Ten days after a 27-year-old man working at a private company was found murdered, the Delhi Police arrested four members of the ‘Lifafa gang’ in connection with the incident. According to police, the accused would pose as drivers of government offices or the press at wait at the Delhi-Gurgaon border. On finding potential customers, the gang would tell them that their vehicle had to be checked and that their belongings must be kept separately.
The accused would then ask the victims to place their belongings in an envelope, following which they swapped the envelopes, police said.
However, on December 14, Sunil Bhatt did not fall for the envelope trick and was murdered by the gang members for refusing to part with his cash and credit card.
Bhatt had left his house on Thursday evening and was enroute to Haridwar to attend a family function. But instead of boarding a bus he took a cab — driven by Arif (32), who claimed it was a press vehicle.
“The gang was looking for soft targets when they spotted Bhatt. They asked him to board the cab. Two of the accused were already sitting in the back seat,” DCP (southwest) Milind Mahadeo Dumbere said.
When Bhatt did not fall for the envelope trick, the gang, in retaliation, assaulted him and robbed him of Rs 2,800 and his mobile phone. They further beat him up and strangled him while attempting to extract his ATM PIN.
Bhatt succumbed to the injuries, following which the gang dumped his body in Mahipalpur on December 14.
After dumping the body, the accused first withdrew Rs 10,000 from his account, and later went on to withdraw money from different ATMs in Shalimar Bagh, Kingsway Camp and Majnu Ka Tilla.
Tracing the withdrawals and transactions, police arrested the accused. “We developed CCTV footage from the ATMs and identified the accused,” a police officer said.
The accused had duped another person two days after the murder and withdrew Rs 14,000, the officer said.
According to police, Arif was the gang leader. He had two murder cases registered against him. “When he was a juvenile, Arif committed two murders in Ghaziabad and Delhi, following which he was sent to a juvenile home. He was released 15 years ago. He later formed the gang with the help of Ajay Kumar (24), Nirmal Sharma (25) and Partap Singh (42) — who have also been arrested,” a police officer said.
According to police, the accused told them during questioning that they have been involved in over a hundred