Operation D24 involving at least 38 police officers, repeated raids across ten states, 20 arrests over the past year and one fugitive ended on Friday night in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur with the arrest of wanted gangster Kala Jathedi and Anuradha Chaudhary.
Sandeep alias Kala Jathedi landed in the police net after being on the run since he escaped from the Haryana police’s custody in Faridabad in February 2020. The Delhi Police caught him along with Anuradha Chaudhary, also known as Revolver Rani, an outlaw and Jathedi’s love interest.
Jathedi, carrying a cash reward of Rs 7 lakh, has more than 35 criminal cases against him, with at least 10 in Delhi. He faces charges of two murders, five robberies, an attempt to murder, extortion, and illegal possession of arms. Of the Rs 7 lakh cash reward, the Delhi police announced Rs one lakh while the remaining six were by Haryana police, senior officers said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell-Counter Intelligence) Manishi Chandra said multiple special cell teams have arrested more than 20 key members of Jathedi’s gang in different operations over the past year.
“Based on their in-depth interrogations, we started trailing the identifiers from Goa and the search led them to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand. In its dogged pursuit, the team was finally able to grab footage that showed Jathedi donning a Sikh attire along with Anuradha. The operation was code-named ‘D-24’ to signify that the criminal was running ahead of us by only 24 hours," Chandra said.
Talking about the operation, he said the teams managed to zero down on Jathedi at a toll in Saharanpur when he was driving a Swift car at the Yamuna Nagar highway. “The vehicle was intercepted and the occupants were nabbed. It found that Anuradha Chaudhary was also accompanying him. Both were arrested and a PX-3 pistol belonging to Jathedi and an IOB 0.38 bore revolver from Chaudhary was recovered," the DCP said.
On Saturday, the police produced both the fugitives in a Delhi court that sent them to 14-day police custody.
Chandra said Jathedi and Chaudhary were the heads of gangs run by jailed criminal Lawrence Bishnoi along with Sube Gujjar and Goldy Brar, who operate from outside India. On March 25, Jathedi’s gang played a key part in helping gangster Kuldeep Fazza escape from police custody from GTB Hospital, which was later neutralised by the police.
Under a well-planned conspiracy, the gang members had even floated the fake news of Jathedi fleeing India to divert police attention, police said. “Jathedi disguised himself as a Sikh and had sported a beard, wearing a turban. After Chaudhary joined him, they obtained fake identities as husband-wife and were constantly shifting bases across different States to avoid trial by the law enforcement agencies," he added.
Police have found that Chaudhary has a long criminal history of crimes including kidnapping, extortion, Arms and Excise Act violations, cheating, etc.
She was a close associate of Rajasthan based gangster Anand Pal, who died in a police encounter in June 2017. She was carrying a reward of Rs 10,000 declared by the Rajasthan police on her arrest.
DCP Chandra said Chaudhary is known for inciting terror amongst the business community of Nagaur, Sikar, Didwana etc., in Rajasthan and uses burst fire from AK-47, her favourite weapon, for intimidating her victims. “She has over 12 criminal involvements in Rajasthan and is currently running wanted in two separate FIRs of abduction, extortion and firing registered in Nagaur, Rajasthan," he added.