An investigation that spanned seven months, a team of 32 Delhi Police personnel and an hour-long chase early Monday morning resulted in the encounter of two men, allegedly involved in multiple cases of robbery and murder, in South East Delhi’s Pul Prahlad Pur. Most recently, the two accused — Ramesh and Rafiq — left two police personnel injured during a chase in North East Delhi on February 12.
The two were shot dead in exchange of fire with the Special Cell at 5.15 am Monday. A senior police officer said, “Under the supervision of ACP Lalit Mohan Negi, the accused were found around 5 am. I told them to stop their Pulsar motorcycle, but they continued speeding. Two police vans blocked their way and the two fell on the road. They were asked to surrender but Rafiq pulled out a gun and shot at us.”
The police team, said the officer, was ready for such a retaliation and were wearing bulletproof jackets. “Their bullets hit four policemen, but nobody was hurt,” said a senior officer.
Police claimed they fired at the two men and the bullets hit their arms, chest and back.
“Within five minutes, they were overpowered. We rushed them to AIIMS Trauma Centre, where they were declared dead on arrival,” said an officer. Three pistols and 60 rounds of cartridges were recovered from them.
Meanwhile, the families of the two men questioned the veracity of the police’s version. Rafiq’s father Noor, who lives in Karawal Nagar, said, “If the police suspected him of having killed people, they should have arrested him. Why did they kill him?”
Police said Rafiq and Ramesh were notorious for being involved in robberies since 2015, and had recently started extorting money from traders and shopkeepers in North East Delhi.
DCP (Special Call) Pramod Singh Khushwah said, “The men carried weapons and threatened people at gunpoint. We have been on a lookout for them for months now. On Sunday, we received an input that the two would be heading to Okhla Mandi to extort money and we acted on it.”
Even though police had been looking for the two for a while, things escalated on February 12 when Rafiq allegedly fired at a property dealer in North East Delhi’s Karawal Nagar. When a police team nearby intervened, the men shot at them and injured two policemen. “The two personnel sustained injuries on their thighs and are stable now,” said police.
Aware that the police chase will now intensify, the two fled to a friend’s house in Loni, but when their friend, Salman, refused to accommodate them, they allegedly killed him.
“Their associates were also not aware of their location. But three days after they shot at the policemen, the men were seen extorting money from a shopkeeper in Ashok Vihar on February 15. On February 16, we got a tip-off that they were shifting to Okhla Mandi and we managed to intercept them at Pul Prahlad Pur,” said police.
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