Just five days ahead of civic polls in the state, a 28-year-old BJP worker was shot dead in Greater Noida, allegedly by two cousins of a local BJP leader who is contesting the elections. While one of the accused has been arrested, efforts are on to nab the other person, police said. Police suspect the motive behind the murder — carried out using a licenced pistol — to be personal enmity. A sub-inspector has been suspended for dereliction of duty as the weapon had not been deposited ahead of the elections.
According to police, Sagar Sharma was shot dead near Dronacharya Temple in Dankaur around noon on Monday. “He was rushed to Kailash Hospital, where he succumbed to bullet injuries. He was shot at from a close range and a licenced pistol was used in the murder. His body was handed over to the family after a post-mortem was conducted. He died due to a bullet injury on the chest, close to the heart. The victim’s brother has filed a complaint and an FIR has been lodged at Dankaur police station against two persons — Manoj Verma and Deepak Verma — under IPC sections pertaining to murder. While Manoj has been arrested, efforts to nab Deepak are underway,” said Suniti, SP RA, Gautam Buddh Nagar Police.
Referring to the FIR, the SP said, “The complaint states that Sagar and his brother Abhimanyu (the complainant) were in the market area when the two accused reached and threatened Sagar. They then shot him and fled. The complaint alleges that there was personal rivalry between the victim and the accused.”
Hours after the incident, sub-inspector Pritam Singh, chowki in-charge of Dankaur police station, was suspended. “He has been suspended for dereliction of duty and a departmental inquiry has been ordered against him in connection with the case. There is a court order which states that licenced weapons of those with criminal history, NPI among other such grounds, need to be deposited ahead of the elections. This family owned two licenced weapons — one was under Manoj’s name and the second was under Deepak’s name. Manoj’s weapon had been deposited but they had asked for a late deposition of Deepak’s weapon, citing concerns about their jewellery business and safety,” the SP said.
At the centre of the controversy surrounding the murder is Sonu Verma, who is contesting the polls for the post of chairman, Dankaur Nagar Panchayat. “Sagar was like my student. I have known him since he was 10-11 years old. Manoj and Deepak are my uncle’s sons. I do not know how this has happened,” Verma told The Indian Express.
“We had some tension in the family over a property. For the last six to seven years, I did not speak to Deepak. Manoj is like my elder brother but we have not been talking for years. Sagar, on the other hand, was like a son to me. He learnt jewellery making at my shop and then went on to open his own store in Dankaur. For the last three months, Sagar had been working very hard for my election campaign. Around 8-10 days ago, family members tried to mend bridges between me and my cousins in light of the upcoming polls,” Verma said.