Ten years and 17 deaths later, two gangs end hostilities at mosque


New Delhi: After 10 years and 17 deaths, two gangs operating in the capital’s trans-Yamuna area have called a truce. In the presence of clerics and families from both sides, the arch-rivals decided to end hostilities during a meeting at a mosque in northeast Delhi on Monday.  It is learnt that gang leader Abdul Nasir (33) was at the meeting, while his adversary Irfan alias Chhenu Pehalwan (34) was represented by his cousins. Chhenu is currently in jail.

When asked about the development, DCP (northeast) Atul Thakur said, “We are not aware about any such development.”

Police said the gangs have been fighting for supremacy over the betting business since 2010. The resulting gang war has claimed dozens of lives — including that of a Delhi Police constable who was shot dead at Karkardooma court in 2015.  Both men were lodged in Tihar Jail, but Nasir got bail on medical grounds on May 19.

“A day after he got out of prison, Nasir sent a message seeking a compromise and called a meeting at a mosque. But he did not turn up on time. He was then busy with his wedding till June 1. On Monday, another meeting was called. Family members of both gangs and 10 maulvis of different mosques were present. Chhenu’s cousin sorted matters with Nasir. They decided to divide their operating areas or start working together,” one of the family members present at the mosque told The Indian Express.

However, sources said, the elder brother of Mohammad Wajid (35), who was shot dead in Brahmpuri, was not convinced by the compromise.

According to police, in 2004, Nasir and his younger brother Nadir Hayat (31) were supplying illegal arms to local criminals. “In 2007, Nasir began operating a betting business and TV cable network in northeast Delhi,” said a senior Crime Branch official.

Police said Nasir came in contact with another criminal, Hashim Baba. Their rivals were Aakeel Mama and Chhenu of Seelampur. Things took a turn for the worse after Nasir’s associate Aatif eloped with a girl, who was the daughter of businessman Haji Mateen. “Mateen was financially helping Aakeel, who killed Aatif in Jaffrabad. Since then, the rivalry intensified and Mateen was killed by Nasir in 2012,” said an officer.

Over the next few years, at least five people were killed on both sides. Nasir and Chhenu were later arrested and sent to Tihar Jail. In 2015, police said Nasir asked four juveniles to kill Chhenu while he was being produced at Karkardooma court. “The juveniles opened fire. Three bullets hit the constable, who died at the spot. Chennu and a court clerk were injured,” said the officer, adding that Nadir was arrested a few days ago.


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