Bengaluru: Imagine you are heading out from your home to work, or perhaps returning from work. Or maybe you are going on a weekend trip with friends or family. All these activities bring you joy amidst the infamous traffic in Bengaluru. However, at times, one or two individuals create a situation that forces you to slow down or stop your vehicle. They start arguing with you for no apparent reason, and you fail to understand why. They worsen the situation further. Eventually, they exert pressure on you to get out of your vehicle or lower your car window. If you refuse to comply, they keep hitting your car window until you are forced to do so.
If any such incident occurs, be cautious, as you might have encountered the notorious Thak Thak Gang from South Delhi. Currently, two well-known gangs, Oranathamgala Kappam or Oji Kappam from Andhra Pradesh, and Ramjipura Gang from Tamil Nadu, are active in Bengaluru.
Many people have fallen victim to these gangs. Their objective is to loot travelers. Several incidents involving Bengaluru residents have been shared on social media. News18 has discussed the modus operandi of this gang with police officers. The aim was to create awareness among people and guide them on what to do if they find themselves in such situations.
These groups have another method that is very old, in which they intentionally drop a note on the ground and ask anyone passing by if it’s their note. But now a new method has emerged, in which they accuse taxi drivers or motorcycle riders of climbing onto their vehicles or causing injury to someone by hitting them with their vehicles.
A senior police officer explains that these people employ both old and new methods. These are essentially diversion tactics where the group tries to distract the attention of the victim. They usually carry out their activities in crowded areas such as railway stations, malls, bus stations, or near IT offices. Under the old method, these individuals drop a 10-rupee note or accuse the victim under the new method of placing their vehicle’s wheel on them in the traffic signal congestion. Afterward, they attempt to extort money from people.
“You climbed your car onto my foot.” A senior researcher from Bangalore recently shared an incident that happened to them, after which these groups have once again drawn attention towards themselves. Pranay Kothastane narrated his experience on social media, stating that on July 2, he was waiting at a traffic signal on Queen’s Road, a place where traffic is always heavy. While he was standing there, a person riding a two-wheeler started accusing him that Kothastane’s car had passed over his foot.
Kothasten knew that his car had not climbed on his feet, but he still apologized and got out of the situation. Surprisingly, a few days later, he once again found himself at a major junction, St John’s Road, in exactly the same situation as had happened to him a few days ago. “On July 4, at around 5.30 pm, the same thing happened to me again. This time the incident took place on Wheeler Road near Thomas Bakery. And imagine what happened, this was the same person, isn’t it amazing? ’
“I stopped my car at the spot where a traffic policeman was catching people for breaking rules. As soon as I stopped the car, the two-wheeler rider ran away. I went to the police officer and narrated the entire situation to him. “This fraud has become common nowadays, and I should file a complaint. Since I could not identify the number plate, I did not go to the police station. Coincidentally, my car had a dashcam attached to it, and I had identified the number plate of one of the fraudsters.”
Most of these notorious gangs move to the outskirts of Bengaluru such as Hoskote, Ramanagara or Hosur after committing the crime. Police officials say that Oji Kuppam and Ramajipura are involved in such activities. These criminals have a large network of relatives who help them in every possible way.
Not worried about court cases.
Another police officer tracking such gangs told News18, “Interestingly, they also have a whole bunch of lawyers who get them bail or fight cases on their behalf when the opportunity arises. Since 2014, the official says, Oji Kappam’s gang members have spread across Karnataka from Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. Gang members live in areas posing as domestic servants or labourers, women and teenagers search the areas and identify families that can be targeted. The gang is active in districts like Mysuru, Hubballi, Kalaburagi, Gadag and Raichur. Their modus operandi is similar to that of delhi’s Thak Thak gang. Whose name is due to his way of working, in which he knocks on the car to find out if there is anyone or not. The Bengaluru gang works in a similar manner.
Itchy powder method
Some gangs throw itchy powder at the victim riding a two-wheeler or four-wheeler. “These people identify their target by going close, if he is wearing a jewellery or carrying a laptop or any other valuable, they throw powder and distract them and then rob them,” the officer says.
Tyre puncture method
This is a common method used on roads, especially on expressways and highways. In which nails or small wooden blocks in which nails are attached are scattered on the road. When a driver or biker unknowingly passes over it, his tire gets punctured, after which these people reach there in their car and the gang members use knives to scare and carry out the robbery. In this way, laptops, mobile phones, cash and jewellery are looted whatever is near their target.
Oil leakage or fuel discharge method
Some people throw oil or petrol mixed oil on the road. As soon as the car passes by, it slips or stops, then they attack them rapidly. Some gangs tell the driver from the moving vehicle that the lid of the petrol tank of their vehicle is open, as soon as the victim opens the door of the car to find out, the gang members get confused with the bag or other material inside.
Rs 10 note method
The oldest tactic in the list of maneuvers is to lure the victim. The gang member drops a Rs 10 or Rs 100 note on the road and asks a person on the way, or standing somewhere, to open the car that the note belongs to him. According to the police, people living in different areas also learn from other gangs. The new method, says the official, is to apply oil on the body, especially on the hands and feet, so that when someone tries to catch them, they get out of hand.