Munna Bajrangi’s murder inside UP jail sparks fears of gang war

Mafioso Munna Bajrangi’s murder inside Baghpat district jail has got senior police officers worried about the possibility of a gang war between criminals of east and west Uttar Pradesh. Police sources said Bajrangi had a big network and his gang could try and avenge their mentor’s killing.

Police said that a group of young supporters accompanied Bajrangi’s aggrieved family when they came to receive his body after post-mortem examination. “Anger was visible on their faces,” said a police officer who did not wish to be named.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in UP prisons.

Jail authorities are keeping a close watch on visitors coming to meet gangsters. On Tuesday, ADG, UP jails, Chandra Prakash visited Baghpat prison to take a stock of security arrangements. He was accompanied by DIG, jail, Meerut region, Sanjeev Tripathi.

“We are further strengthening security at prisons in the state. The security of Baghpat district jail will be enhanced by installing CCTV cameras at its entrance and on the premises,” said Prakash.

On the other hand, senior criminal lawyer OP Sharma said Bajrangi’s well-executed murder showed that gangsters were practically ruling the jails. “Prisons are no more places of punishment for big gangsters who use them as safe places for running their murky operations,” he said.

“It is an open secret that nobody dares to search gangsters and their aides, which helps them smuggle whatever they want inside. Prison authorities don’t want to displease them after seeing the fate of a few jail officials who dared to oppose gangsters in the past,” he added.

To recall, a few years ago, a jailer posted at Roorkee prison in Uttarakhand was attacked for allegedly taking a tough stance against gangsters. “Cops have been killed for trying to nail gangsters and check their activities in prison,” Sharma said.

How criminals expanded network

Over the years, gangsters of east and west UP have joined hands to create new support groups.

For instance, Bajrangi was the right hand man of gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari, who joined hands with dreaded west UP criminals Anil Dujana and Sanjeev Jeeva to counter the strength of east UP ganglords Dhananjay Singh and Brajesh Singh. The Singhs, in turn, were associated with Sunder Bhati and Sunil Rathi of west UP.

Police officials said they could not deny the possibility of some of these gangsters being involved in planning and executing Bajrangi’s killing.

Sources said Bajrangi had confronted Rathi for accepting the contract for his murder, which had led to an altercation between the two. Finally, proving Bajrangi’s doubts true, Rathi shot him dead.

Many gangsters of west UP, such as Yogesh Bhadaura, Udham Singh, Sariq and Anil Dujana have been shifted from west UP to jails of east and central UP, to put a check on their activities.

However, cops said that criminals used the opportunity to mix up with other prisoners and develop new contacts to expend their network and eliminate their rivals.

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