* Assam Police busts well-organised gang active from Ladakh to NE, Delhi to Mumbai
*Anil Chauhan’s Congress member wife an accomplice, cops search their posh mansion in Ghy
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, April 3: He is a class 12 drop-out and used to drive an autorickshaw at Khanpur in South Delhi for a living. Starting off with petty crimes, he graduated to become one of India's 'most wanted' car lifters, with footprints from Ladakh to Dimapur and from the tiol capital to Mumbai and even Nepal.
Declared a proclaimed offender by several courts in Delhi and a fugitive by Delhi Police, he has to his me over 3,500 cases of car lifting in the country.
Despite being arrested by police in the past, he had successfully maneuvered to obtain bail, continuing the cat and mouse game with law enforcers for several years now.
But his luck ran out last night in Guwahati, where after a prolonged effort, the Assam Police maged to b 45-year Anil Chauhan, for the fifth time, busting one of the country’s most organized car-lifting rackets.
“He was travelling with another car lifter Mamood Choudhury in a Hyundai Eon (AS01 BE 0569) when he was intercepted at Azara and arrested. We found two 9mm pistols, some ammunition, car breaking tools and mobile phones form his possession,” Guwahati police commissioner Mukesh Agarwalla said.
Chauhan is also suspected to be involved in smuggling of weapons and animal parts, including the endangered gecko lizard.
“He is a veteran and the kingpin of an important gang which has its network in several places in the country, including Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata besides Assam, Meghalaya, galand, Mizoram and Manipur in the Northeast. He is wanted by police in several states, including Delhi, Maharashtra and Meghalaya. He could evade the police because of his secretive style of functioning. Even his team members were not informed about his location,” the police commissioner said, adding that Delhi and Mumbai police have been intimated about Chauhan’s arrest.
Police found phone numbers of some senior lawyers in his mobile phone log.
Chauhan’s wife Rita in an active Congress member of Guwahati and they own a posh mansion at Dwarka gar in Sixth Mile area of the city. Police had laid several traps in the residence in the past, but had failed to b Chauhan. His residence has a state-of-the-art security system, making it difficult for random people to have access to it.
Interestingly, a massive search has been launched at his residence from where police seized a Bolero vehicle with an Assam Assembly car pass affixed to the windshield, purportedly stating that the owner of the vehicle is MLA Rumi th. The car pass mes Chauhan as the vehicle driver. Police are now verifying the ownership of the vehicle.
Earlier, Chauhan was arrested in Guwahati in 2004. The last time he was arrested was in August 2010, by a joint team of Assam and Meghalaya police in Silchar.
Some major car lifting gangs busted in Delhi and other north Indian states have revealed that their “godfather” is Chauhan.
Delhi Police had in 2004 announced a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head, after which he shifted base to the Northeast.
For some time, the huge risks had forced Chauhan to turn to stching but he again shifted to car lifting in the Northeast, police said.
An expert key maker, Chauhan and his gang used to take the stolen vehicles to Nepal and Jammu and Kashmir, police say.
He married twice, the second wife being his partner in crime too.
Chauhan’s notorious car lifting gang was involved in more than 400 cases of car lifting in Delhi alone, and had a disposal chain upto Nepal and the Northeast as well as in the remote areas of Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand etc, according to the Delhi Police website.
In Delhi, Anil Chauhan and his gang lifted vehicles as per the order received, parking the lifted vehicles at different parking lots in Delhi, Ghaziabad and Noida. The gang used to get Rs. 15,000 to 30,000 per vehicle, as per its make and condition. A second group prepared the fake documents of different Transport Authorities of J&K, as per the make, engine number and chassis number of the stolen vehicles parked in the different parking lots. After getting the fake documents and information regarding parked stolen vehicles, another group received the stolen vehicles, took them to safe places and disposed of them in remote areas of J&K, Leh-Laddakh, Uttarakhand, the Northeastern states as well as in Nepal too.
In 2005, Chauhan came to the Northeast where his modus operandi changed. His gang members used to pose as executives and hire vehicles to hilly areas like Shillong, Aizwal etc. At a secluded place, the crimils used to kill the driver and take away the car. Of late, his gang had even started waylaying trucks and looting their goods on highways.