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‘We persuaded them for 3 hrs… they started shooting’: How late-night police op in Northeast Delhi turned into encounter

Police claim the men were sitting with at least 100 rounds of ammunition.

Written by Jignasa Sinha | New Delhi |
Updated: August 14, 2021 9:09:42 am
Accused Amir Khan (Left) and Rajman.

At 11.30 pm on Wednesday, a team from Begampur police station received information about two ‘wanted criminals’ hiding inside a one-room rented accommodation in Northeast Delhi’s Khajuri Khas. Police maintain the aim was to arrest Amir Khan and Rajman, who were allegedly involved in several cases of burglary and robbery.

Four hours later, however, a dozen bullets had been fired, the men were dead, and two constables were injured.

When The Indian Express visited the location on Friday, the shootout was all anyone could talk about.

Rajesh Gupta, who owns the room and had rented it to the two men two weeks ago, said, “I received a call from local police around midnight and was asked to come to the building. They questioned me about the two men. I was with the police when they asked the two to surrender. I also tried talking to them, but they threatened to blow up the building and kill everyone, including themselves. I was scared; I was under the impression they worked at a sports equipment company. Police then asked me to leave. Around 3 am, we heard gunshots, like someone was bursting firecrackers.”

Police claim the men were sitting with at least 100 rounds of ammunition.

After they allegedly threatened to “blow up the building”, police say they had to move fast – a quick evacuation operation was planned and 15 families, including children, were escorted out in the middle of the night.

Jaychand, who lives with his wife and four children on the same floor, said, “We hadn’t spoken to them much; they shifted here recently and would come home late at night. Police woke us up and took me and my family downstairs. I was scared when all this was happening, but the police assured us we would be safe.”

According to police, Khan was involved in seven cases of robbery, burglary, violence and the Arms Act, while Rajman faced five such cases.

Rajman used to live with his brother in Wazirabad, while Khan hailed from Ghaziabad’s Loni, but had been disowned by his family, police said.

DCP (Northeast) Sanjay Sain said the team’s priority was to ensure locals were safe. “Six police personnel tried persuading the men for more than three hours. We wanted them to surrender but they refused to do so. They were threatening us,” said the DCP.

According to police, the team tried looking through the window and saw the two holding pistols. Later, one of the men put a pistol to his head.

At 2.30-3 am, police decided to open the door and asked a local to help break it with a hammer. However, as they tried breaking the door, the accused allegedly started firing. Both constables Kalik Tomar and Sachin Khiokar received bullet injuries to the leg.

According to Tomar, the men “were sitting on the ground because they thought the police team would start firing from the window”. When Khiokar tried opening the door, the duo allegedly fired and a bullet hit him in the leg, said Tomar.

“He was pulled back by the police team. I was scared, but I knew we had to arrest them; the door was still closed. We broke it and entered, but they fired again and I was shot in the leg. My teammates rushed to help and fired in retaliation.”

While Khiokar is undergoing treatment for a fracture, Tomar is stable.

Over a dozen bullets were fired from both sides and the accused were killed on the spot.

DCP Sain said, “We found four magazines, 60 live rounds and Rs 1 lakh cash. This is not the case with most robbers. Also, criminals usually surrender and don’t think of killing themselves. We suspect they were onto something big such as planning to commit armed robbery at Muthoot Finance or a jewellery store in Chandni Chowk. They might also be members of inter-state arms supplier gangs. We are verifying all inputs.”

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