How a minor row in Haryana sparked a dozen murders
A dispute over a small plot of land in a Gurgaon village gave birth to two gangs and led to a dozen cold-blooded murders, with Haryana Police finally gunning down Sandeep Garauli, one of the gang leaders, in Mumbai over the weekend.
Gurgaon: A dispute over a small plot of land in a Gurgaon village gave birth to two gangs and led to a dozen cold-blooded murders, with Haryana Police finally gunning down Sandeep Garauli, one of the gang leaders, in Mumbai over the weekend.
Bhoop Singh and Mehar Chand, both Jats and from Garauli village on the Gurgaon-Pataudi Road, got into a row over a 200 square metre residential plot in the mid-1990s.
In 1997, as teenagers, Sandeep Garauli from Bhoop Singh's camp and Narender from Mehar Chand's camp challenged each other to take possession of the plot, police sources and villagers said.
After a few days, Narender and his friend Hemant stabbed Sandeep Garauli multiple times and threw him in a field, assuming he was dead. But he survived.
It was the beginning of the horror story. Narender and Hemant were booked for attempt to murder.
On December 15, 1999, Sandeep Garauli was for the first time booked for looting and under the Arms Act.
Garauli's father was a sub-inspector in Haryana Police, and a few police personnel allegedly had a soft corner for Garauli.
According to police records, Sandeep Garauli's elder brother Kuldeep Singh and his cousin Bhram Prakash murdered Mahavir Singh from Mehar Chand's camp in 2000.
In retaliation, Mehar Chand's men abducted Sandeep Garauli's another brother, Naresh Kumar alias Nehru, an advocate, and allegedly burnt him to death at an isolated spot near Gurgaon's Behrampur viilage in 2001.
By then, the original gang leaders were dead.
A furious Sandeep Garauli joined hands with Neetu Gahlot and Binder Gujjar, then part of the Fauji Gang. Eventually, he raised his own gang.
According to police records, Sandeep Garauli's men attacked Hemant on January 10, 2004 when he was to be produced before the court of fast track judge BM Bajaj in Gurgaon.
Hemant was critically injured in the attack. Police constable Rajesh Kumar, who was escorting Hemant, died on the spot.
Later that day, police gunned down three accomplices of Sandeep Garauli after chasing them for 18 km in the foothills of Aravali.
Hemant succumbed to his injuries 18 days later.
Sandeep Garauli allegedly shot dead Randhir Singh in 2004 in Palam Vihar, one of the accused in the murder of his advocate brother.
On September 23, 2004, Garauli allegedly gunned down his main rival Narender - with whom he had had a fight in 1997 - in a village in Jhajjar district.
During this period, some other criminals, including Neetu Gahlot and Sangeeta Rajje, then vice chairperson of Gurgaon Municipal Council and wife of slain gangster Rajesh Nasa alias Rajje Punjabi, were also shot dead in internecine war, police records show.
Haridatt, a right hand of Sandeep Garauli, was gunned down by the Binder Gujjar gang in a court in retaliation, police say.
A year later, in the same premises, Sandeep Garauli and his men allegedly gunned down Dharamveer Ullawas from the Gujjar camp.
Sandeep Garauli's gang also shot dead Gujjar's relative-driver Ashok Kumar in Gurgaon in the first week of October 2015.
Gujjar's men then murdered Rajkumar Sethi, who allegedly financed Sandeep Garauli.
Police Commissioner Navdeep Singh Virk said his force was determined to bring down the crime graph in Gurgaon, a business hub in Haryana that adjoins New Delhi.
He said Gujjar was in jail and the Crime Branch had eliminated Sandeep Garauli in Mumbai. The Crime Branch officials who killed him would get out of turn promotions.