26 year old Imran Khan (Imran Tokia) s/o Noor Mohammad was working as a “lapka” (unauthorized guide) from Udaipur’s Khanjipeer area, who had a number of criminal cases filed against him. He was murdered by some alleged rival gang members of Rashid Usta, the brother of the one-time mafia don late Siraj Usta of Silawatwadi, who was murdered in 2002-03 outside the criminal court of Udaipur.
The case has been registered against at least 30 assailants, both identified and unidentified, by the Suraj Pol Police of Udaipur district. The assailants, whose names have been registered by the victim’s family, are Rashid Usta, Zahir Usta, Javed Usta and Inayat and Raju Dhobi. Javed and Zahir Usta are the sons of the late don Siraj Usta.
On Friday night around 11pm, Imran Tokia was sitting with some of his friends at Dholi Bawdi when Rashid and his gang members arrived. The old enmity between the two sparked an argument which was somehow settled at the moment following which Rashid went left the scene.
Later, Imran Tokia (photo above) too left Dholi Bawdi to attend a wedding party at Khanjipeer. However, somewhere between 1 and2 am, Rashid arrived at the wedding party with more than 30 people in 5-6 luxury cars and abducted Imran. The kidnappers took Imran to an isolated place, where they thrashed him badly with sticks and sharp edged weapons. Then, they again carried the unconscious Imran and left him outside the M.B Hospital’s Emergency ward, where he was soon declared dead.
Heavy police force also arrived at the hospital shortly after Imran was left there. The force also consisted of some top officers including Deputy Inspector Anant Kumar, Deputy Inspector Dayanand Sarang, SHO Hathipol Ratan Chawla, SHO Surajpol Saubhagya Singh and S.I Surajpol Gyanchand.
The body has been sent for postmortem, though the investigation has already begun. Police strongly suspect this a case of murder out of old rivalry between local gangs.
Udaipur, being a hot tourist destination is struggling hard to fight the menace of illegal and unauthorized tour guides famously known as lapkas. They work with their own informal but well organized network by dividing tourist areas, handicraft shops and other places where tourists generally visit.
Lapkas earn by giving guided tours and also by charging commission from the business owners.
According to some unauthorized sources, Imran was murdered because he allegedly “broke the rules” under which the lapkas operate. It is highly expected that there will be some sort of retaliation by Imran’s gang members according to these unconfirmed sources.
Report by Sayeed Ahmed