Jaipur: Rajasthan Police had always expected Anandpal’s escape, which is why the gangster was normally escorted with about a hundred policemen but on Thursday, the security was scaled down to just 15 men.
Hundreds of policemen, ordered to wear bullet proof jackets, are searching for Anandpal Singh Didwana in Rajasthan even as his facebook friends are celebrating the Bollywood-style escape of the dreaded gangster late on Thursday.
Anandpal’s fans call him Robinhood and are expressing joy over his great escape. Some fear that it could well be a ploy to eliminate him in an encounter, police and rivals anticipate a bloody gang war and politicians are raising fingers of a high level connivance as he has friends and sympathisers both in police and politics.
Didwana is one gangster who like to flaunt his status and Facebook is the perfect place where he finds to do what he loves. His Facebook profile has a photo album which shows him as a relaxed, carefree smiling villain.
The great escape
Rajasthan Police had always expected Anandpal’s escape, which is why the gangster was normally escorted with about a hundred policemen but on Thursday, the security was scaled down to just 15 men.
Anandpal’s escape from the heavily armed custody of Rajasthan Police along with his two accomplices in Nagaur district while way to the high security Ajmer jail following a court hearing was straight from a Bollywood masala movie. On his way back from the court, Anandpal offered sweets to policemen thus intoxicating them. A little later, his aides blocked the road and started firing on the armoured vehicle injuring some policemen.
A Rajput symbol against Jat dominance
Anandpal, a Rajput, is viewed as a hero in Shekhawati region of Rajasthan as his rise has been about countering dominance of Jat criminals, mostly linked to the liquor mafia. He is facing serious charges including those of murders. His main rival is jat Raju Theth’s gang. Rajput-Jat gangwar has seen a number of murders and encounters in recent years besides sacking of half a dozen police officers for connivance.
Arrest and escape to save his life?
Anandpal’s arrest in Jaipur three years ago was as dramatic as his escape. He surrendered with huge cache of arms when surrounded by a special team of police days before another gangster Vijay Thekedar was to be killed. Was his surrender planned to keep him in safe custody in jail?
Anandpal’s escape too is linked to his bid for safety in jail as recently, police arrested brother of rival Raju Theth and recovered lot of arms. Anandpal has been apprehending attack on him in jail ever since.
Running empire from prison
Anandpal has been using cell phones in jail and during his appearances in the court. Even otherwise, given the clout he has in society, he has been able to build a strong network of criminals which are heavily into extortion. That has started taking toll on his “forced to become villain for poor Rajputs” image. Some members of his gang including a woman Anuradha Chaudhary, 32, a computer application graduate were arrested in April following kidnapping of Vinod Saraf, a trader in Sikar for ransom. Anandpal and Theth both are into extortion, ransom and protection money in a big way. It won’t be a surprise that locals start turning against Anandpal soon.