.
Kala Jathedi: Arrested, Escaped, Arrested Again
Touted to be the “most wanted criminal” of Delhi-NCR, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Punjab with at least 40 cases of robbery, murder, attempt to murder, and extortion – Kala Jathedi aka Sandeep, 37, carried a cumulative reward of Rs 6 lakh on his head before his arrest on 30 July 2021.
He was arrested along with his associate, 37-year-old Anuradha Chaudhary aka “Madam Minz” or “Revolver Rani”, by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police. At the time of their arrest, DCP (Special Cell) Manishi Chandra had claimed that Kala Jathedi and Anuradha were the “operations heads on ground who acted in unison with jailed gangsters Lawrence Bishnoi and Kala Rana, and Goldy Brar who operates from outside India.”
Police claimed that the alliance was involved in cases relating to “high-profile extortions, inter-state bootlegging, illegal firearms, smuggling, and land-grabbing.”
In a bid to nab the two, a team of the Delhi Police Special Cell searched for them in Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Uttarakhand. They were finally arrested from near the Sarsawa toll, Saharanpur-Yamuna Nagar highway in Uttar Pradesh.
It is pertinent to note that Kala Jathedi was arrested in 2012 as well and had 34 criminal cases against him at the time, DCP Chandra had said. The DCP had said that in 2020, Kala Jathedi escaped from the custody of Haryana Police.
Kala Rana: Over 100 Sharpshooters at His Beck and Call, Say Cops
Members of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang weren’t just operating from India, some had escaped abroad, and one among them was Virender Pratap aka Kala Rana. Also known as “Tiger,” the 28-year-old reportedly moved to Thailand “using a fake passport in 2019.”
He was arrested on 1 March this year by a team of the Special Cell of the Delhi Police. At the time of his arrest, DCP Chandra had claimed that “Kala Rana was acting as the communication, finance and investment hub of Lawrence Bishnoi-Kala Jathedi alliance,” and that along with Goldy Brar “he had executed brutal inter-gang as well as extortion-motivated murders.”
DCP Chandra had added that “over a 100 sharpshooters were at the beck and call of Kala Rana,” and that he carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head. Over eight years ago, Kala Rana allegedly became friends with one Monu Rana, who like Lawrence was part of SOPU.
In 2014, Monu and Kala Rana were arrested in connection to a murder case in Ambala, and it was in jail that Kala Rana befriended Sampat Nehra – the man who revealed in 2018 the alleged plan to eliminate Salman Khan. It was then that Kala Rana’s notoriety made headlines.
In 2019, he allegedly left the country. After Kala Jathedi’s arrest in 2021, the search for Kala Rana had intensified, leading to his arrest this year.
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