Changing Scenario of Crime In Delhi Over Last 20 Years

The scenario of crime in Delhi has changed manifold in the last two decades. Criminal were somewhat raw those days, but now they are tech-savvy. However organized gangs of dreaded criminals, gang-wars and extortions are still exist but police have been able to control them significantly. Gangsters of U.P. have been replaced by criminals of Rohtak-Sonipat belt of Haryana. Deaths of criminals in police encounters were a common thing those days, which is rare now. Support for lower ranks from senior police officers was also a morale-booster those days, which does not or rarely exist now. Cyber crime is the new phenomena, which was not heard of those days.


If we talk about the police functioning since the early or mid nineties, there were no mobile phones or any other fast modes of communications. Even the police Stations, which are the backbones of the police functioning in a particular area, used to face acute shortage of staff and headed by only one officer of the rank of an Inspector, known as Station House Officer (SHO). It was in 1994 when there was flood of promotions among the rank of Inspectors (364) and ACsP (107) during the regime of the then CP Delhi Sh. M.B. Kaushal, one more Inspector got posted in almost all the police stations of Delhi. This Inspector was given the name of Additional SHO whose duty was to assist to the SHO in his day to day work and maintaining law and order in the area. The idea behind of posting additional inspectors at the police Stations of Delhi was to control the crime in Delhi.

The crime situation in Delhi since early nineties has gone a drastic change. Then a sense of fear was prevailed among the citizens about the organized gangs of criminals, who were involved in extortion and abductions. Those days most of the gangs of criminal hailed from western UP and South-western skirts of Delhi i.e. prominently known as Najafgarh belt of criminals in Delhi.

Among them notorious criminal gangs were Anoop-Balraj gang of village Mitrau and Krishan Pahalwan Gang of Village Dichau Kalan, both in the area of Najafgarh, south-west Delhi. There was a terror of both gangs in Delhi those days. In the month of june 1993, there was an incident of double murder of two businessmen in the broad daylight at Najafgarh. Due to this serious incident the traders had called a bandh in protest and resentment of the crime situation in the area. Anoop-Balraj gang was suspected in the case of this double murder of the trader brothers. Sh. Deepak Mishra the then DCP of West District was looking after the work of south-west district, because Sh. U.N.B. Rao, the then DCP of the area was on leave on the day of the incident of double murder. Sh. Deepak Mishra Najafgarh market and had a meeting with the traders. After having a detail discussion with the business community about the crime situation, particularly the involvements of Balraj and Kishan Pahalwan gangs of that area. He announced several remedial measures. Finally he also assured the traders to arrest all the main members of the gangs within a month.

To achieve the desired results of his commitment to the traders of Najafgarh, Sh. Deepak Mishra called me, the then SHO Tilak Nagar and Sh. Ravi Shankar, the then Inspector Special Staff West Distt., and assigned the job of apprehending all the members of one gang of criminals of our choice. I opted to apprehend all the main members of Krishan Pahalwan gang and Sh. Ravi Shankar was assigned to apprehend criminals of Anoop-Balraj gang. Both of us were asked to constitute special teams and given free hand to pick up the staff of our choice to include in the team. We were given 25 days for the job assigned to both of us and allowed to leave Delhi, if we so require in connection with search of these criminals. We both had worked hard day and night, visited, neighboring states of UP, Haryana and Rajasthan to get information about movements of these criminal gangs. As there is a saying “God help those who help themselves” I was able to arrest Krishan Pahalwan along with his three dreaded accomplices along with arms and ammunition, after a brief encounter in the area of P.S JanakPuri in the month of July 1993, i.e. within 18 days from the day when this task was assigned to me. After about 4-5 days Sh. Ravi Shankar was also successful in arresting Balraj along with his three associates including Narender of Village Jonti in a brief encounter. However, during investigation from both of these gang members, it was revealed that they were involved more into the criminal activities having motives of their personal rivalry and not much involved into the extortion rackets.

Even after arrest of the above-mentioned two major Gangs of South West Delhi, there was no much relief to the Delhites from extortion calls and threats of abductions. These were mainly because of the movements of the criminals of western UP. Notorious among them were Mahender Fauji, Satbir Gujjar, Keshav Gujjar of Delhi, Brijmohan Tyagi of Meerut, Rajbir Ramala of Baghpat and Ranpal Gujjar. These criminals were suspected to be having political patronage of the leaders of UP. Therefore, it was more difficult to lay hands on them without any concrete evidence. Secondly, due to their political patronage the common men/victims were not willing to come forward to give statements against them.

