Milind Ghatwai, Indian Express , December 12, 2006
BHOPAL, DECEMBER 11: Not long ago, Jagjivan Parihar helped Madhya Pradesh police hunt down dacoits. Now, the ace informer has turned into a terror of the Chambal ravines, post the elimination of all the major Gujjar gangs.
At 32, he carries a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head in UP, from where he hails and has committed most of his crimes. In Madhya Pradesh, a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head, however, does not betray the kind of clout he has in the state from where he has been operating in the last few months. Having worked with the police here and found a bride from Bhind, he is all too familiar with the place.
Former Congress minister Aidal Singh Kansana, who allegedly received a life-threat from Parihar, said it was common knowledge that he lives within 15 km of Morena, but the police are looking at all other places. “Maybe they sympathise with their former informer,” he remarked and added that he has asked for more security for himself and his family. Two Lok Sahba MPs from the state also complained having received threats from Parihar while in Delhi last week. The calls were, however, traced to someone else. IG, Chambal, Vijay Yadav admitted that Parihar was as violent as any other.
Three persons returned home after spending about a month in his captivity. Parihar had sent a ransom note demanding Rs 11 lakh in lieu of each of them. SP, Morena, R K Singh said no ransom was paid but Kansana contested it. “I know how much ransom was paid and by whom.”
Parihar draws his strength from a section of the Thakur community, a major political force in the Gwalior-Bhind region. The community supports him because he stood against the Gujjar gangs which targeted the Thakurs. “He portrays himself as the messiah of Thakurs. Villagers are either in awe of him or identify with him. You may walk past his gang members but the villagers won’t give them away,” said an IAS officer posted in this region.
Calling Parihar more dangerous than the Gadariya gang which is the no 1 target of the police in MP, a senior official said, “The state government refuses to accept it. They are simply sleeping over the threat he poses.”
According to sources, unlike the small Gadariya gang, members of Parihar gang range from 30 to 50 and has no female members. Born in Chourela village in UP’s Etawah district, Parihar was a farmer and reared cattle till his enmity with a Brahmin family over a piece of land. He committed his first offence in March 2002 — he killed the head of the family, and later joined Salim Gujjar.
He started his own gang after differences with Salim Gujjar’s gang. In between the two, he worked for the MP Police. He is alleged to have committed several crimes, mostly kidnappings in MP, UP and Rajasthan. He has sophisticated weapons, sourced illegally from consignments seized by paramilitary personnel.