Does the shadow of gang wars impact DU elections?

Although there isn’t any verified link between gang wars in DU, but shadows of violence that infects NCR hasn’t left DU untouched


Jitendra Gogi, who was allegedly murdered by the gang of Sunil aka Tillu Tajpuria in Rohini Court was an example of the extent of gang wars in and around Delhi. Stories of which are commonplace in the capital — often grabbing headlines for a short while before being lost in the din of information, but, the patterns behind these and their handling are often overlooked. 

Unlike petty crimes, the involvement of gangs can be seen in all major activities where money is involved, making them egregious – one such activity is the Delhi University Student Union’s election. And even though there is no direct link between the DU elections and notorious gangs operating in and around NCR, these gangs cast a shadow on the elections. And one cannot deny that many of the gang rivalries that grab headlines were ignited when these gangsters were studying in Delhi University colleges. 

The fact that Jitendra Gogi and his associate Kuldeep Maan aka Fazza were from Delhi university and Gogi’s rivalry with Tajpuria started from the DUSU election of Swami Shraddhanand college is an indication that gangs are often involved in proxy competition in DU elections. Apart from Gogi, Fazza, and Tajpuria, Vikas Langarpuria who was arrested in 2015 was also a student of Delhi University. He dropped out of Ram Lal Anand college of South campus to pursue his criminal adventures.

A senior police officer deployed at Rohini Court during recent violence told Patriot that “Gogi was a bully in the DU elections.”

But on being asked if Gogi or his associates have allies in Delhi university, or if they are involved in gang war in colleges, the police officer denied it, “I can’t answer this question but I never heard about these gangs involved in any gang war in universities.”

Although there isn’t any verified link between gang wars in DU but shadows of violence that infects NCR hasn’t left DU untouched. 

“Most of those who contest elections come from Delhi NCR and Haryana. In some of the villages of Haryana and Delhi like in Najafgarh, there is a history of gang war. So, we grew up watching this. If someone in our family had hit a police officer, it was not considered a crime, but an act of bravery. You’d see, gangsters have a Robinhood type image. They are heroes for teens. So, it’s because of this culture that kids from here, who contest elections strive for power and don’t hesitate from getting involved in criminal activities,” says Abhay Choudhry, a former student of Deshbandhu college, who had followed DUSU elections for over five years.

The Hindu reported that in Mitraon village of Najafgarh around three to five dozen men have died in revenge killings of gang war. For this reason there is a long history of violence.

Choudhry gives the example of wrestler Sushil Kumar, who is accused in a murder case. Despite being a criminal, he is still revered. When police arrested his associates, police found that they were members of Kala Asauda-Neeraj Bawana gang. Kumar can also be part of these gang wars. This shows the acceptance level of violence in here.

“The normal students wouldn’t know who is Tillu gang, Lawrence Bishnoi, Kala Jathedi, but they would know some local muscle man, who would come in election to show support for a candidate. He would know the police and would be in good records. But this person is often a member of such a gang only,” adds Choudhry.

Shadow of Violence in DU

Candidates consider the DUSU election as an opportunity to be recognised by the national leadership. The involvement of money, muscle sets a stage for an insane saga – knives, hockey, iron rods, glass bottles and pistols are arranged to maintain balance of power. Various students from different colleges inform us that violence does happen during elections and people who are not students roam around colleges during elections.

Caste alliances are one of the major factors in elections. The President, Vice President, Secretary and Joint Secretary of DUSU are mostly from Jat community or Gujjar community. The current president Akshit Dahiya is from Jat community, while last six presidents were from Gujjar community. Interestingly even when students from across the India take admission in these colleges, representation of students in DUSU are mostly from states like Haryana, Delhi, western UP, except some individual colleges like Lady Shri Ram College, which is all girls college and Khalsa college, which has reservation of Sikhs.

“Candidates who passed out some 10 to 15 years ago would start appearing in college premises as soon as election starts,” said Prashant, a former student of Shraddhanand college. “In big cars, muscular men would come and start roaming around colleges — you can figure that they are not students of the college.”

Huge amounts of money is also spent during campaigns despite the Lyngdoh committee’s guidelines that sets a bar on expenditure, a candidate can spend a maximum of Rs 5,000 election related work. The involvement of huge money offsets any possibility of a student from other parts of India except Haryana, Delhi and western UP to win the student body election. 

But the amount of money spent on Pizzas, parties and campaigns and on hired goons suggests that huge amounts of money are involved in student politics. In 2017, NSUI filed an RTI that showed that the ABVP-led DUSU panel had spent Rs 22 lakh on tea, photostats and other miscellaneous activities which is just a tip of the iceberg.

In 2017, the Court reprimanded the Delhi University for not taking action against Satendra Awana, a former president of DUSU for allegedly misbehaving with teachers of law department despite the fact that two FIR was filed against him, “He is not alone, many goons like him roam in the campus” said Premjit Singh, a former student of Sri Aurobindo college.

“Involvement of these hooligans in elections scare students. I have seen during my time in DU that some of these people will come to college and roam around the campus, threatening people. Guards and teachers never question them, they know that it’s not right to mess with them.”


(Cover: The students queue up to cast their vote during the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) Election at Hans Raj College in North Campus on September 12, 2018 in New Delhi, India// Credit: Getty Images)

For more stories that cover the ongoings of Delhi NCR, follow us on:


+ posts