Neetu Dabodia -- a wily customer who dodged police for 13 years
Neetu Dabodia, an alleged top gangster of the city, may have been giving police a slip since last 13 years but it took just 18 minutes on Thursday night for his run-in with the law to end when he and his two associates were gunned down by a Special Cell team of Delhi police.
New Delhi: Neetu Dabodia, an alleged top gangster of the city, may have been giving police a slip since last 13 years but it took just 18 minutes on Thursday night for his run-in with the law to end when he and his two associates were gunned down by a Special Cell team of Delhi police.
29-year-old Dabodiya`s two associates have been identified as Alok Gupta, a resident of Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh and one Deepak, a resident of Tri Nagar in Delhi, police said today.
They have recovered a revolver bearing mark of `Webley`, one steel colour pistol, one pistol with `Made in Italy` engraving, an i-20 Hyundai Car which belonged to Deepak, a SAF Carbine fitted with magazine and seven cartridges and one bag containing 18 cartridges. 16 cartridges were found in the clothing of the slain gangster.
Described as a "wily customer" by the police, Surendra Malik alias Neetu Dabodia alias Neetu Dabodha was wanted in over 50 cases of contract killing, murder, extortion and kidnapping, was a headache for Delhi and Haryana Police.
According to police, he was very difficult to track as he never used mobile phones and was secretive about his movement. His network was spread across Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and even Nepal.
On April 2 last year, he along with his aide Sandeep Chitania had escaped with the help of their associates when they were being taken back to jail by Haryana Police after production in Saket court in Delhi.
Several teams of the Special Cell of the Delhi police had been trailing Dabodia over the last one year. The sustained efforts finally materialised and the police received a tip off about his movement near a petrol pump adjacent to Hotel Grand, Vasant Kunj yesterday.
"Following the information, a team laid a trap in the area. At about 10.30 PM, an i-20 Hyundai Car was spotted. When the team approached the vehicle to verify its occupants, the car tried to speed away," police said.
The Special Cell team which was in a bullet-proof Scorpio chased the vehicle for around 100 meters, overtook the car and blocked its way.
"However, Alok Gupta who was on the wheel, rammed his car in the police vehicle in an attempt to flee," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav who was leading the team.
As their car stalled, the trio came out of the vehicle and opened fire on the police team and tried to flee. Police retaliated injuring all the three.
"It all happened in just 18 minutes. At 10:48, I made a PCR call after which a PCR van arrived. All three were taken to AIIMS Trauma Care Centre in the PCR van where they were declared brought dead," said Yadav.
Two members of the Special Cell Team were hit on their bulletproof jacket during the encounter while the police vehicle was also hit by the assailants` bullets, police said.
Families of Dabodia and Gupta claimed that it was a fake encounter, a charge rejected by police.
A team of CFSL and South district police reached the spot within minutes. The incident is being probed by a team of South Delhi district police.
As per norm, any encounter is probed by a judicial magistrate and it is mandatory to inform National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The local SDM has been informed, said Special Commissioner (Special Cell) SN Srivastava.
"His real name was Surendra Malik, he was called Neetu Dabodia or Dabodha because he belonged to Dabidha village of Bahadurgarh, Haryana. He started his career in crime in 2000 and he was a wily customer. He never trusted anyone, even his best friends. He stayed alone. If he had to stay with somebody, he would decide it at the last moment.
"He never used mobile phones and used letters to communicate. His network was not just limited to Delhi and Haryana but he even had contacts in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal and it is a matter of satisfaction that such a criminal was neutralised," said Srivastava.
At the time of the incident too, they were planning to abduct a businessman. They usually abducted rich people for ransom. After kidnapping their target from one state, they kept him in a safehouse in another state which was 500-700 kms away, he said.
As per police, Dabodia had a long list of such crimes many of which went unreported. On April 2 last year, he along with his associate Sandeep Chitania were brought to Saket Court in Delhi by Haryana Police to produce them in some case.
After their production in the court, the Haryana Police was taking him back to Bhondsi jail. On the way while they were passing through Dwarka, their accomplices attacked the police party and helped both of them to flee from police custody.
They also took away the carbine of Haryana Police with them while escaping, police said.
After his escape from police custody, Dabodia formed a crime syndicate with his associates Chitania, Vikram alias Paras, Alok Gupta, Pradeep alias Bhola and some other associates and indulged in extortion, kidnapping, car-jacking, robbery, dacoity and contract killing etc.