As Rajasthan police on Thursday caught the most wanted gangster Papla Gurjar who had created a havoc in states namely Rajasthan and Haryana, we take a sneak peak into the top 5 gangsters of India which created a reign of terror across India:
Dawood Ibrahim: Dawood was born in Mumbai in the year 1955 to a police constable in Mumbai’s Dongri. After forming a clan of relatives and friends from his locale, he started getting engaged in smuggling, robbery, fraud and other petty crimes during his teens. At this time, he locked horns with the infamous Haji Mastan. By the late 1970’s, he was into extortion, money laundering, gold smuggling, illegal arms trade and drug trafficking and floated the dreaded D-Company, a mega crime syndicate.
He was named by the CBI as among the main perpetrators of the 1993 serial blasts, after which he, reportedly, fled to Pakistan.
Chotta Rajan: He was born in Mumbai as Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje and then he started his criminal career as a ticket scalper and thief. Later he joined mobster, Rajan Mahadev Nair’s (Bada Rajan) gang.
Chotta Rajan took over Nair’s gang after the death of his mentor in 1983, and made up a strong partnership with Dawood Ibrahim, as the two terrorised Mumbai.
In 1993, Chotta Rajan separated from Ibrahim, and formed his own gang, which was more into widescale drug trafficking, extortion, murder and smuggling.
Many people believe that Ibrahim attempted to assassinate Chotta Rajan many times, but ultimately, the Indonesian law enforcement authorities, in collaboration with the Australian police, nabbed him in Bali. Rajan is serving a lifer at Tihar Jail in Delhi.
Haji Mastan: Also referred to as Mumbai’s ‘Robin Hood’ for the charity work he undertook at Dharavi, Haji Mastan was born in 1926 to a Muslim family in Panaikulam, Tamil Nadu, Mastan. He reportedly, migrated to Bombay at the age of eight, and here he developed an underworld empire and ruled the roost for two decades between 1960 and 1980, with two aides Karim Lala and Varadarajan Mulaidar. He along with his gang was engaged in largescale black marketing of cinema tickets, bootlegging, and extortion.
He died at the age of 68 in 1994 of cardiac arrest at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital.
Karim Lala: He was born as Abdul Sher Khan, in Afghanistan in 1911, however, later his family shifted to Bombay. Here, along with two gangsters, Haji Mastan and Varadarajan Mulaidar, he began his criminal career as part of a Pathan gang that worked as recovery brokers helping Gujarati and Marwari businessmen and money lenders. His criminal activities included illegal gambling, illegal sale of liquor, forced eviction, extortion and contract killings.
Lala handed over his empire to his nephew Samad Khan and went into retirement before eventually dying of a heart attack in February, 2002, at 90.
Veerappan: Veerappan, born in Mysore in 1952, was a smuggler, poacher and bandit who was wanted for the murders of over a 120 people as well as for the deaths of more than 2,000 elephants dwelling in the forests of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and the smuggling and illicit sale of tons of sandalwood and ivory.
He is also known for kidnapping government officers, politicians, and even celebrities for ransom,
He was killed in 2004 in an encounter at Tamil Nadu’s Dharmapuri district under Operation Cocoon.