Mafia don Brajesh Singh arrested

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Lucknow, Jan 24: The special Cell of the Delhi Police, with the assistance of their Orissa counterparts, has arrested dreaded Eastern Uttar Pradesh mafia don Brajesh Singh, wanted in several cases of murder and kidnapping in UP, Bihar and Jharkhand.

Brajesh was absconding since 2001 after being injured in an encounter with the gang members of another mafia and Independent MLA Mukhtar Ansari in Gazipur district. Brajesh is said to be close to some bigwigs of Bharatiya Janata Party, especially the ''Thakur'' lobby. His brother Udaynath alias Chulblu Singh is a BJP MLC in the upper house of the state legislature.

The mafia don was arrested in Bhubaneswar on Jan 23 by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police when he was travelling in a Honda City car. State Additional Director General of Police (Crime, Law and Order and STF) Brij Lal confirmed the arrest of Brijesh in the Orissa capital. ''The arrest will certainly put an end to criminal activities in East UP by the gang members,'' he said.

The ADG said the mafia don would be brought to Lucknow on a transit remand very soon. A narco test would be carried out on him to find out the modus operandi of the gang members, he added. The UP government had announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh on the head of Brajesh against whom there are at least 22 criminal cases in different parts of the state.

Mr Lal said a fake passport in the name of one Ajay Singh was also seized from Brajesh at the time of his arrest. News of Brajesh appeared in the media in July 2001 after his encounter with Mukhtar gang. He was said to have been killed or seriously injured in the encounter.

Brajesh Singh was a close friend of the Independent MLA from Mau Mukhtar Ansari before they became enemies. An accused in the recent Mau communal riots, Ansari is lodged in Ghazipur jail. On July 16, members of the notorious Brajesh Singh gang ambushed Ansari's car in Ghazipur district. Ansari escaped but four others were killed in the exchange of fire. It had been alleged that Brajesh was hired by a former Chief Minister to eliminate Ansari.

Brajesh wields considerable support among the Thakur community in eastern Uttar Pradesh. His major source of earning had been the coal belt of Jharkhand and kidnapping for ransom.

According to Mr Brij Lal, after the murder of Brajesh's father in 1984, he entered the world of crime and in 1986 carried out large- scale killings in Chandauli district of the state.

Quoting reports from Orissa, the UP Police said Brajesh had been staying in Bhubaneswar for the last three years and running 'Vindyachal Real Estate Developers Pvt Ltd' as a cover. The Delhi Police has sought a transit remand for him from a local court.

UNI

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