Hyderabad: To the surprise of cops, nomads from a slum colony here working as rag-pickers mix sedatives in rice grains and make chicken fall unconscious before stealing them in some Old City areas.
These men and women are from Afzal SagarMangar Basti area. More than 250 ex-convicts involved in murders, house burglary, chainsnatching, pickpocketing etc or others figuring in the City Dossier on Criminals (CDC) live in the slum colony.
According to police, even women posing as rag pickers form into groups and spread themselves to various parts of the city, carrying with them sedative-sprinkled raw grains. They quietly reach upto one or other residential area, feed stray chicken in compounds of homes. As soon as the chicken falls unconscious, they take it and put it in their bag.
Police say it is not easy to raid the criminalinfested Mangar Basti. Cops would first cordon off the area and go in there with substantial reinforcements and weapons when a criminal is to be arrested. It often happens that there would be stone-pelting at the police from within these colonies. These men and women even threaten to immolate themselves to evade arrests, police say.
“Four Manger women come out of their huts around 4.30 am with big plastic bags. I have seen them stealing panel boards, sign boards and fuses on the electricity installations from Banjara Hills Road No. 11 park. While GHMC was doing road-widening works on Road No 11, I saw these women stealing the new electricity panel boards that were piled in front of the park. When someone questions them, these women would start pelting stones at them,” Mohammed Pasha, a security guard, said.
Habeebnagar police inspector Narender said the police have started a drive to control crime and help the Mangar community lead a normal life. ‘Marpu’, a counseling programme, was initiated as part of such efforts.
“We help them in getting jobs. Most of them have started a new life after they got jobs. Some of their children have started going to schools. We arrange petty jobs like sweepers to the uneducated among them, in entities like the GHMC, or with some private firms,” he said.
Mangars are considered nomads and had migrated from Maharashtra and settled down in Hyderabad for over 100 years and through generations now. They are mostly illiterate. Due to illiteracy, they couldn’t get jobs and opted to commit crime, police said...