Hours after two men were stabbed to death and three critically injured during a 15-minute stabbing spree at Mangolpuri, police struggled to make sense of the murders — the victims had no criminal records and were chosen at random. Eventually, though, they managed to link another stabbing to the crimes, and arrested three persons apart from detaining a minor.
On Wednesday night, a gang of four masked men had gone on a violent spree at Mangolpuri’s I and M blocks, stabbing innocent bystanders before fleeing. Local residents had protested following the incident, and heavy police force had to be deployed.
To trace the attackers, police investigated a series of stabbing-related incidents and studied dossiers of local criminals. “In the past one year, there have been around 20-25 stabbing-related incidents in the area. It became tough for us to find any connection between them and the double murder case,” said an officer.
Police then questioned more than 50 people, with an eyewitness claiming the men had come “to avenge an associate”. “Their associate, Abhishek alias Chuha, was stabbed nine days ago and died Wednesday. The murders were in retaliation, though the victims had no connection to it,” the officer said.
Police then tapped their local criminal intelligence network and ascertained the suspects’ identity.
Three teams, headed by an inspector-rank officer, tried to trace members associated with Abhishek and picked up a juvenile for questioning. He later gave up the names of his three associates, who were arrested.
“We developed photographs of the accused through CCTV footage. One of the accused, Vishal, was picked up from Avantika park. Two others, Ashu and Suraj, were arrested from Bharat Singh stadium,” said Additional DCP (Outer) Rajender Singh Sagar. Police also claimed to have recovered three knives and a country-made pistol.
During questioning, it was found that the accused learned about Abhishek’s death around 9 pm. Vishal coordinated with others over phone and asked them to gather at I block.
“Initially, it was just two people — Vishal and the juvenile. They held one Rancho responsible for Abhishek’s death. However, they found that his house was locked. They hurled abuses and were creating a ruckus in the locality when a resident, Karanveer, objected. So they stabbed him and two other persons in I block,” Sagar said.
While fleeing, police said the two ran into Ashu and Suraj. When another resident, Suresh, objected to them gathering at the spot, they stabbed him too. “Vishal stabbed Suresh, while the other three held his hands,” Sagar said.