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Fugitive mafia don Brijesh Singh in police net after 20 yrs
Sandeep Yadav/Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

New Delhi/Lucknow, January 24
The law finally caught up with Brijesh Singh, a dreaded mafia of eastern UP wanted in several cases of gruesome murder, attempt to murder and extortion. A team of officers from special cell nabbed him in Bhubaneswar yesterday.

Brijesh had been evading arrest for the past 20 years, forcing the UP police to increase the reward money for his arrest from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh last year. He was living under a fake identity of Arun Kumar Singh in Bhubaneswar.

In a case related to extortion and threats by Brijesh, the team, led by Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, ACP, worked for almost two years to pinpoint his whereabouts. The team travelled extensively in UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Mumbai on his trail. The Lady Luck smiled on the team in the second week of January when they received a tip-off that Brijesh was shuttling between Kolkata and Bhubaneswar to settle his business deals. The special cell also managed to procure his latest photograph. The gangster was tracked down to Big Bazar in Bhubaneswar yesterday where he arrived in his black Honda CRV (No. OR-O2-AK-1800). On identification, he was immediately surrounded and overpowered with utmost difficulty as the gangster offered stiff resistance.

Originally, a resident of Dharaura in Ghazipur, Brijesh is said to have entered the world of crime to avenge the murder of his father Ravindernath Singh in Ghazipur in the early eighties by Latur Singh, alias Om Prakash Thakur and Narender Singh. At that time he was pursuing his graduation in Banaras College. He started his criminal career in 1984 when he, along with his associates, killed two persons in order to avenge his fatherís killing. This was followed by a spate of killings in the area, making him one of the most dreaded gangster of all times. He eventually got into businesses of railway tenders, liquor, coal and scrap, real estate. He had never been arrested since he escaped from police custody in 1986.

Despite being one of the most dreaded criminals of the state, the UP police did not have any proper photograph of the gangster in its records, besides the one being flashed over the news channels today. A feat he shared with Dadua who also remained indescribable till the very end.

His name was soon a synonym for terror in the Purvanchal region where he continually fought a supremacy battle with rival Independent MLA from Mau, Mukhtar Ansari. The don was once a close friend of Ansari, before the two became sworn enemies due to rivalry over railway and coal contracts.

Ansari is at present lodged in the Ghazipur jail for the murder of BJP MLA Krishnanad Rai. The slain MLA was said to be close to Brijesh.

He had close connections in the two major political parties.

He is considered close to a senior national-level BJP leader. His elder brother Udhaynath, alias Chulbul Singh, is a BJP MLC in the Vidhan Parishad.

Special secretary (home) R.P. Arora said today that even his brother was a hardened criminal and his associate in crime.

The police has reportedly recovered a number of incriminating documents from Brijesh, including a fake passport by the name of Arun Singh.

He was brought to Delhi on transit remand.

In 2002 Chief Minister Mayawati had alleged that Brijesh was involved in a plot to kill her.

She had sent letters to the then Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, asking them to increase her security.

Uttar Pradesh additional DG (law and order) Brij Lal said Brijesh was wanted in at least 23 counts of murders and kidnapping among other serious crimes. ďA team of the UP police is soon to leave for New Delhi to bring him here on remand so that he can be tried hereĒ, he said.

Meanwhile, he was produced in an Orissa court and efforts were being made to bring him to New Delhi.

His Crime File

In 1985, Brijesh and his gang killed six persons in Sikrora village, under the Choubey Pur police station in Varanasi district.

He sustained bullet injuries during the crime and was admitted to a hospital from where he managed to give the police the slip. In June, 1992, Brijesh, Tribhuvan Singh, H.N. Singh, alias Hariya, along with other three others, killed Raghunath Yadav on the main road near bus stand at Mehsana (Gujarat).

He was lone survivor of his family who was killed by Brijesh and his associates. Sub-inspector H.C. Jhala tried to chase them while they were fleeing from the spot in a Maruti car but Brijesh shot at him leaving him seriously injured. Jhala is still paralysed.

In another daring and brutal massacre, Brijesh and his associate killed Sadhu Singh of Mudiyaar village who had come to see his newly born child and wife in a hospital in police custody.

Brijesh was wearing police uniform at the time of the crime. On the same day, the duo killed eight persons, including the brother and mother of Sadhu Singh in Mudiyaar village with automatic weapons. Twentyone others were injured in the attack. Brijesh and Tribhuvan Singh killed a sub-inspector, two constables of the Maharashtra police and Haldankar of the Arun Gaoli gang as they believed he was behind the murder of brother-in-law of Dawood Ibrahim (husband of Hasina Parker). Brajesh was once considered the prized sharp shooter of international don Dawood Ibrahim.

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