New Delhi, Sep 14 (PTI) He started off with petty street crimes and soon became one of Delhi’s most wanted criminals.Also Read - School Reopening News: Normal Classes to Remain Suspended in THIS state till Sept 21 | Details Here

Along the way, he robbed, extorted and killed, not even sparing his best friend-turned-rival and a police officer. Also Read - Tourists Need to Pay Tax to Visit THIS Place in Himachal Pradesh

Sonu Dariyapur’s story may read like a pulp thriller, but the 38-year-old ran out of luck when he was arrested by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell from Narela today after being on the run for several years. Also Read - Video: Landslide, Shooting Stones Near Shimla's Jeori Block NH-05; No Casualties so Far | Watch

He was carrying a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head, the highest for any criminal in Delhi. The Haryana Police too announced a reward of Rs 50,000.

In a shoot-out on April 30, gangster Monu Dariyapur, his personal security officers, Delhi Police assistant sub- inspector Vijay Kumar and constable Kuldeep, and two others, Arun Shastri and Yogesh, were attacked in outer Delhi’s Mianwali Nagar.

Some armed men, including Sonu Dariyapur, had fired more than three dozen bullets leading to the deaths of Monu, Kumar and Shastri and injuries to the other two.

Monu was previously a member of Sonu Dariyapur’s gang.

Both of them were friends but the relationship got bitter after Monu fell in love with Sonu’s cousin and subsequently married her. Enraged at the alliance, Sonu had vowed to kill Monu.

“Following the sensational shoot-out in which he killed one police personnel and injured another, he became one of the most wanted criminals on our list. All the units of the Delhi Police were looking for him and there was not any official meeting where his case was not discussed,” said a senior officer with the Special Cell.

Even the police forces of other states were keeping a tab on his movements.

Another officer said that no other criminal has ever carried such a high reward in Delhi.

Terrorists like Indian Mujahideen leader Amir Raza Khan were carrying a reward of Rs 10 lakh on their, head but a criminal has never carried such a high reward on his head, said the second officer.

The shoot-out case was subsequently transferred from the local police to the Special Cell, which also got non-bailable warrants issued against Sonu Dariyapur.

After the killing of his arch-rival and subsequent arrests of his accomplices, Sonu Dariyapur had been maintaining a low profile and kept changing locations between Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh frequently.

He would keep changing the number plates of the cars in which he travelled between different cities to avoid detection, said the second police officer.

For the last 15 days, a team was stationed in Himachal Pradesh, the police said. However, he was nabbed in the early hours today following a brief exchange of fire with the police team on the basis of a tip-off.

In 2006, Sonu had attacked his cousin and Monu in Punjabi Bagh but while they had a narrow escape, another person accompanying the couple was killed.

Sonu was arrested in the case but later jumped parole and went on to kill Monu’s brother Sudhir Kumar in Najafgarh in 2009.

He also confessed to having killed a man, named Chand, in Bhiwani, Haryana in 2009, the police said. He was involved in the killing of Sanjay Sarpanch of Sonipat and Jasbir of Narela in 2010.

He was the mastermind of these killings and was assisted by his gang members — Naveen Khatri, Sandeep, Sonu alias Kejriwal, Sumit alias Palotra, and Satish.

He used to raise funds for his gang members through extortion from businessmen and property dealers from different parts of outer, southwest Delhi and neighbouring parts of Haryana, the police said.

One of the businessmen had even gone ahead and filed an extortion case against Sonu Dariyapur in northwest Delhi’s Rani Bagh last year.

He had widened his gang by merging with Rajesh alias Rajje’s gang. Rajesh wanted to kill an alleged gangster Ramesh Lohar and Sonu Dariyapur wanted to kill Monu.

Rajesh and Daryapur joined hands to eliminate their rivals and formed a new alliance. Rajesh was also arrested in connection with the Mianwali Nagar shoot-out in July.

Sonu had started off by committing petty crimes in Bawana in 2000. He has one brother Anil Pahalwan, who is at present lodged in jail. He has been married twice, police said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.