Police on Friday claimed to have busted an inter-state gang of dacoits allegedly involved in killing of 14 truck drivers and cleaners and looting goods. Four members of the gang were arrested and a truck loaded with goods was seized, police added. Inspector general (IG) Bhopal Jaydeep Prasad briefing about the gang’s modus operandi said that assailants would befriend drivers and loot their trucks after killing them.
While the goods were sold in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar, the parts of the vehicles were sold in Bihar, he said. The accused had committed murders in Maharashtra and other states too. Prasad said that Adesh Khabra (50) and Jaykaran Prajapati (30) were the kingpins, while their aides Tukaram Banjara and Mahesh helped them to dispose of the looted booty. To con the truckers Jaikaran would pose as driver and present Adesh as the truck owner. Police would also look into their involvement in five similar murders.
During interrogation, the accused confessed to have murdered 14 truck drivers, said IG. “The assailants used to befriend truck drivers and cleaners and arrange alcohol party for them during which drinks and snacks laced with sedatives were served. Once the drivers and cleaners fell asleep, they were killed, explained Prasad.
He said the bodies of the deceased used to be dumped in far-off places or thrown into water bodies while the goods were sold in the grey market and the trucks dismantled and disposed of in parts. The police claimed that the arrested accused have confessed to committing such crimes in Bhopal, Mandideep, Misrod and Bilkhiria in last one year , while similar killings and lot were committed in Hoshangabad, Guna and Nagpur (in Maharashtra) earlier.
Prasad said a probe team was formed after several such crimes spread over different districts of the state came to light. The case was cracked after body of a truck driver Makhan Singh (25) was recovered from a nullha on Aug 15 evening in Bilkhiria area. A few days later, police found a truck abandoned in Ayodhya Nagar area. During investigation it was found that the truck driver Makhan was killed and 11 ton iron rods from his truck were looted. Later police nabbed three persons involved in selling of the looted iron rods.
However, the kingpin of the gang is still on the run. While probing the case, police established a link between Bilkhiria case and another truck loot case in Vidisha. Police arrested accused in the case who later confessed about their involvement in other loot incidents and thereafter many cases were cracked, said Misrod SHO Sanjeev Choskey. With Friday’s arrest, the total numbers of accused have reached nine. Bhopal police have also issued contact numbers of the team officials probing the cases and urged the residents to inform them if they came across similar incidents.