Police on Sunday ruled out that the firing by armed men at two policemen in Connaught Place (CP) was part of any terror plot. Police arrested a resident of Moradabad, a day after he along with two associates opened fire at the policemen, triggering fears of a terror attack in the capital ahead of Diwali. The special cell, however, ruled out any terror link.
The arrested man was identified as Mohammed Rizwan, who police claimed has 17 cases of murder, robbery and dacoity against him.
Rizwan was questioned by the special cell on Sunday.
Police said Rizwan and his accomplices fired four rounds, but the policemen escaped unhurt.
Rizwan reportedly told police that he had been sent to Shankar Market in CP, where the firing took place, to threaten a witness in a case. The man Rizwan came looking for is a key eyewitnesses against a drug-peddler operating in CP, police said. He is to appear before a city court on October 14.
On Saturday night, around 9.15 pm, Rizwan and two accomplices opened fire when they were asked to stop by constables Prateek and Sandeep, who were on duty in the area. The policemen found the three men outside Super Bazaar and asked them to produce identity proof.
“The men realised they would be caught and fled. The constables then gave chase. While one of the men escaped through a railway underpass nearby, the other two took a bylane adjoining the market. Suddenly, one of the accused opened fire. The constables managed to overpower one of the men while the other managed to escape,” a senior police officer said.
Rizwan was admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital. Police arrested him on Sunday morning.
Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Mukesh Meena confirmed Rizwan’s arrest. “We have arrested him and are questioning him about his presence at Connaught Place…”
Police said Rizwan had fled from judicial custody earlier this year. A pistol and three live cartridges were recovered from him.
Police have stepped up security at several marketplaces in the city ahead of Diwali. All police stations have been ordered to be on high alert during the festive season. In markets at Lajpat Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Delhi Haat and Connaught Place, among others, police are making announcements on the public address system at regular intervals, advising shoppers to be alert and inform police about any suspicious activity.
Police said ahead of Diwali, there would be enhanced security on the state borders. An interstate meeting will be held at the police headquarters, a senior police officer said.
Rapid Action Force personnel will be posted in CP and India Gate, which draw a large number of people during the festive season.