Nand Gopal Gupta Nandi, a former BSP minister and currently a Congress leader, was late Sunday booked for allegedly attacking a businessman — his former business partner — in Allahabad.
In an FIR loodged at Kydganj police station by businessman Sudhir Agarwal, Nandi and four others — including his relative — have been accused of opening fire, causing injury and escaping with Agarwal’s licenced pistol. Nandi, however, denied the allegations and claimed that the FIR was a ploy to avoid giving him the money that Agarwal owes him.
Police said Agarwal, a resident of Kathghar area in old Allahabad City, had set up an office in Kydganj’s Sangam Enclave Apartment. Agarwal, who is into rice mill business, used to be Nandi’s partner but had parted ways around a year ago following dispute over money.
According to the complaint, Nandi, his driver, gunner, cousin Kamal Kumar and another unidentified armed man came to the office around 9.30 pm on Sunday. At the time, Sudhir was sitting with his brother Sunil — both in their early 40s.
“There was an argument, following which Sunil was beaten up, allegedly by Nandi and his men. He was also hit with a glass bottle on his face. The attackers reportedly left the spot after firing several rounds in the air. A licenced pistol of the complainant was alleged to have been missing,” Kydganj Station Officer Umesh Kumar said.
He added: “An FIR pertaining to attempt to murder, theft, causing injury and criminal intimidation has been registered on Sudhir’s complaint. Along with three unidentified persons, Nandi and Kumar have also been named.”
Kumar further said that while police have not recovered any empties from the spot, many people in the neighbourhood claimed to have heard gunshots. “Sunil is under treatment,” he said, adding that CCTV footage has established that Nandi was present in the office.
When contacted, Nandi alleged that Sudhir had been bungling money since the time he was contesting the last Lok Sabha elections as a Congress candidate.
“Some businessmen had intervened to sort the matter, after we demanded Rs 5 crore from him. But he kept dilly-dallying. Finally, it was decided that he would return the amount on Sunday. My cousin went there for the purpose but he was beaten up. The FIR is just a ploy to avoid returning my money,” Nandi added.
On the police’s claim that he was present at Agarwal’s office, Nandi said: “Earlier as well, the SP government has got many FIRs registered against me. All of those claimed that I was present at crime spots. But nothing was proved in the court.”
SP (City) Rajesh Yadav said: “Whether there was any firing is being investigated. The complainant was a business partner and there was some monetary dispute. The incident allegedly occurred after some argument. We are not aware of the complainant’s political affiliation. He is also said to be a distant relative of the former minister. The other side has not lodged a by complaint with us so far.”
It was one early morning in July 2010 when then state homeopathy minister Nandi had hit national headlines. A bomb blast near his home killed The Indian Express reporter Vijay Pratap Singh and one more person. Nandi survived the attempt on his life.