Chandan Mahto, aka Pintu, is one of the most notorious criminals from Bihar and the life of this dangerous mobster has been depicted in Neeraj Pandey’s Netflix series Khakee. He was the leader of the Ashok Mahto gang which operated in Nawada, Sheikhpura and neighbouring districts. The gang was accused of many killings including the assassination of Congress leader Rajo Singh.
The gang members, claimed to be Kurmi caste members, were supported by the backward castes in Nawada and Sheikhpura. They were also involved in an armed battle against upper-caste Bhumihars and this is why the Mahtos were considered as heroes by some sections of the state.
Pintu was arrested in 2005 by the Sheikhpura police after an alleged confession. He was released on bail later. He was allegedly aided by the top leadership of the JD(U) which is led by Nitish Kumar.
IPS Lodha, the officer who caught him, was also a senior JDU leader. During his TED Talk in 2018, Lodha shared how frustrated he was when he was relegated to a post in Sheikhpura without any bungalow or guards as he thought that he would become a Bihar police chief soon. This incident made him reassess his priorities and he decided to focus on fighting crime in the state rather than looking for political promotions. It was this decision which ultimately resulted in his arrest of the gangster. He is now serving a long jail sentence.