Out of a total of 253 accused booked in 23 cases under the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Act (GujCTOC) across the state, dreaded Gangster Vishal Goswami and eleven members of his gang were among the first to be brought to books.
Despite being imprisoned, Goswami and his associates used to run an extortion racket. This led the cops to act against him and his gang members under GujCTOC. Vishal, a native of Uttar Pradesh, was put behind bars after he was nabbed for armed robberies and murders in the city.
Sultankhan Pathan and his gang met the same fate when they were booked under the same act in October 2020. Pathan and his gang are accused of bootlegging, land grabbing, attempt to murder, and other serious offenses in Vejalpur, Sarkhej, and Aslali areas of the city.
Jamnagar’s dreaded land grabber Jayesh Ranpariya and 13 others were also booked under GujCTOC in October 2020.
“Jayesh had later fled to the UK, where he is currently in custody and the process of deporting him back to India is in process,” added a senior police officer of Jamnagar police.
According to official figures, a total of 23 cases have been registered in 15 districts under this act till 30th June 2021. “Out of 253 accused booked under this act, 199 have been arrested and put behind bars; 54 are still absconding. There are a total of 1811 cases registered against them under different sections at several police stations,” said a senior Gujarat Police official.
DGP Ashish Bhatia said the act has proved detrimental in curbing organized crime in the state. “The alleged criminal activity of these criminals have been curtailed, which has helped in improving the law and order and crime situation in the state,” he added.
However, it was a long wait for the Gujarat Government before GujCTOC came into effect from 1st December 2019. GujCTOC was drafted on the lines of MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) and passed in Gujarat Assembly in 2003. Before President Ramnath Kovind gave his consent in November 2019, the bill was rejected three times and sent back by Ramnath Kovind’s predecessors.
In 2004, it was sent back by President APJ Abdul Kalam; in 2008, it was again sent back by President Pratibha Patil, and in 2016 the bill was sent back by President Pranab Mukherjee.
The GujCTOC bill came into effect on 1st December 2019.