THE CRIME Branch of Mumbai Police on Saturday arrested an alleged gangster wanted for the murders of a BJP leader and a software executive in Uttar Pradesh.
Police identified the accused as Pravin Singh alias Aashu (32). According to police, he was working as a fruit vendor at Irla Market in Vile Parle (West) for several months.
Police said a team of Uttar Pradesh Police arrived in Mumbai earlier in the week after learning that Singh was living in the city. After receiving a tip-off that Singh had bought a hand cart to sell fruit, Unit 11 of the Crime Branch kept an eye on his movement in Kandivali, Jogeshwari and Irla, where the UP Police finally identified him as the wanted man, police added.
A crime branch official said Singh had changed his name as well as appearance. “He is much thinner now and has grown a beard. It took the team from UP Police some time to recognise him,” the official said.
A native of Ghaziabad district, Singh is the main accused in the murder of Rakesh Sharma, BJP’s Block General Secretary in Dhaulana village.
Police said Singh, who allegedly runs the Mirchi gang, shot Sharma dead early on September 9, 2019, when he was going to a school where he was a teacher.
Singh is also accused of killing software firm executive Gaurav Chandel in Greater Noida on January 6, police said.
They added that Singh and his associates shot Chandel in the head when he was returning home from work and fled with his car, laptop, mobile phone, and money.
Police also said following Chandel’s murder, Singh is believed to have travelled across Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Maharashtra.
Since 2013, he has been named as an accused in 17 other cases of murder, attempt to murder, robbery and theft, leading the UP Police to declare a reward of Rs. 2.5 lakh for information leading to his capture.
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