nights in police parlance do not augur well for the community
in terms of their propensity for crime incidence. Under cover
of dark, criminals find it more convenient to commit robberies,
dacoities, house break-ins and lootings and fade away easily.
Over the centuries, certain ethnic tribes developed a measure
of success in eking their livelihood through a life devoted to
commission of crime, especially during dark nights. The British
termed them 'The Criminal Tribes of India'.
Independence in 1947, and the Government of India rightly de-notified
them to bring them within the purview of the reformatory measures
and reservations earmarked for the 'scheduled tribes'. Many took
advantage of the Government's developmental and benevolent policies,
especially in terms of reservations in services etc. and plunged
on to a path of progress. For many others though, the die-hard
habit of an addiction to a life of crime was something that could
not easily be given up.
dark night policing continues to attract measures to contain members
of these so-called ex-criminal tribes; and over the years, such
of these tribes which still fight a rear guard action against
giving up a life of crime have been listed by various police forces
of the country according to their particular and peculiar modus
operandi, rituals, areas of operation and so on.
of these tribes still consider the commission of crime a sacred
ritual - a God sent means for their livelihood. And hence from
headman down to last member of the tribal village/community, every
person required to participate and be a part and parcel of the
entire operation. The ritual normally begins with a prayer invoking
blessings of the particular deity worshipped by the tribe, to
facilitate the crime they are about to commit; that the same may
yield sizeable bounty, without detection or harm to any member.
The implements and weapons for crime are picked up from the place
where they were buried after the last operation, as prudently
none of these could be taken back to the place/ village/ abode.
They would commute in gypsy caravans and camp mostly in the vicinity/
outskirts of the targeted city. Rarely is a city to be made the
abode for more than a couple of days. And for commission of crime
they would use the rail network to travel the length and breadth
of the country - to a targeted place near or far… be it
Bangalore one day, Ludhiana two days later, or Delhi the next.
parties survey the likely target systematically - each tribe with
its own typical method to recce. Some as common street vendors
- selling wares; some others as sellers of balloons and children's
toys; moving around during the day in residential colonies observing
keenly the contours and parameters with an eye for detail. Often,
the chosen house likely to be the one next to the last one in
a lane - with perhaps enough of a façade for a hideaway
just out of sight of the targeted house. They would rest in empty
plots or a public park, behind sheds or a compound wall till be
appointed hour of attack; some would take a night movie and then
assemble together at the decided place.
attack would be in the wee hours of the morning, past midnight,
when the inmates' slumber would be deep, in summer the sounds
of coolers and air-conditioners masking and blocking the noise.
Most criminal tribe members vicious and ruthless, arming themselves
with cudgels or the leg-post of a charpoy used to crack skulls
of sleeping inmates. Scenes left behind are gory - with battered
bodies in numbers, accompanied by frenzied ransacking. A sure
indicator of a criminal minded tribe attack, the tell tale visiting
card - the tendency often, for a member to defecate in the premises.
commission of crime, many use railway tracks for escape routes.
To travel for miles on foot before taking public conveyance in
the morning from a neighbouring town or suburban locality. The
loot, taken charge of by designated member/s to be buried, and
retrieved only when the heat and the dust has settled, sometimes
months later - the proceeds distributed only by the Sarpanch and
the village elders.
operating in metropolises like Delhi in the past decades have
belonged to the Bawaria, Kanjar, Sansi and the Pardi tribes, traditionally
committing burglaries and robberies that come within the purview
of Section 460 IPC (armed house break-ins with murder). In outskirts
and factory areas, gangs of Purabiya (Eastern U.P. & Bihari)
criminals are found in similar crimes.
from the Sansi tribe diverted their attention to illicit liquor
and then on to narcotics. Many among them also modernized to higher
degrees of operational ability with motor vehicles and vans in
the commission of night crimes. Some concentrate also on jewellery
shops and showrooms, and one rarely has violence attributed to
them. With the heat trained on clandestine liquor trade, many
sansi youth have taken to 'snatching's.
The Bawarias,mainly from Jhinjana, Muzaffarnagar, Hodal, Kaithal,
Gannaur, Jhajjar and Dadri, as also the Pardis of Guna and Babina,
are still linked though to dark night crimes that occur.
recent years, dark night crime has not remained the prerogative
of ex-criminal tribes. Starting from the Kuchha-banian gangs mainly
of Purabiyas and Kanjars, the Bangladeshi criminals have taken
over the territory in a big way with tremendous networking for
recruiting, operating and transporting criminals and loot across
the border, whichever be the city in India they target.
words: dated 10.08.2004: Copy Right © Maxwell Pereira: 3725
Sec-23, Gurgaon-122002. You can interact with the author at http://
www.maxwellperira.com and email@example.com
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