Was booked under TADA; had once unleashed a reign of terror in Delhi, neighbouring States

In a development that seems to be coming out of film scripts where the world of crime is always portrayed as a one-way street, the Delhi Police “chanced upon” a dreaded gangster of the 90s attempting a comeback by donning the mantle of an ideologue. The period for which the accused Manoj Kumar Shehrawat remained dormant and away from the clutches of law is a staggering 21 years.

Forty-six-year-old Shehrawat was trying to re-establish himself by associating with members of Neeraj Bawana gang as well as Baghpat’s Sunil Rathee gang, said the police. He was in the Capital for a little over a month and arrested by a Delhi Police Crime Branch team that was carrying out raids to arrest members of the Neeraj Bawana gang suspected to be involved in a road rage incident in Bawana last month in which two brothers were shot dead.

Shehrawat — who had allegedly launched a spell of terror in the Capital and neighbouring States during his heydays and was even booked under the now repealed Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act — had assumed different identities during the hiatus, said the police.

According to Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime), he ventured into different businesses, changed cities and even raised a family.

On the arrest, Mr. Yadav said that based on a tip-off that a member of the Neeraj Bawana gang would come to Dwarka Link Road, a trap was laid.

“The raiding team saw an SUV bearing an Uttar Pradesh number plate coming from the side of Bijwasan. The car was signalled to stop, but the driver tried to speed away. In a bid to get away, the SUV hit against a nearby tree. The driver then whipped out a sophisticated pistol and shot two rounds at the police personnel, who fired in retaliation. Finally the team overpowered the accused and seized his pistol. He was arrested. The man disclosed that he was Manoj Kumar Shehrawat, once a wanted criminal who was residing in Ahmedabad under the alias of Sanjay,” said Mr. Yadav.

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