NEW DELHI: The crime journey of 45-year-old Pradeep alias Nagraj started in 1999 when he was arrested for mowing down a woman in Vikaspuri with his bus. The woman, Poonam Gupta, was declared brought dead at a hospital. He was sent to jail, but was acquitted in 2007 by a judge at Tis Hazari Courts.
In 2001, Nagraj injured his neighbour’s two-year-old child playing outside his house in outer Delhi with his Blueline bus. He was acquitted in the case in 2010. In 2002, he was arrested for assaulting a woman.
The same year, as he wasn’t allowed to drive, he formed a gang with four people from his village and two from Haryana to rob truck drivers. He was arrested in several such cases. In two of them, he was also charged with abduction as he had driven off with the truck helper.
An investigating officer said the gang members would target vehicles parked on the roadside or while their tyres were being changed. “In October 2002, they tied up a truck driver and his helper, who were changing a flat tyre in Sampla, Haryana, and fled with the vehicle. He was convicted in the case in 2005 by a court in Haryana,” added the officer.
Out of 13 criminal cases, Nagraj was acquitted in five, while he completed his jail term in a case lodged under Arms Act.
A resident of Issapur village, Nagraj was known to be an aggressive person. Police said he was an alcoholic and even consumed drugs. He would easily pick up fights with not just locals, but also his family members. He has a wife, two sons and a daughter, apart from his father and brother.
In 2009, Nagraj attacked his uncle with an axe during an argument and injured him critically. He then went underground only to return in 2014 when he was caught in a theft case. This October, he was booked for rash and negligent driving.

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