Gogi vs Tillu: How close friendship turned into rivalry

Gogi vs Tillu: How childhood friendship turned into rivalry

Gogi and Tillu apparently spent a lot of time together since childhood, but drifted apart in college

Advocates following a shootout at the Rohini Court. Credit: PTI Photo

In a shocking incident that turned into a shootout, gangster Jitender Maan alias Gogi, 30, was shot dead by members of his rival Sunil Maan alias Tillu Tajpuria’s gang. A bullet ended the dramatic story of a childhood friendship soured by student politics, which culminated in a bloody end.

Gogi, the athlete-turned-gangster

In a village named Alipur outside of Delhi, Gogi was famous as a budding athlete and a volleyball player in a government school. He aimed to play in international championships to represent India, police officials told the Hindustan Times. He spent a lot of time with his friend Sunil or Tillu.

Things took a turn for the worse when Tillu and Gogi dabbled in student politics on the campus of Swami Shraddhanand College in Alipur in 2007. According to the police, both ended up backing opposing candidates for the vice president's post of the college student body.

“Tajpuria and Gogi did not contest the elections directly but they were providing muscle power to the candidates. It is unclear why the two decided to support two different candidates when they were such close friends. That is when they got involved with local criminals. In fact, the first case registered against Gogi is also that of a fight between him and other students outside the college in Alipur in 2008. He was booked for attempted murder then,” an officer is quoted as saying by the publication.

In the initial five years, Gogi was a small-time thug. He came into Delhi Police’s wanted list due to the death of a gangster Neetu Dabodia in 2013. He had at least 19 cases of murder, robbery, extortion, and arms act against him. Police believe the number to be much higher. Gogi apparently ran a high-level crime syndicate.

Read | Rohini court shootout: Security tightened in jails where Gogi, Tillu gang members lodged

The Gogi-Tillu rivalry

In 2015, both Gogi and Tillu Tajpuria became major gangsters. Gogi, along with another Delhi University student Kuldeep Fajja, committed several murders and contract killings. “The two men had vowed to finish the Tillu gang,” the officer quoted above, said.

Gogi was arrested in March 2020 in Gurugram with Fajja. Gogi was reportedly lodged in the jail’s high-risk cell over the last 18 months but police continued to receive reports of traders receiving extortion calls from him. Prison officers had reportedly found three cell phones in his possession.

In June 2018, Tillu and Gogi gangs engaged in firing, as a result of which four people were killed. “Less than a month before he was arrested last year, Gogi and his gang members stopped a man, whom they suspected of supporting his rivals, and fired 48 rounds in the middle of the market. Of the 48 bullets, the man was hit with 26 bullets killing him on the spot,” a third police officer is quoted as saying in the report.

Before Gogi was going to be produced in court in 2016, a police report stated: “there is strong apprehension that Gogi will eliminate members of a rival gang and can attack Sunil Tillu at the time of his production before the court from jail”.

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