Millennium Post

Modus operandi of accused similar to that of 'axle gangs'

In a recap of the horrific Bulandshahr gang-rape incident in July last year, the notorious 'axle gangs' have again started terrifying the Delhi-NCR.

Thursday's gang-rape of four women of a family and murder of the head of the same family is a testament to the active presence of such gangs on highways connecting Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

According to locals, these gangs – mostly belonging to native Rajasthani Tribes – have been involved in over 50 incidents of rape, besides robbery, murder and other heinous crimes on various highways in the region.

The modus operandi of axle gangs involves throwing axles or iron rods in front of moving vehicles, so as to puncture the tyres or damage the vehicle and bring it to a halt.
After the vehicle stops, the gang overpowers the vehicle's occupants and loot them.

The first time such a gang came to the fore was in Bulandshahr on December 31, 2014, when six members of one such gang were arrested in connection with a brutal
attack on eight members of a family of a brick kiln owner in Dibai.

Jagdish Bawaria, the gang leader, confessed to having committed more than 200 dacoities and robberies in western Uttar Pradesh alone in the last five years.

"They generally do a recce for 8-10 days and include a local source to help out in their operations and usually conduct at least three crimes at one spot. Because of their high mobility, it often becomes difficult to trace the gang. They not only commit murder and loots, but specifically target women. People come to know about their brutal acts on various occasions but are scared to report to police in all cases," said a villager.

Similar gangs were reportedly behind the Bulandshahr gang-rape, where a mother-daughter duo were raped while other family members were beaten mercilessly and robbed of jewellery worth about Rs 20 lakh.

Failing to control the brutal acts of these gangs, the Uttar Pradesh Police recently put up notices in Hindi warning commuters about the gangs' modus operandi.
"The pamphlets warn commuters about any noise emanating from nearby, especially during odd hours. If commuters sense that their vehicle has suffered a tyre burst or puncture, they should not stop immediately but keep on driving slowly. They can dial 100 and inform the police," said a senior police official.
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