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UP Govt seizes property worth crores from Haji Galla, the kingpin of Meerut’s infamous car theft syndicate

The Meerut police, however, feel that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that Haji Galla still has Benami properties worth crores spread across UP

The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has, until now, seized properties worth Rs 10 crores belonging to Haji Galla alias Haji Naeem, the kingpin of Meerut’s auto theft syndicate. On Saturday (October 23) alone, Meerut police seized Haji Galla’s luxurious bungalow worth Rs 4 crore 10 lakh on the orders of the district magistrate. Moreover, his eight big shops were also seized and all his bank accounts were frozen.

Earlier, on Wednesday, October 20, the police had seized two residences and a warehouse belonging to Haji Galla.

The Meerut police, however, feel that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that Haji Galla still has Benami properties worth crores spread across UP. “We cannot give a figure at this point as to how much Galla is worth, but there are still a number of properties like shops in Sotiganj Market and a 1,200 sq yard land in Cantt area which are not under his name, but we believe belong to him. We are looking at his benami properties as well,” said additional superintendent of police Suraj Rai, who is spearheading the investigation.

Meerut police seizing properties belonging to Haji Galla

In addition, the Uttar Pradesh government has launched an investigation into 32 junkyards in Meerut’s Sotiganj Kabadi Bazar which are believed to be associated with Haji Galla aka Haji Naeem. Reports suggest that the Meerut police invoked the Gangster Act against the notorious scrap dealers who have been aiding Haji Galla in his car breaking business in Meerut.

Intense raids were conducted and a reward of Rs 25,000 and an attachment warrant was issued by the Meerut police, which compelled history-sheeter Haji Galla and his four sons to surrender before the court on October 7.

Following Haji Galla’s arrest, the Meerut police started secretly keeping a watch on 32 junkyards of Meerut’s Sotiganj Kabadi Bazar which used to cut up stolen vehicles. Complete evidence was collected and it was found that they have illegally made property worth about Rs 48 billion. Based on the evidence collected, the Meerut police began the crackdown on Meerut’s biggest car breaking business.

Who is history-sheeter Haji Galla

According to reports, for decades, Haji Galla’s family has been leading the business of stolen vehicles in the infamous Sotiganj Market of Meerut. Cars from several states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab but especially from NCR-Delhi were brought here and dismantled in no time. Haji Galla started his career as a car mechanic. Soon he started running one of the countries biggest car theft syndicates.

Haji Galla, the notorious car

His gang rose to infamy after mastering the art of dismantling cars in 15 minutes flat. It is believed that even if it took 3 hours to get a car from NCR to Meerut, in the 15 minutes after that, it vanished without a trace. National Highway 58 was the lifeline of Haji Galla’s operations.

The profitable components of the cars were retained and sold in shops, while others are “transplanted” into other vehicles. Galla, 70, and his four sons have been running this illegal yet extremely lucrative car-breaking business for decades.

Haji Galla escaped the police because of his strong political connection in the previous regime: Meerut Police

Galla, who was carrying a cash reward on his head had been evading the police for the last 15 years. The police said that many times prior to this they got their hands on the history-sheeter, but because of his strong political connection in the previous regime, he escaped arrest.

Meerut police raid Haji Galla’s scrapyards

According to the police, action against Galla began on February 27 when his son, Mohammad Shadab, opened fire on Arman Ahmad, a rival scrap dealer, in a dramatic shootout in the city. The incident, in which a bystander, Ajay Kumar, was tragically injured, almost pushed the city to the brink of communal riots.

Galla was eventually apprehended near his home in Sotiganj late on the night of October 6, after a reward of Rs 25,000 was placed on him by senior superintendent of police Manzil Saini.

He was apprehended for the first time in February 2015, after having been an absconder for 12 years. His political ties had, however, ensured his immediate release. Galla is notoriously known for his involvement in auto theft syndicates that operates throughout the northern states of the country. He was charged with violating the National Security Act (NSA) in 2006.

According to circle officer, Cantonment, Satpal Antil, a total of 27 criminal cases, including murder cases, have been filed against Galla. Some of which are registered in Delhi itself. Meerut SSP Manzi! Saini said that now since he has been arrested in the murder case, his other illegal activities and previous cases filed against him will also be dealt with.

 

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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