Wanted in 27 murder cases, criminal held for carrying liquor bottles

Kishan Pehalwan, the 'most-wanted' in the rolls of the Delhi and Haryana Police, with at least 27 murder cases against him, was arrested in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, on Saturday evening. According to the police, there was a total reward of Rs 1 lakh for Pehalwan in these two states. Despite several cases of murder, attempt to murder and other crimes registered against him, he was held by the Rajasthan Police on charges of possessing 10 liquor bottles.

Sources said Pehalwan might, in fact, have got himself arrested as he feared of being killed by a rival gang.

Police say Pehalwan has property worth at least Rs 50 crore in Delhi with flats in several housing societies in Dwarka and farms in Najafgarh.

Delhi Police sources said Pehalwan got himself arrested in Rajasthan because in May, his rival gang in Delhi had almost succeeded in its plan of bumping him off. He was in Haryana when the Balraj gang of Mitrao village (in Najafgarh) fired at him. He managed to escape by a whisker.

A police officer, who has been closely monitoring the gangster's activities since his first murder in 1992, says, "Pehalwan's brother is now the Najafgarh MLA. Pehalwan was planning to get himself arrested after his brother's win in the polls. After the attempt on his life, he has figured out that the safest place for him would be the jail. He has been arrested under the Excise Act."

Pehalwan, who comes from Dischan Kalan in Najafgarh was barely 20 when he committed his first murder. It was to avenge the murder of his uncle Rohtash. He, along with others of his village, killed three people.

Pehalwan was jailed in 1992, but released five years later.

While in jail, he formed a gang, which later came to be known as the Kishan Pehalwan gang.

His archrival was the Balraj gang of Mitrao village. The two gangs clashed often and their personal wars claimed lives almost every day.

Pehalwan then arrived at a compromise with Balraj. In May 1998, however, he and his gang fired indiscriminately at a car in which Balraj and his girlfriend Pooja were travelling. Balraj died, but Pooja survived.

The Special Cell of the Delhi Police arrested Pehalwan for the murder three months later.

In 2004, his gang murdered Balraj's brother Anoop, who was in the custody of the Haryana Police at that time.

The Pehalwan gang opened fire at a police party and on Anoop.

Two police officers and Anoop died in the attack.

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