INDIA: Bringing in the Thieves

For Indian administrators, the dacoits are a problem as old as government itself. Governments call them bandits, but they consider themselves rebels, hold sway in an 8,000-sq.-mi. deeply ravined area south of New Delhi. For centuries, kings, moguls and viceroys have fulminated against dacoit leaders who holed up in this Indian counterpart of the Dakota Badlands, shrewdly cultivating a Robin Hood reputation for robbing the rich and occasionally sharing their loot with the poor. Since independence, some 5,000 Indian police have tried to flush out the dacoits, using radio intercoms, rugged Jeeps and the...

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