Jagan Gurjar To Lawrence Bishnoi: Tracing Decades Of Crime In Rajasthan

Here's taking a look at dacoits, gangsters and criminals who ruled Rajasthan and became synonymous with terror.

Anandpal Singh, Raju Theth, Lawrence Bishnoi

Rajasthan enjoys a reputation for its royalty and opulence. The Indian state is hailed as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, and Rajasthani food and culture too, enjoy a special status. However, the state of law and order in many parts of Rajasthan have gone from bad to worse. Besides a rich heritage and folklore, Rajasthan has been home to dacoits, criminal gangs and most-wanted personalities. So much so that some of them date back to pre-independence era, while others ruled the valleys for decades only to surrender recently.

The Bawariya community has been long associated with ‘criminal’ activities in Rajasthan. However, the focus seems to have been a one-sided affair. The British Raj saw the community carry out hunting activities and present their kill to the royals. Over the years, the Bawariyas have become an alienated bunch and have been identified as ‘untouchable,’ and they are deprived of basic amenities.

Jagan Gurjar, on the other hand, became synonymous with terror. He entered the world of crime to avenge the murder of his brother-in-law and eventually took over Dholpur, which is surrounded by ravines on three sides. Jagan first started his gang with his wife and three brothers in 1994. Such was his terror that no marriage took place in the areas under his control for the next 10 years! He was arrested a couple of times but was released on bail each time. Eventually, Jagan, who has 92 cases of murder, abduction, looting and extortion filed against him, surrendered to the police last year.

Anandpal Singh is a notorious gangster active in Rajasthan from 1992 to 2017. In 1992, Singh led his baraat on a ghodi much against the traditional norms. After marriage, he started a cement factory but politics caught his fancy soon. However, it was only after his ambitions were crushed by that of senior leaders, allegedly, that he entered the world of crime. Illegal liquor trade, land possession, and a Robin Hood-style put the spotlight on Singh directly. With every crime, grew his popularity. So much so that social media was flooded with fan pages during his prison term. This explains the massive outrage after the police shot him dead in a 2017 encounter, in Churu’s Malasar. Singh’s family refused to accept his mortal remains for 19 days, demanding a CBI investigation into his passing away. Finally, in January 2018, CBI took up the case and the investigation is still on. A young man who wanted to contest elections ended up becoming a most-wanted criminal.

Another example of a man who enjoys widespread popularity despite being on the wrong side of the judiciary is Vishal Choudhary. He has more than 40 criminal cases including extortion, theft, robbery, blackmailing, open fire and attempt to murder registered against him. Raju Theth, who was Anandpal’s arch nemesis, also secures a place in the list of Rajasthan criminal record holders. His gang had allegedly attacked Singh in Bikaner Central Jail, killing three people.

Lawrence Bishnoi is on the rise to become the new gang leader. Notably, he is the same person who openly issued a threat to Salman Khan last year. The history-sheeter and his gang have claimed several murders in the recent past and have many cases lodged against them.

Needless to mention, Rajasthan has earned a dubious reputation with the increase in crime rates. According to data released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2017, Rajasthan is ranked among the top-10 states with crimes against women, suggests a leading news portal. A police data for 2019 (January to August), as reported by a news portal, states that 17 rape, 26 molestation and 24 abduction cases are reported in the state every day.

Given the state, it is the need of the hour to stop the expansion of criminals and gangs so as to eradicate crime from Rajasthan.

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