New Delhi: Anil Pehelwan alias Leela, who was one of the three most wanted criminals of Delhi and had a cash reward of Rs two lakh on his arrest, has been arrested by the Crime Branch following a brief encounter, police said today.
The 25-year-old gangster, who was once a state level athlete and national level participant in weightlifting, was arrested from Dwarka area in southwest Delhi yesterday.
"He is one of the key associates of Manoj Morkheri and was not arrested since 2010. He is involved in three sensational cases of kidnapping for ransom, four cases of murder, one case of extortion among others. A reward of Rs one lakh from Delhi Police and two separate rewards of Rs 50,000 each by Haryana Police were declared on his arrest," said Joint commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav.
Police received a tip off yesterday following which a trap was laid and he was spotted in a white sports utility vehicle (SUV). He was signaled to stop by the team members, but he tried to flee. When a police team intercepted him at Radha Soami Road in Dwarka, he whipped out a pistol and fired two rounds.
"The team could succeed in apprehending him after firing six rounds. One improvised point 32 bore pistol along with three live cartridges were recovered from his possession," said Yadav.
Inspired by Mumbai underworld, Anil had formed a gang with Manoj Morkheri. To extract money and spread terror, they resorted to kidnappings for ransom. In 2011, the gang committed a spree of three cases of kidnapping for ransom and earned crores from them, police said.
"As these cases established them in the crime world, they started collecting protection money from the bookies and started settling the financial disputes of properties of Delhi/NCR using muscle power, said Yadav.
Besides, he settled his enmity by committing broad day light murders. He eliminated Devender Dalal, Sarpanch of Village Tanda Heri, Bahadurgarh, Haryana. Further, he murdered his cousin's ex-wife.
"One of the most sensational crimes executed by this gang was the murder of a retired Inspector of Haryana Police. The team led by the slain officer had killed one of their associates in an encounter. He waited till the time the officer retired and at the first available opportunity, he along with his gang members murdered him," said Yadav.
After the sensational incident, he was evading his arrest by hiding in far flung places like Nepal, Sikkim, Assam, West Bengal, Himachal, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand and used to occasionally visited to Delhi/NCR.