Special Correspondent

Rajasthan High Court had directed the police to nab him

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan police have captured the dreaded dacoit Laturi Thakur in the Parvati ravines of Dholpur district after an intervention by the Rajasthan High Court. The High Court had directed the police to launch a manhunt to nab the dacoit following the dacoit gang’s threats to Dalit families of Harajpura village.

Dalits threatened by Thakur’s gang had approached the High Court seeking directions to the police to provide security to them and protect their lives and property. An incident in Harajpura had especially led to fear and insecurity among Dalits in the region.

The police swooped down on Thakur near the Parvati river over the weekend after a tip-off that he and his gang were plotting a surprise attack and dacoity in one of the villages in Basedi tehsil. An anti-dacoit squad surrounded the dacoit and arrested him after an exchange of fire.

Police sources here said that a 315-bore gun and 11 live cartridges were seized from Laturi Thakur. Other members of the gang apparently fled even before the anti-dacoit force reached the spot.

Thakur and his gang had stormed Harajpura village in November last year and thrashed three Dalit youths while firing in the air. The dacoits left a letter for 19 Jatav families of the village demanding that they pay up Rs.1.50 lakh to the gang at a temple in the neighbouring Banaura village within ten days. “Or else be prepared to breathe your last,” warned the letter.

As the targeted families could not meet the “deadline”, a Jaipur-based non-government organisation, Babu Jagjivan Ram Samata Andolan, came to know of the incident and moved a public interest writ petition in the High Court on behalf of the Dalits.

The High Court, which issued notices to the Director-General of Police and others, was informed that the police had set up a temporary post in the village while making all possible efforts for protection of the people belonging to Scheduled Castes. The Court then directed the police to launch a hunt to arrest the dacoits and continue with the temporary post until the threat persisted.

The police launched a “hot pursuit” to nab Laturi Thakur and his accomplices after registering cases against them under Sections 34 (common intention), 149 (unlawful assembly) and 387 (extortion) of the Indian Penal Code.

More than a dozen cases of dacoity, extortion, atrocities against Dalits and attack on policemen were pending against Thakur in Dholpur and Karauli districts and in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.