It's the greed for luxury and the ambition to become rich, which has made the humble rickshaw puller Shiekh Haider trudge into the world of crime and wear the dreaded gangster hat.
Born in Kendrapara in Odisha, Haider, who used to run a rickshaw during the 1980s, rose to prominence on the crime pitch in the 1990s. His first shot in the crime stage has been the daring and killing of his arch-rival and criminal Bula Sethi on the Kendrapara court docket premises in 1991.
No looking back since then for the Haider, who is now 58-years old. Zipping fast in the crime scene in Odisha, the noted gangster had been found involved in a spate of kidnappings and ransom killings. Initiated into the world of crime under the tutelage of noted don Rabin (Rabindra Behera), Haider learnt the tricks of the trade fast.
Well known as pointsman of gangster Rabin, Haider along with Tito (Syed Osman Ali) and Suleman, had been a formidable gangster troika in the State, especially in the northern Odisha. His notoriety had made him the prime target of cops in the State. In 1997, the gangster was injured in a police encounter.
However, the ambition to become the undisputed number one gangster led to friction among them. Following the murder of Rabin, Tito donned the mantle of the gang. The rivalry grew and Suleman was later eliminated.
The Jodi of Tito and Haider had a reign of terror in northern Odisha. And they had made their fortune by usurping the tender business of the State government departments. It's for a dispute over tender jackpot, Haider split from Tito in 1999. Tito's men killed a B-class contractor, who had been close to Haider.
He attained the heights of notoriety in May 2005, when he killed SK Chuna, brother of his arch-rival Suleiman in Bhubaneswar. However, Haider was jailed in this case. In March 2011, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was additionally named as an accused in Sulaiman’s homicide case, however, he was later acquitted. Haider was involved in gang wars in Kendrapara district and is known to plan and execute crimes from inside the jail.
Despite being behind the bars, the gangster's writ runs too large. His thorough planning with regard to the kidnapping of Keonjhar mining businessman Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra and his driver with a Rs 2 crore ransom demand in Bhubaneswar in May 2007, had made him an eyesore of the cops in Odisha. His pointsman killed Mohapatra and his driver regardless of receiving Rs 1.12 crore as ransom.
In this case, Haider and two of his accomplices had been sentenced to life imprisonment in October 2015.
In order to rip apart his writ, Odisha police had been shifting him from jail to jail – Bhubaneswar, Balangir to Sambalpur. The strategy was to break his crime syndicate.
The 58-year old gangster had hit the headlines recently when under treatment for an ailment at SCBMCH Cuttack, he gave a slip to the cops and fled to Telangana. However, his run to freedom lived a short life, when Odisha and Telangana police in a joint operation trapped the gangster in Sangareddy district on April 15 this year.
The noted gangster had over 15 cases against his name, including seven in Kendrapara and the rest in Bhubaneswar and Puri districts. And the charges include murder, attempt to murder, extortion, loot among others.
The Colourful Shade
Haider had two entered into two marriages. Like the D-world of affairs in the B-town, this gangster too has amorous affairs with many girlfriends. One of her girlfriend's names had popped up recently post his big escape to Telangana in April this year.