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Delhi: 2 held for murder of transgender activist

Police said they arrested two contract killers — Gagan Bhardwaj (33) and Varun (19) — who allegedly accepted Rs 55 lakh to kill the victim.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
April 12, 2021 2:22:08 am
The accused, Gagan, is involved in more than 14 cases of murder, attempted murder, dacoity, robbery, among others.

Nearly seven months after a transgender woman was shot dead outside her house in GTB Enclave, the Delhi Police Special Cell has arrested two men in connection with the crime.

Police said they arrested two contract killers — Gagan Bhardwaj (33) and Varun (19) — who allegedly accepted Rs 55 lakh to kill the victim.

The deceased, Ekta Joshi, ran an NGO for transgenders in Delhi with her mother, Anita. On September 5 last year, she had stepped out of a car when the accused came on a scooter and fired multiple times at her. She had succumbed to the injuries.

A video of the incident shows Joshi and her mother outside the car at night. The two killers come on a scooter and fire bullets. Joshi’s mother tries to save herself and later rushes to see her daughter.

DCP (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwaha said a team supervised by ACP Attar Singh had received a tip-off that the accused would come to Nirankari Samagam Ground in a Scorpio car on Saturday. “Based on it, our team went there and caught the two men at 5 am. Gagan told police that he and six of his associates were offered Rs 55 lakh to kill Joshi,” said the DCP.

Gagan said he was hired by a man named Manzoor Elahi. Elahi and his friend Kamal also run a small group for transgenders. Elahi allegedly paid an advance of Rs 15 lakh to the contract killers to kill Joshi and her mother.

DCP Kushwaha said Elahi and others were jealous of the NGO and their popularity. “They were collecting money from locals in the trans-Yamuna area. This was Elahi’s area and they wanted to eliminate Joshi. We have arrested six persons in the case so far.”

The accused, Gagan, is involved in more than 14 cases of murder, attempted murder, dacoity, robbery, among others.

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