This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Devendra PratapSingh Shekhawat Inderpura. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Anandpal Singh: The Notorious Gangster Whose Death Shook Rajasthan

More from Devendra PratapSingh Shekhawat Inderpura

Have you ever imagined why a person becomes a gangster? Well, I have some thoughts on the reasons based on the story I’m about to share. The story of a gangster whose death changed the political scenario in Rajasthan, whose death lead to protests that lasted for nearly a month and forced the state government to its knees.

On June 24, 2017, a Special Operations Group (SOG) shot dead infamous gangster Anandpal Singh in the Malasar village of Churu district in Bikaner, Rajasthan. The state government had deployed 3,000 specially trained policemen, had spent crores of rupees, and covered the whole state with high-security check polls and blockades to find him after his escape from police custody on September 3, 2015.

According to police and official records, Singh was killed during an encounter that also injured three cops. But Singh’s supporters, especially in the Rajput community, have claimed that it was a fake encounter. The Karni Sena and the Rajput community have been demanding a CBI investigation of this case.

After the encounter, his supporters came out to protest across the state. His family refused to accept his body for 19 days and demanded that it be preserved until a CBI investigation is conducted. The protests after his death were massive, with over 80,000 people from Rajasthan, UP, MP, Haryana and Punjab flooding the streets, and lasted for 19 days. One man was killed and over 20 cops injured during the unrest.

Anand Pal Singh came from Sanvrad in the Didwana district of Nagaur. He belonged to the Ravna Rajput community, who are generally considered a lower caste among the Rajputs. According to his followers and people in the region, the gangster always supported his community and had always stood by them. This is one of the reasons why the Rajput community was enraged with his encounter killing.

Jeevan Ram Godara

In 1992, in Sanvrad the house of Hukum Singh Chouhan of Ravna Rajput community was teeming with revellers setting out with a procession for the wedding of his 17-year-old son Pappu (Anandpal). However, he was stopped from climbing a horse since members of his community were not traditionally allowed to do so. With the help of his closest friend Jeevan Ram Godara, Anandpal Singh resisted the discrimination and eventually lead his baraat on horseback. Godara and Singh were very close but later had a falling out after they got into a fight in Didwana. In 2006, Singh allegedly shot and killed Godara.

After five years of marriage, Singh completed his B.Ed in 1997 and started a cement factory in Ladanu. Soon his interest turned to politics and in 2000, he contested and lost the Panchayat elections. Then he filed nominations for the post of Pradhan for Panchayat Samiti as an independent candidate and lost the elections by just 2 votes. He was defeated by senior Congress leader Harji Ram Burdak’s son Jagnath Burdak.

During the Panchayat Samiti, Anand Pal came into conflict with Burdak and the senior leader filed multiple cases against him. According to his supporters, he was arrested and tortured by the police. After this Singh entered the world of crime.

Soon, Pappu of Sanvrad got involved in liquor smuggling and illegal land possession with which his influence in the state increased. He came to limelight with local gang rivalries and multiple cases filed against him, six of those being murder charges. Among the murder cases was Gopal Fogawat, a nurse and ABVP worker.

Fogawat’s murder was a result of gang rivalry between Raju Theht and Anandpal Singh. After falling out with his partner Balbir Banuda, Theht sought Fogawat’s asylum while Banuda partnered with Singh. Singh allegedly killed Fogawat for Banuda.

In 2014, after Balbir Banuda was shot dead by a rival gang member inside the Bikaner jail, Anandpal brutally murdered Banuda’s assailants inside the jail premises.

After this, Singh’s gang gained more power in Rajasthan through their liquor smuggling and illegal land possession business.

Balbir Banuda (left) and Raju Theht (right)

As the gangster’s crime rose, so did his fan following. One reason behind this was his support towards the Rajput community, especially during their tiffs with the Jat community. During his time in jail and as a fugitive, many fan pages were started on Facebook by his youth fan club.

On the morning of June 25 when newspaper frontpages showed photos of the dead gangster, there was massive resentment.

While his followers are determined that the encounter was fake, the police held a press meeting to explain details of the incident to dispel any such claims. They described how they surrounded the gangster’s hideout and had even fired a warning shot to warn him. Police stated that Singh opened fire and was eventually killed in retaliatory fire.

In January 2018, CBI took the case up and the investigation is in process.

See how a young man who wanted to contest elections ended up becoming one of the most notorious gangsters in the history of Rajasthan. See how the community that once stopped Pappu for climbing a ghodi, travelled from all over the state to protest his death.

Created by Devendra PratapSingh Shekhawat Inderpura

Should Anandpal Singh Be Given Chance For Surrender?
You must be to comment.
  1. Shikhrani Raghvendra

    Very well written & explained. We live in a country where Decoit like Phulan Devi became politician after her surrender then why not Anandpal?

More from Devendra PratapSingh Shekhawat Inderpura

Similar Posts

By shakeel ahmad

By Tejasvi Ramesh Manjrekar

By shakeel ahmad

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below