Kanpur Thirty years is a long time for a gang to rule a state, even if it is Uttar Pradesh. But the D-2 gang, Dawood Ibrahim’s most prominent representative in this part of India, continued to strike terror across UP and neighbouring states from their ‘headquarters’ in Kanpur from 1975 to 2005. Now, the rule is finally over.
Action against the Band of Six Brothers began only after Mulayam Singh Yadav became UP chief minister in August 2003.
Today, three of the brothers have been killed in encounters, including their head Rafiq. He was killed in Kanpur on April 24 after his arrest in Kolkata a month earlier. Two more are now in jail serving life sentences. Only one of the brothers is still on the run.
Call it Mulayam’s vendetta against D-2— known for its BSP leanings—or efficent police action, UP’s sense of relief cannot be undermined. With 250 criminal cases, property worth several crores and formidable clout in political circles, D-2 had a presence all over the state.
‘‘It all survived so long due to political backing,’’ concedes Uttar Pradesh DGP Yashpal Singh.
THE story of D-2 begins in 1975,when Taufiq, who first led the gang, was booked in a murder at Chamanganj police station in Kanpur. The gang, for the next six years, comprised five brothers, till Rafiq too joined them. He announced his inclusion in 1981 by murdering a police informer in Kanpur. A few years later he was heading the company.
‘‘ D-2 struck on all important organs of the state to stamp its supremacy,’’ says SSP Kanpur P C Meena. Be it the assassination of prominent politician Shahid Iraki, killing two advocates—including the well-known Khurshid Ahmed, who was pursuing cases against the gang—or Special Task Force Constable Dharmendra Singh, the D2 gang’s hand was seen everywhere.
Land grabbing and contract killings were the gang’s speciality. In fact, in Kanpur alone, police siezed D-2 property worth Rs 2.91 crores last year, says SSP Kanpur P C Meena.
IN the mid-1980s, Atiq, one of the brothers, realised the importance of being politically inclined. Senior officials in UP police say it was during that time, when Atiq became the state vice-president of the BSP, that D-2 came close to various influential politicans of the state. That was the story till August 2003, or as long as Mayawati ruled as UP chief minister. Mulayam proved to be D-2’s nemisis.
Iqbal was the first to be killed. Atiq, the gang’s grand old man, decided to counter Mulayam’s aggression by smuggling in explosives to Lucknow, but the consignement was caught.
Mulayam’s men in khaki then came back hard at D-2. On August 17 2004, as D-2 shot down STF Constable Dharmendra Singh in Kanpur, the police retaliated by killing two sharpshooters of the gang. On October 13 came the big catch: Taufiq, the oldest brother of the gang, was killed by the police in Kanpur.
Two other brothers, Shafiq and Afzal, too, have been arrested. ‘‘ Both Afzal and Shafiq have been convicted by the court and sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case of Koli Bazaar in Kanpur. Shafiq has also been sentenced for life in a kidnapping-cum-murder case committed in Pune. Both these sentences have been reaffirmed by the Supreme Court,” says DGP Singh.
GETTING D-2 head Rafiq was, however, the real story. On March 29, 2005, an SOG team from Kanpur raided his house in Chotu Babu Lane in Kolkata. In judicial custody till April 23, Kanpur police got Rafiq for interrogation. The next night, Rafiq was found dead.
‘‘He was shot by members of a rival gang in the head as he was guiding a police team to a safehouse in Kanpur’s Govind Nagar locality, where he had allegedly stored an AK-47 rifle and a pistol. Two sub-inspectors and five constables were also injured in the shootout between police and three men of a rival gang who had reached the spot on a motorbike. One of the accused has been been arrested,’’ claims Meena.
‘‘D-2 has been nuetralised now. It took so long apparently because the gang enjoyed political clout. But now, the CM is clear that crimes like these needed to be nipped in the bud,’’ says the DGP.
Only Atiq now remains elusive. ‘‘We will get him soon as well,’’ says SSP Meena.