Pilbhit: Gang members and goons from several gangs and criminal organizations in Pilbhit district of Uttar Pradesh held a peaceful candle light march against central government for increasing petrol prices by 64 Paise per liter. A huge rally consisting of kidnappers, looters, hitmen and murderers cutting across all major gangs from U.P. participated in the march, lit candles along the roadside and demanded government to take back the price hike, as their Cost-To-Crime (CTC) is being badly hit because of this price hike.
Talking to reporters over video conferencing one of the gang leaders Jhajjhar Singh provided more details, “You journalists know the problems or us common criminals very well. Few days back one of the gang-men burned one journalist alive. Do you actually know how much is the exact fuel requirement for burning someone alive? Approximately ten liters!! The other day some goons tied a journalist to the back of a jeep and dragged him across 3 different districts. That again costed huge amount of fuel for the whole trip.“
“And the petrol bombs which we use to burn down villages after villages, they literally cost a bomb, no pun intended. Our costs are increasing but our customers are not ready to pay us more because the competition is tight. Our families are starving to go to malls and movies and we are barely able to make ends meet. Hum gareebon ke pet pe laat to mat maaro sahib,” Jhajjhar wiped tears from his eyes.
Another candle-light march participant, gang-leader Jadhav, who operates a small gang of 45 hitmen from Ballia, shared similar concerns, “Due to increased competition the market rate for a single murder has gone down from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 3300 in our district. A double murder has gone down from Rs. 6700 to Rs. 5000. Within this budget we have to manage the on-job F&B bills of the hitmen, end-to-end ammunition costs and in case the hitmen have to stay onsite for a night. we have to pay for the room rents too. As such we make very meagre profits on such assignments. In kidnappings we do get decent cut after paying the big part of ransom amount to the politicians, but kidnappings are not the core-competency of my gang. Upon all these problems if we are burdened with increasing fuel cost as well, we can’t just survive. We are ready to kill for our customers, but who fights for us?” Jadhav raised a serious question.
Leading economists have also expressed serious concerns on steep rise in cost-to-crime trends in some of the most backward districts of UP. Economists are also linking increased import of petrol and diesel over wrought iron in U.P. to increased requests from customers, to not kill the targets using conventional steel/iron made weapons, but to burn them instead which causes more chaos and fear among dissenting masses. Some economists have also petitioned government to declare the goons with wages below Rs. 5000 per month as goons below poverty line (GBPL) and have them access to petrol and diesel at subsidized rates.