Connected through a Facebook group named ‘Gangsters’, five youths allegedly executed the murder of a 40-year-old taxi driver near Kalka late night on September 10. Four accused, including one juvenile, were held by the police on Sunday. The arrested accused were sent to seven-days remand by the court on Monday, while one of the accused remained absconding.
A resident of Baddi and native of Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, Pawan Gupta (26) was identified as the mastermind of the murder by the police. Gupta, who had been living in Baddi for seven years, was employed as a security guard at Daksha Securities. The accused juvenile, who helped Gupta connect with the other accused, also hailed from UP and worked at Kolkata. Accused Sushanto Sardar (19), a resident of Kolkata, worked with the Juvenile and accused Rohit Seth (18), a resident of Mirzapur in UP, was looking for jobs in Mumbai. The police is yet to retrieve information about the absconding accused.
DCP Kamaldeep Goyal said, “None of the accused knew each other well. Only the mastermind Pawan Gupta had known the juvenile for a year, but he had spoken to the juvenile only once on call. As Pawan Gupta hatched the plan, he contacted the juvenile who in turn reached out to Rohit Seth, his colleague Sushanto and another accused, who is absconding.”
The gang had initially planned to steal a company’s van, which carried cash worth Rs 10 lakh to pay its employees on the seventh of every month. Three of the accused, except Pawan and Rohit, travelled to Delhi and then to Baddi, where Pawan met them and apprised them about the plan on September 6. Rohit reached Baddi from Mumbai on September 9. Due to his delayed arrival, the gang devised a new plan to steal a car and then loot a petrol pump. However, after several foiled attempts on September 10, Pawan suggested that the group relocate to Kalka and hire a taxi from there.
The accused hired the taxi of victim, Parvinder Singh, and eventually demanded that he evacuated the car. As the victim resisted, the accused fired a bullet at him from a country-made gun. Parwinder died on the spot and his body was dumped on the Kheda Vaali Village road near Pinjore. The accused abandoned the car at Baroti village, near Baddi and walked back to Pawan’s house.
The victim’s body was recovered by the police on September 10. On suspecting it to be a road accident, the police sent the victim’s body to Kalka Civil Hospital mortuary. However, as the victim’s family members registered a case the following day, it was alleged that Parwinder was murdered. An FIR was registered under the Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC.
Parvinder alias Bittu, a resident of Shakti Nagar in Kalka, drove a cab to and from the Kalka railway station for a living. The victim’s brother Nirmal Singh had said in the complaint that the victim had spoken to his wife around 10.15 pm. The victim had told his wife that there were five passengers in the car and he would call her in half-an-hour. However, when his wife called him after half-an-hour, his phone was switched off. After failing to find Parwinder, the family went to the police station next day, where they were asked to identify the victim’s body, which the police had recovered.
“The case was cracked within 12 days even though there were not many leads, except the victim’s call to his wife. The police cracked the case by using secret informers, CCTVs and prompt analysis of technical evidence. After we had somehow identified the accused men, teams were sent every where to catch them,” said DCP Goyal.
The DCP said, the accused were class 10 graduates and were dissatisfied with their financial lives. The juvenile too had an evident criminal mindset and played a prime role in organising the crime. The murder weapon is yet to be recovered.