After that Sh. Deepak Mishra the then DCP West, once again imposed faith in me and assigned the task of apprehending known criminals of Western UP. With the help of the informers I apprehended KeshavGujjarand his associates with arms and ammunition, after a brief encounter in the area of P.S. Tilak Nagar New Delhi in the month of August 1994. He was having a reward of Rs. 2 Lakh on his head from Delhi and UP Police.

Subsequently I started working on the efforts to apprehend dreaded criminal Brij Mohan Tyagi of Meerut U.P., who had been allegedly involved in the extortion calls, threatening to the businessmen of Delhi for protection money and for contract killings etc. He was also suspected to have been threatening the candidates of NSUI in DUSU elections of 1994. With the help of the intelligence network about his movements in the nearby areas of Delhi University, Brij Mohan Tyagi was spotted in his car on 15th September 1994. I along with my police teams in our vehicles chased him from the area of Delhi University till Rajouri Garden where he was supposed to visit a businessman to kill him as he had a contract to kill him (SUPARI) for Rs. 50 Lakhs. However, as it was a good luck of the said businessman as well as of my team, that we surrounded Brij Mohan Tyagi’s Car at the traffic point of Raja Garden Chowk at about 2.15 PM on that day. As soon as we were about to reach to his car there was firing from his side. After that an encounter took place between him and my team. Finally Brij Mohan Tyagi along with one of his associates Anil Malhotra were killed in that encounter. I along with two members of my team i.e. H.C. Sunil Sharma and Const. Bijender Singh also sustained bullet injuries in that encounter. Three of the public persons/passersby were also injured due to the firing ensued by the criminals. There was a reward of Rs. three lakhs on his head by the UP and Delhi Police. This encounter was widely appreciated by the print as well electronic media and termed as “Real Encounter” at that time. I was severely injured by bullet injuries in my abdomen and remained in ICU of DDU hospital for about a fortnight. I got wholehearted support from my senior officers, colleagues, friends, well wishers etc., and with the blessings of all of them and the grace of “The Almighty”, I survived.

Interestingly Banners/posters in support of ABVP Candidates for DUSU elections were recovered from the car of assailed criminal Brij Mohan Tyagi, which were published by the media the next day i.e. 16th September 1994, on the day of the DUSU election. Probabley it was due to this news of Brij Mohan Tyagi’s encounter with the police and he being supporting to ABVP Candidates in DUSU elections, ABVP had been defeated on all the four posts in DUSU.

This was possible mainly due to the immense support of senior officers like Sh. Deepak Mishra, the then DCP West Disto trict and Sh. M.B. Kaushal the then CP of Delhi. In the present scenario, this type of support is found missing among the senior/supervisory officers at all levels of Delhi Police. This is the main reason that the officers up to the rank from constables to Inspectors do feel demoralized.

Over the decades there is a considerable change in the population, extension of areas and other circumstances like awareness among public in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Accordingly, the traditional policing also needs to be changed as per the need of the people, for whom the police administration is meant. The earlier slogan of Delhi Police i.e. “AAPKE LIYE, AAPKE SATH, SADAIV TATPAR’ was replaced to “SHANTI SEWA NYAYE” in 2013 by the then Commissioner of Police Sh. Bhim Sen Bassi after he took over charge as head of the strong force of more than 90,000/-. Basic Idea of changing this slogan seem to be going little bit beyond only helping the general public. In addition to that main emphasis which the then CP was to inculcate the feeling of security & confidence among the minds of common men living in Delhi clubbed with imparting justice to the victims of crime at the first hand.

As we all know Police of a particular area is the first responder to any scene of crime and deal with the victims of the crime in their respective area. At that time when the victim is really under the shock of any crime, he or she needs the words of sympathy and consoles. The police officer whosoever is deputed to deal with any particular crime or the victim needs to be much more sensitive towards the human psychology of the victim and that of the criminal as well. He or She must be of dual personality i.e. (i) Soft spoken and kindhearted person towards the victim of crime and (ii) Hardened for the criminals. This message should be clearly conveyed to all whosoever is concerned with that particular crime and to the common public in general.

Of late, there is general awareness among the people. The citizens are using social media and other social networking facilities. Criminals are adopting the latest electronic gadgets in committing crime. Cyber crime is very prevalent. Modus operandi of the criminals are also changing day by day. Hence seriously adopting the path of modernization by the police is the need of the hour, so that the police are much ahead of the criminals in this age of advancement of Information and Technology.

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