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Sunday, June 11, 2023

Highway thief Hanif Khan and his son Madin shot dead by Gujarat police

A wanted man under the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organized Crime Act (GUJCTOC Act) Hanif Khan Malek (44) and his son Madin (18) were shot dead by Gujarat police after the duo attacked and critically wounded a policeman.

Surendranagar district DySP Himanshu Doshi informed that they received information that the duo would visit their village. Following this, a police patrol team led by the Inspector of Malvan police station went to the Gediya village. 

Upon seeing the police, Hanif attacked and fired thrice while his son Madin struck with a sickle.  Despite being seriously injured, Sub-Inspector VN Jadeja drew his service revolver and killed them both. 

Many members of Hanif’s family, including his wife Bilkis, brother Rashid Khan, cousin Ajrat Khan and brother-in-law Wasim Khan are all in jail for crimes under GUJCTOC. Hanif alias Kalo Munno had 86 criminal cases against him and was wanted in 59 of them.  The Gediya gang has multiple incidents of crime against their name. 

Their family refused to accept the corpses and alleged that there were ‘no major charges’ against Hanif and Madin. They added that the encounter was ‘unnecessary’ and they were shot in the chest and stomach. The family refused to remove the bodies, and demanded ‘justice’. Defying logic, they told reporters that the police had ‘no right to shoot’.

One can expect the likes of Teesta Setalvad and high-powered Lutyens’ lawyers like Prashant Bhushan or Colin Gonsalves to take up arms for the criminal family, and the matter to come up for hearing in SC. In that scenario, it is hoped that the Gujarat government and Gujarat Police fully back PSI Jadeja in the ensuing legal battle.

Gediya gang would target lonely fully laden lorries at night. Switching off their headlights, they could close in behind the unsuspecting truck drivers. Some would stealthily board when they approach speed breakers and transfer materials through a hole made in the tarpaulin covers. On some nights, they would stop cars on the freeway, assault the passengers and then loot.  

In early May this year, Surendranagar police recovered electrical fans and electronic items including 32 LED TVs, batteries and cosmetic items that were stolen from a farm and a moving truck. The loot was found hidden in 6 villages in the vicinity and was worth 14 lakhs. Suspicions fell on the Gediya gang and Hanif’s name popped up along with Hazrat Khan & Rimiz Manek. 

The same month saw the arrest of another gang leader, 29-year-old Hazrat Khan Malek by the Ahmedabad police. He was carrying a pistol and ammunition. Hazrat had 80 cases booked against him and was wanted in 71 of them. Back in 2016, he had fired upon the police which allowed his accomplice Wasim Khan Malek to flee. 

In May 2016, a police team was attacked with sharp weapons after criminals blocked the road in the same area. The team had gone to arrest earlier mentioned Wasim (27) when his relatives tried their luck against the police. Police fired 3 rounds into the air and the criminals ran away. 

Wasim had jumped bail in a murder case and carried out 5 highway robberies, after procuring parole. He too belonged to the same gang and was from Gediya and was involved in over 100 cases. Other than theft from commercial vehicles and contract killing, he had cases of robbery, dacoity and extortion against his name. 

With this encounter, only 2 remain of the 20 odd infamous Gediya gang (also known as the Tadpatri gang) that operated out of Surendranagar district. These highway robbers terrorized  multiple districts of Gujarat. 

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