The kingpin of the gang was arrested by the Delhi Police.
Parents used to rent their children on annual contracts into the gang.
The children are leased for Rs 2 lakh to Rs 9 lakh depending on their skills.
They’re wedding crashers of a harmful kind. And they start very young.
Barely 800 kilometers from Delhi, three cities in Rajgarh district of Madhya Pradesh -Gul Kheri, Sulkheri and Kadiya – are located on Delhi Police’s radar. Residents lease their children, in the 9-15 age group, on annual contracts to the notorious Circle Baja Barat gang which carries out thefts at grand marriage functions at the Capital.
The written or verbal contract is carried out between the syndicate and the village heads.
A brief crash course is given to the kids so they could lift totes and steal valuables in the enormous fat weddings, authorities said.
KINGPIN ARRESTED, NO RAIDS YET
After the kingpin of the group was arrested by the Delhi Police, on Monday a team comprising 12 to 15 members moved into the area in MP to apprehend the children and the parents engaged in this illegal enterprise. However, cops are finding it hard to nab them, despite having identified half-a-dozen juvenile criminals.
The 3 cities having a population of around 4,500 have around 600 houses which were hubs of criminal pursuits. Aside from leasing the children to gangs, locals are also allegedly engaged in robberies, kidnappings and other offences from the area.
The authorities groups of Delhi’s southwest district which had gone into those villages following identifying the children who stole valuables out of weddings at Delhi are not able to conduct raids in the area, sources near the investigation said.
Delhi Police have detained Raka (32), the kingpin of the Band Baja Barat group and recovered Rs 4 lakh in stolen money, gold and silver jewellery as well as other gifts given to the bride from the guests, worth around Rs 8 lakh, officers said on Sunday.
CCTV videos assisted identify six to seven children involved in the thefts.
PARENTS HAVE TIE-UP WITH ADVOCATES
Speaking to Mail Today, a member of a Delhi Police staff in Rajgarh said, “The children and their parents are well aware of human rights issues. They have a tie-up with a couple of advocates who have taught them that the loopholes to rescue themselves if the authorities conduct a raid. These lawyers charge them cash for every raid. Whenever authorities reach these houses to nab the culprits, they inflict injuries on themselves and realising the cops have beaten them up. Sometimes, the adults drop their children from the first floor, alleging atrocities by authorities.”
Another senior officer said even the local authorities is fearful to conduct raids in these 3 cities as the men and women consume alcoholic and alcohol with all the cops.
The village heads who act as conduits between the gangs and sailors also receive their share of cash for each deal, the Delhi Police groups say.
KIDS LEASED FOR RS 2-9 LAKH
The Band Baja Barat gang selects good-looking and intelligent children in the 9-15 age class. It attracts them to Delhi and retains them in lodging. The syndicate has its own network throughout the Capital and is aware of all of the lavish weddings happening.
The children are leased for Rs 2 lakh to Rs 9 lakh depending on their skills. Once a kid is auctioned, the cash is handed over to the parents at a couple of instalments and the kid is hired for a single year.
After being brought to Delhi, the children experience training for a month on how best to commit thefts in weddings and how to mingle with those in the venue. A kid is also made mentally and physically demanding to not divulge his identity and that of his group members in case he is arrested. He’s also instructed to place on pretty clothes to attend the role and also eat the snacks to dispel any suspicion. The group comprises adult men and women as well who usually remain in rented houses and drop the children off at functions and sometimes wait out on three-wheelers and bicycles. The girls look after the kids like their own. The actual parents are regularly informed about the children’s well-being.