ANDHRA PRADESH

Experts in dealing stunning blows

Even children are involved in commission of crime

Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: Hit hard on the head of an animal to immobilise it. That is what hunters are taught. But, this principle is used by the Pardhi gang of dacoits on residents of houses they raid.

And this violent nature results in murders most macabre by the gang that was a notified criminal tribe during the British period.

150-year history

Explaining the modus operandi of the gang at a press conference here on Tuesday, the Cyberabad Police Commissioner, M. Mahender Reddy, said the tribe had a criminal history of over 150 years.

Most of the gang members hail from Gujarat. Over a period of time, some men belonging to Karnataka and Maharashtra also joined the original gang and settled in Maharashtra.

After independence, the Centre de-notified the tribe and came out with some rehabilitation schemes. However, some associates of the gang continued to indulge in dacoities.

Like nomadic tribes, they keep changing their shelter. A disturbing trend of the gang is even children below 15 years are involved in the commission of crime. They ask boys and women members to wait a few yards away from the house they raid. They then pass on the booty to children and women, Mr. Reddy said.

"They deliberately do this to avoid police. If a police party intercepts, the women claim jewellery as their own and escape," the Commissioner explained. Later, they split into groups only to meet again at a specific place.

Favourite haunts

The stolen property is then taken to Gujarat, Maharashtra or Rajasthan to be sold to jewellers. They prefer to `operate' in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat since they believe `returns are high' in the two States.

They vow not to divulge details of their accomplices in case of arrest by the police. In a few cases, some members were imposed fine to the tune of lakhs of rupees by the heads of gangs for spilling beans about the members. To ensure their shelters are not recognised, they put up tents in slum areas or where there are a large number of huts.

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