To prevent a backlash after the murder of jailed gangster Manjeet Mahal’s father in Najafgarh on Sunday, the Delhi Police will carry out a review to assess the threat to relatives of all major criminals in the area who are currently behind the bars.

The police will then arrange for security in their villages to ensure they are not targeted by rival gangs, a senior police officer told HT. The two main villages where the security of those on target will be assessed are Mitraon and Dichaon Kalan which have been the centre stage of gang wars over the last two decades. Six suspects have been detained by the police in connection with the case, however there has been no breakthrough so far.

“We will meet the family members of these jailed gangsters to find out who all are under threat,” said the officer. Security has already been heightened in the two villages. Police patrolling had been increased and additional barricades have been set up.

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Mahal’s 74-year-old father Shri Kishan was gunned down on Sunday morning. Mahal is currently lodged in Tihar Jail on charges of murdering former MLA Bharat Singh two years ago.

The police are also speaking to the village elders to request them to keep the criminal elements in check. They will also ask the jail authorities to increase the security for the gangsters behind bars as they could be easy targets in prison.

Till Sunday night the police were also probing the role of Bharat Singh’s brother and gangster-turned-politician, Krishan Pehalwan. However, they have now said that it was unlikely that his men carried out the killing.

The focus is now on a gang led by Kapil Sangwan and Suraj Bhan who have had a long-standing rivalry with Mahal. The tension in their rivalry was heightened in December 2015 when Mahal and his associate, Nafe Singh alias Mantri, allegedly gunned down Sangwan’s friend Sunil aka Doctor.

Sangwan’s gang had retaliated the same night by killing Mantri’s father but the cycle of revenge did not end there. Over the next few months, the gang allegedly killed Mantri’s driver and a friend. With Mahal’s father being killed on Sunday, the toll on Mahal’s side has already climbed up to four.

With the help of CCTV footage of the latest murder, the police have zeroed in on the persons involved in the attack, but they were yet to arrest anyone till Monday afternoon. “We are close to cracking the case,” said another senior police officer.

Main players:

  • Manjeet Mahal: He has been in the crime world for over two decades and was arrested last month for the murder of former MLA Bharat Singh. He is currently lodged in jail. He is in rivalry with several gangs, main among them being led by Krishan Pehalwan and Kapil Sangwan-Suraj Bhan.
  • Kapil Sangwan: He sees Manjeet Mahal as the main roadblock in his rise as the top gang leader in Najafgarh area. His interests include extortion and land grabbing. He is currently in jail after being arrested from Jaipur early last year.
  • Nafe Singh alias Mantri: He is the right hand of Manjeet Mahal gang. His father was gunned down in December 2015 in retaliation to the murder of a member of the Kapil Sangwan gang by him. He is on the run.