How The Police Used Phone Surveillance to Nab A Gang Of Impersonators

26 November 2015
The Nikshu gang would target loaded trucks running across Delhi-Haryana highways, intercept the vehicles by posing as policemen.
REUTERS/ADNAN ABIDI
The Nikshu gang would target loaded trucks running across Delhi-Haryana highways, intercept the vehicles by posing as policemen.
REUTERS/ADNAN ABIDI

On the night of 6 November 2015, 60-year-old Inder Singh, a farmer from Lalpur village in Faridabad, hired an Eicher truck to carry around 55 quintals of paddy to Narela Mandi, a grain market in north-west Delhi. The truck was being driven by 36-year-old Rahul from the Mau district of Uttar Pradesh. (Rahul’s last name, like those of many others involved in this case, was never ascertained.) The truck left Lalpur for Delhi at around 10 pm, carrying Singh and his consignment.

At around midnight, the truck had covered 40 kilometers and was still around 30 kilometers away from its destination in Narela. It was flagged down on the outer ring road, behind Red Fort, by a white sedan, a Maruti Swift DZire, with a lit red beacon on top. Two of the sedan’s six occupants—all of whom wore plainclothes—got out of the car, and claiming to be policemen, demanded to see the documents for the truck. Upon inspection, the men declared that the documents were problematic, and asked the driver to talk to their superior officer, who, they said, was sitting in the car. Inder and Rahul followed the men. On reaching the car, he and Rahul were pulled in and manhandled, while the two men got into the truck. Rahul’s hands were chained behind his back and Singh was threatened into remaining silent. The vehicles drove off towards national highway one, as before, with two men in the truck and six in the car.

Inder and Rahul were not the first to be duped by this gang of six, which was later found to be based in and around Bawana and Qutabgarh, areas in Delhi that lie about 10 kilometers apart. According to a Delhi Police press release dated 15 November, the gang members had impersonated policemen in five other cases of robbery. The press release went on to identify the six perpetrators, four from Qutabgarh, and one each from Sangam Vihar in north-east Delhi and Sonipat district, Haryana, as constituting the Nikshu gang—led by 25-year-old Naveen, alias Nikshu.

The gang’s modus operandi ran thus: it would target loaded trucks running across Delhi-Haryana highways, intercept the vehicles by posing as policemen and harass the occupants under the guise of scrutinising the vehicle’s documents. The gang members would then lure the driver to the stolen Swift DZire—a car commonly associated with the Delhi Police—and overpower him, making off with the truck.

The gang members stripped Inder and Rahul of their mobile phones and money, and at around 2 am, dropped them off near some fields in Sonipat. According to Singh’s statement, the two of them approached a passerby for help, who called 100—the toll free number to get in touch with the police in India. Policemen from the Narotha police station in Sonipat arrived soon after, and took them to the station.

Ishan Marvel is a reporter at Vantage, The Caravan.

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