|Date||9, January 2005|
|Location||Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana|
|Deaths||18 (Including AIADMK Gummidipoondi MLA Sudarsanam,Congress leader Thalamuthu Natarajan, DMK leader Gajendran)|
|Convicted||Oma Bawaria(Death Penalty) |
K Lakshman alias Ashok Bawaria (Death Penalty)
|Convictions||Murder, Looting, Robbery, Assault|
|Sentence||Tamil Nadu Special court awarded death penalty|
Operation Bawaria was an operation by Tamil Nadu Police against organized dacoity, murder and robbery that were prevalent in residential areas near the National Highway during 1995 - 2006 that was carried out by the notorious group of lorry drivers who belonged to Bawaria community. The Bawaria gang was involved in many crimes in multiple states. They were also called as the Lorry Gang.
The operation was launched by Tamil Nadu Police in January 2005 soon after the murder of AIADMK Gummidipoondi MLA Sudarsanam when armed dacoits struck affluent houses surrounding the National Highway in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Bawaria was the prime suspect in dacoities in which many prominent figures including Salem district Congress committee president Thalamuthu Natarajan and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam functionary Gajendran, were killed. The modus operandi was to target affluent families while transporting goods from north to south in trucks. After unloading the goods, they would strike at the houses and resort to "unprovoked" violence, causing fatal injuries. In Sriperumbudur, they killed a schoolgirl and injured her parents grievously while committing a dacoity. Bawaria was wanted by the police in nine States for his involvement in about 200 major dacoity cases. One of his recent operations was at Gummidipoondi where AIADMK MLA Sudarsanam, was shot dead and his house looted.
The operation against the Bawaria criminals was launched in January 2005 soon after the murder of AIADMK MLA K. Sudarsanam from Gummidipoondi. When armed dacoits struck affluent houses along National Highways in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa ordered intensive action against the culprits. Director General of Police S. R. Jangid along with Additional Director General of Police Sanjay Arora led a team to investigate.
Soon after the start of the investigation, the team were able to match the fingerprints with the modus operandi of the gang. They speculated that the murders were carried out by a same group in different parts of India. The team coordinated with the Uttar Pradesh Police and central intelligence agencies.
Following specific information, The team raided a house in Kannauj in the early hours. With reinforcement from the U.P. Special Task Force, they nabbed Bawaria and his wife Beena Devi as they were preparing for a major dacoity nearby.
Beginning in January 2005, the team nabbed ten Bawaria gang members in various parts of the country along with four trucks used by them. After their arrest, no dacoity cases were logged in the northern districts.
Over the course of the next eight years, the team hunted down the criminals and finally they found the remaining gang members in Rajasthan.
In popular culture
- "'Operation Bawaria' that inspired Karthi's Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru". The Hindu. 17 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
- "Dacoit, associate killed in encounter near Meerut". The Hindu.
- "Tamil Nadu News : Gummidipoondi MLA shot dead". The Hindu. 10 January 2005. Retrieved 25 August 2018.[dead link]
- "Tamil Nadu police arrest Oma Bawaria in U.P." The Hindu. 5 September 2005. Archived from the original on 20 November 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
- "Theeran Adhigaram Ondru: Director Vinoth talks about his fascination for real-life stories".