New Delhi, February 2
The Special Cell of Delhi police has arrested Delhi and Haryana’s most wanted gangster 36-year-old Ashok Pradhan alias Shoki, a resident of Nilothi village in Jhajjhar district of Haryana, who was wanted in seven cases including four cases of murder and robbery.
He was carrying a reward of Rs 5,00,000 on his head in Haryana and Rs 25,000 in Delhi and was on the run since 2014 after jumping parole, police said on Tuesday.
His close aide Arun, from Matindu village in Haryana, who was wanted in three criminal cases including two cases of murder and one case of attempt to murder and was carrying a reward of Rs 1,00,000 on his head in Haryana has also been arrested.
A Maruti car, being driven by the accused and stolen from Rohtak, has also been recovered along with two sophisticated firearms. Both were arrested from Millennium Park, Outer Ring Road.
Ashok Pradhan has an ongoing rivalry with Neeraj Bawana (in jail) and his gang. In this feud, over a dozen persons have been killed in the last 10 years.
“Ashok Pradhan’s current obsession was eliminating Neeraj Bawana and his associate Naveen Bali, both of whom are presently in jail, on one of their upcoming court appearances. Since after implementation of the COVID-19 protocols, physical appearances of undertrial prisoners have been stopped, the accused were waiting for its resumption which has just begun. The timely apprehension of these dreaded criminals has scuttled their plans and saved many lives,” said Manishi Chandra, DCP Special Cell.
Ashok Pradhan joined neutralised gangsters Neetu Daboda and Kismat in 2001. He marked his arrival on the big crime stage with the murder of a village head in Bahadurgarh, Haryana, closely followed by the murder of a doctor in Bahadurgarh city.
Both these murders were executed on the orders of Neetu Daboda and were contract killings. Thereafter he went on a crime spree with Neetu Daboda, Kismat and others and was named in a number of criminal cases including contract killings, murders and kidnapping for ransom.
In 2004, while he was behind bars, his brother was murdered by his rival Rajeev, a resident of Ashoda in Haryana. After obtaining bail, Ashok Pradhan eliminated Rajeev and many of his associates one by one. He was again arrested, tried and sentenced for life.
In 2009, he got out on parole. After the neutralisation of his mentor Neetu Daboda by the Special Cell in 2013, he took over the reigns of Neetu’s gang and transformed it into the infamous ‘Pradhan gang’.
In 2016, he murdered Krishan, a resident of Barahi village of Haryana, who had murdered his second mentor Kismat.
After obtaining bail again he went off the police radar and owing to his continued criminal activities a reward of Rs 5,00,000 was put on his head in Haryana and of Rs 25,000 in Delhi.
In the last four months of the previous year, he had masterminded the murder of Neeraj Bawana’s gang member Shakti in October 2020. He also plotted the murder of Rohit, an associate of gangster Kala Jhathedi, in Katewra village in Bawana, Delhi in December 2020. — IANS