- Around 200 students of five reputed schools here have formed three gangs that are involved in a turf
- Police are holding the gangs responsible for six crude bomb blasts during the past few months
- Police have recovered several motorcycles, a dozen cellphones and some crude bombs from the arrested
Around 200 students of five reputed schools here have formed three gangs that are involved in a turf war in the city, police said on Thursday, holding the gangs responsible for six crude bomb blasts during the past few months.
Police are on the lookout for these students, a senior official said.
According to police officials, male students of these reputed schools have formed gangs named 'Tandav', 'Maya' and 'Immortals', and are involved in turf wars.
The officials said about 200 students of five reputed schools in Prayagraj are members of the said gangs.
Eleven of these students, including 10 minors, were caught by police on Tuesday, the officials said, adding that they were involved in incidents of hurling crude bombs and physical assaults.
Police have recovered several motorcycles, a dozen cellphones and some crude bombs from the arrested students.
"These students would assault each other and also hurl crude bombs over turf war. The accused used to travel on two wheelers and ensure to cover their faces at all times," Prayagraj Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sailesh Pandey said.
Pandey said that the students were involved in incidents of crude bomb blast on July 15, 16 and 22 in different parts of the city. "They have created social media page for their gangs where they post images of these crude bomb blasts to claim dominance over the other group," said the SSP, adding that police are identifying other students who may have joined the said gangs.
Police initially suspected involvement of criminal gangs in the crude bomb blasts but was able to zero in on the school students after a month-long investigation assisted by the mobile phone surveillance and technical units, the officials said.
"We have also decided to reach out to parents via the school administration urging them to keep a watch on the activities of their children so that they could be saved from entering a world of crime," said the SSP.
Baba Abhay Awasthi, a Prayagraj-based social worker, said that prevalence of crude bombs in the city began way back in 1971 after an absconding Naxalite taught locals how to make a crude bomb.
The use of crude bombs specially by youngsters remained prevalent in the city for almost three decades, Awasthi said, adding the trend propagated because of the easy availability of materials used for making a crude bomb.