Believe it or not, criminals are as superstitious as politicians or businessmen. If you see a man in Ahmedabad running with a pig, and suddenly turning to the east to burgle a house just because the pig had turned east, don’t take him for an actor. He is most likely a thief of the Chiklikar gang observing gang’s superstition of following the pig to decide which house to rob next.
The Chiklikar gang is the largest and most notorious thieves’ gang in Gujarat. The members of this gang specialise in breaking into shops and houses to steal valuables. A gang member said “we carry a pig along with us before a robbery. Whatever we earn, we offer to our ‘Mataji’ (the Goddess).”
Many gangs operating in the city have rituals specific to ‘Kali chaudas’ (the night before Diwali) The Jambua gang, which is based in Madhya Pradesh, worships its deity for at least 5 hours on the night of Kali chaudas before committing high way robbery.
After the 5 hour Pooja, the gang breaks open a coconut and allows one of the broken part to fall. The gang decides to commit a robbery in the same direction in which the coconut part rolls away. Another gang based in Dahod listens to the chirping of a particular bird when it wants to commit a robbery. It decides to rob some place in the same direction from which the bird’s chirping is heard. The members of this gang specialise in robbing factories and are known to assault and rob travellers too.