NEW DELHI: Mama, as she was known, inspired terror in the urban ghetto where she lived. But the undisputed godmother of Sangam Vihar, who also led her sons into crime, is now planning to call it a day and lead a quiet life, police here said.
Basiran, 62, and her eight sons have been accused of bootlegging, murder, robbery, snatching and other such crimes in a total of 99 cases.
The queen of crime of Sangam Vihar, a locality in southeast Delhi, was released from Tihar Jail a couple of months ago. Some of her sons are still lodged in Tihar, the police said.
Now that she is out, Basiran is planning to sell off her three-storeyed house -- said to be worth Rs 50 lakh -- and move to Faridabad, on the outskirts of Delhi, to lead a simple life, the police said.
Basiran is named in three cases of bootlegging. Her son Shamim Gunga is an accused in 38 cases, including those related to murder and robbery. Sons Shakeel and Vakeel are involved in 29 cases, Rahul in three, including one of murder.
Three other sons, Sunny, Sohil and Faisal, have been named in 17 cases, the police said.
For long years, Basiran and her family evaded arrest. But in the last 10 months, the police began cracking down on the family and arrested her and her seven sons.
The eighth is a juvenile and was sent to a juvenile home.
Basiran had moved to Delhi from Rajasthan in 2000 with her family. She took to crime by selling illicit liquor, a police official said.
"There are no thekas (liquor outlets) in the area. She started manufacturing liquor and selling it to people in nearby Faridabad and in the area where she stayed," recalled a police officer.
Gradually, her sons took to crime too and dropped out of school. Soon, they were involved in robbery and snatching cases.
A police officer said Basiran's empire started expanding.
She gave patronage to other criminals, bought and sold stolen items and gave shelter to criminals when they were on the run.
Such was the terror she wielded that even the police could not touch her. She slowly came to be known as 'Mama' in the area.
"If the police would go to arrest her or any of her accomplices, she would start tearing off her clothes and threaten to accuse them of molesting her. Scared, the policemen would retreat," said a police personnel.
The crackdown on the family began soon after inspector Upender Singh was posted to the Sangam Vihar police station as the Station House Officer.
Earlier this year, the police started its operations against the family. When they went to arrest Basiran or her accomplices, they made sure they went in a police party of not less than 20 personnel, including women constables.
"We would only go whenever we had a specific tip-off and would surround her house from all sides to close any escape route. We also started videographing the entire event so that she could not use her tactics," the officer added.
Basiran, who was arrested in February, has four daughters apart from the eight sons. Her daughters and husband do not have any criminal links. Two of her daughters are married.
Her husband, Malkan Singh, rears goats. He leaves home in the morning and returns only in the evening. He has been a mute spectator to his wife and sons' crimes, said the official.