Five alleged contract killers were arrested on Tuesday after a 30-minute shootout with a Mohali Police raiding team, which was assisted by the Delhi Police. The five men, alleged to have been on the run from Mohali Police, were holed up inside a house in southwest Delhi’s Bindapur with a heavy cache of weapons. When the raiding team tried to enter, the men opened fire. The shootout lasted 30 minutes before five of them surrendered. A sixth shooter escaped by climbing out a window using a curtain, and gaining access to an adjacent DMRC building.
The five men — Deepak, Sumit, Tiku, Kirshan and Sumit — are associated with the Lawrence Bishnoi-Sampat Nehra gang, which is based out of Punjab. The sixth accused has been identified as Deepak. The gang reportedly operates in Panchkula, Mohali and Chandigarh and thrives on extortion rackets. “Local police found 15 country-made pistols in three different calibers, two rifles and more than 100 cartridges,” DCP (southwest) Shibesh Singh said. The men have been taken back to Mohali, while Delhi Police are tracking the sixth accused using CCTV footage.
According to Mohali Police, the gang’s whereabouts were ascertained on Monday night as the police party, supervised by Kuldeep Singh Chahal, SSP (SAS Nagar), left for Delhi. Around 11.30 am, local police were informed and a 50-member raiding team started to cordon off the alley leading to Gulia Properties, a four-storey building adjacent to the DMRC Project Manager’s office in Bindapur’s Shanti Park.
The six men were staying in room number 204. “While some of them were busy making chapatis, the others were smoking hookah,” said one of the policemen. As the police team made their way into the alley, the first shots were heard coming from the second-floor windows, eyewitnesses said. “Some policemen had already entered the building. Police outside the building retaliated. This exchange of fire carried on for 30 minutes,” said Sandeep Kumar, who was ferrying a passenger in his cab near the spot. Several policemen had also gained access to balconies adjacent to room number 204. In a video taken by an eyewitness, two policemen can be heard shouting to personnel on the ground: “Humein kyon maar rahe ho?”
Neighbours who had gone inside their homes after being instructed by police said they saw two men run inside a room and bolt it. Afterwards, they heard gunshots and a police team gathered outside the main gate.
“As police gained entry into the stairwell, they shouted instructions at the men holed up inside the room to surrender. Police then shot through the main door,” Rishabh, a neighbour, said. The raiding party managed to gain entry inside the house around noon, and found that the five men had propped up mattresses at windows to provide cover. Strewn around the house were rolled up chapatis that never made it to the tawa, broken bangle sets, several sweaters and jeans. Bullet holes were etched across the walls, and a whey protein packet was found stacked inside an almirah.
It was only when police found a blue curtain hanging outside the window that they realised that one of the accused had managed to flee. “Deepak had managed to get access to the DMRC site and then climbed up the boundary wall,” said a Crime Branch officer tasked with tracking him.