Seventy seconds. That was the time taken by two unidentified men to shoot a BSP leader and his nephew dead and leave their office in Bijnor on Tuesday, according to police who are yet to make any arrest in the case.
The primary investigation revealed that the two men were accompanied by an accomplice who kept a watch outside the office. The entry and exit of the accused was caught by nearby CCTV cameras.
The BSP leader Haji Ehsan Ahmed (50) and his nephew Shadaab (27) were gunned down in their office on Gurudwara road. “The accused entered the office with a sweet box, in which they had hidden two firearms, to congratulate Haji following the victory of the party’s newly elected MP,” police had said on Tuesday.
“Though the CCTV cameras were lying nonoperational at the office of the deceased, but we have gathered footage from other cameras. The accused will easily be identified as they did not cover their faces. We will soon be issuing their sketches based on the CCTV footage. The assailants, aged between 22 and 24, fired from two weapons. We have recovered ten empty cartridges from the room where the two were killed,” Sanjay Panchal, in charge of the Najibabad police station told The Indian Express on phone on Wednesday.
The Inspector General (Moradabad) has formed six teams of special officers to nab the accused. “The probe teams will be headed by the Deputy SP (Najibabad) Mahesh Kumar,” said IG (Moradabad) Ramit Sharma, after inspecting the crime scene late on Tuesday evening.
Haji’s brother-in-law Abdul Mannan lodged an FIR against three unidentified men with Najibabad police station on Tuesday night and alleged that the SP leader’s business partners or employees could have got him killed. “My brother-in-law had sought police protection as he was apprehending a threat to his life but the request was rejected,” said Mannan.
“As per our records, we did not get any such request. Had there been one, we would have examined the threat perception and should have provided the security cover,” said Panchal.
“The murder of our leader and his nephew is highly deplorable but the possibility of the killings motivated by political reasons seems remote. His business rivals might have planned the killing with hired assassins,” said Ravidra Singh, district chief of the BSP in Najibabad.
The probe has revealed that Haji had seven cases, including that of murder and extortion, pending against him and his property business was not only restricted to Bijnor but was spread to Dehli, Ghaziabad and Uttarak-hand. Haji was named as an accu-sed in the murder of three brothers in Pathanpur in Bijnor in 1993 .He had shifted his base to New Dehli years ago and returned to Bijnor six months ago, said police.
“Sharp shooters were used in the killing as bullets have hit the head and stomach of the duo,” said Bijnor SP Lakshmi Niwas Mishra.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines