A man wanted in connection with several cases was shot dead in an encounter with the Delhi Police at a restaurant in Central Delhi’s New Rajender Nagar area on Saturday evening.
The incident took place around 8.30 pm inside Sagar Ratna restaurant. The dead man was identified as Manoj Awasthi. He was wanted in several cases of fraud and carried a reward of Rs 50,000 for his arrest. Police said no one else was hurt in the shootout.
Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) S N Shrivastav said Awasthi was killed after he pulled out a gun on seeing the police team. The Special Cell officers reacted quickly and gunned him down.
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Police said Awasthi, who ran a property business, had links with a political party. Police said Awasthi was wanted in at least eight cases of cheating pertaining to real estate deals. He was on the run for the past several months, police said.
According to police, Awasthi, who lived on Barakhamba Road, left his house on Saturday afternoon to attend a meeting at Uttar Pradesh Bhawan in Chanakyapuri.
Meanwhile, the Special Cell allegedly got specific information that he would be coming to Sagar Ratna restaurant to meet an associate around 8.30 pm. A team of seven officers in plain clothes reached the restaurant to arrest him. On seeing the police team, Awasthi allegedly whipped out a gun and the policemen open fire in retaliation.
A total four bullets were fired at Awasthi, police said. The restaurant was immediately evacuated and the area cordoned off.
Awasthi was taken to a hospital where he was declared brought dead. The body has been sent for a post-mortem examination.
An FIR has been registered and a magisterial inquiry —- as per the Supreme Court’s order —- has been initiated.
Meanwhile, Awasthi’s family members have demanded access to the CCTV footage from Sagar Ratna restaurant to prove that the encounter was fake. They alleged that he was shot dead in cold blood by police officers as he refused to pay them ‘extortion money’.