High drama unfolded near the Siri Fort crossing on the BRT corridor in Greater Kailash on Saturday night when a 37-year-old man was shot dead by six men in a Scorpio, police said. Within seconds of the gunshots ringing out, the station house officer of Greater Kailash police station, who was patrolling the area in a Gypsy, gave chase to the Scorpio.
With the siren-blaring police jeep tailing it, the Scorpio crashed into the gate of a park in R&S Block of Greater Kailash-I. After a two-hour search, five accused, hiding in the block, were arrested, police said.
Deputy commissioner of police (southeast) Mandeep Singh Randhawa identified the deceased as Raju Ramakant Rao alias Raju Baba.
He was on a bike when the attackers opened fire on him. Rao was named in four theft cases and a case of attempt to murder lodged at the Neb Sarai police station, Randhawa added.
“Those arrested are Deepak Gautam alias Pandit, Kapil Panwar, Shankar, Shan Mohammed and Birender. Pandit was wanted in four cases and was a proclaimed offender in two cases,” he said.
Rao’s family alleged that the murder could have been averted if police had acted on their complaint and acted against the accused.
Rekha, Rao’s wife, alleged that Pandit and his associates had been demanding money from her husband for the past one year.
“Last year, they had attacked my husband, but he managed to escape. We had lodged a complaint against them at the Neb Sarai police station, but police took no action,” she alleged.
Police said Rohit, a close associate of Rao, was killed allegedly by suspected gangsters Ajay Chhotu Tigri and Pandit in Tigri Extension last year.
The same year, Rao had been attacked allegedly by Tigri and Pandit. Rao had escaped unharmed, but two of his associates, Sumit and Akash, were killed in the attack, police added.
Tigri was arrested following that attack and lodged in Tihar Jail and it is suspected that Rao got him murdered inside the jail, police said. Police said Rao was allegedly killed by Pandit, who was looking for an opportunity to avenge Tigri’s murder.
After questioning the accused, police said on Saturday evening, Pandit came to know that Rao would collect money from a client and then visit a tea shop near the Chirag Dilli flyover. Pandit and his men, who were in the Scorpio, were waiting near the flyover.
“That night, after collecting Rs 30 lakh, Rao visited the Kalkaji temple and then drove to the Chirag Dilli flyover,” a police officer said.
He stopped at the tea shop along with five associates, who were on two motorcycles and a Scooty. A policeman on duty there approached them and asked for their vehicle documents.
The policeman impounded one of the bikes and asked the men riding it to come with him to the police station. Rao and his other associates, meanwhile, headed home.
Near the Sadiq Nagar traffic signal on the BRT corridor, the accused intercepted Rao, the police said. They came out of the Scorpio and told Rao’s associates to leave. The accused then allegedly shot him point-blank, pumping eight bullets into him, police added.
Randhawa said inspector Sandeep Ghai, who was patrolling the area in his Gypsy along with inspector Anil Malik and two constables, immediately chased the Scorpio.
“The accused turned into a lane with a dead end. They crashed the vehicle into the iron gate of the park. Seeing the police, they left the vehicle and escaped. The entire area was cordoned off and they were arrested after a search,” he said.