A Jamshedpur gangster accused in 56 cases, including the murder of the co-owner of Sreeleathers footwear in 2007, was arrested on Tuesday night after an encounter in a Gurgaon guesthouse.
Akhilesh Singh, the son of a police sub-inspector, had a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head. During the shootout in Gurgaon’s Sushant Lok Area, Akhilesh suffered bullet wounds in the legs and is being treated in a hospital.
Akhilesh, whose had his first brush with the law in 2001-02 in a kidnapping case, is believed to be running a gang of 50 members. Police sources said he owned property worth crores of rupees in Noida, Jabalpur, Benaras and Haridwar. The cases registered against Singh accuse him of extortion, loot, robbery and murders. Jharkhand police will seek his remand.
Ashish Dey, the Sreeleathers’ co-owner, was shot by bike-borne assailants while he was on his way to the footwear showroom from his home.
Akhilesh was also suspected of having a hand in the murder bid on former judge R P Ravi in 2008. Ravi had convicted Akhilesh in a case two years earlier.
“We had got leads that Singh was holed up in Gurgaon. A team, led by SP (rural) Prabhat Kumar, had gone to Gurgaon for this purpose. We took the help of the local police and the arrest was made,” said SP (city), Jamshedpur, Prashant Anand.
He said: “Since a criminal incident has taken place, he is likely to be put under arrest and we will seek remand.”
Prabhat Kumar, Superintendent of Police (rural), Jamshedpur, said: “More than ten of the cases registered against him accuse him of murder, including the murder of a rival gang leader inside a prison.”
Police said Akhilesh had also murdered a jailor and been given a life sentence in the case. “He was released on bail one-and-a-half years ago, but then killed a rival gang leader on the court premises, after which the bail was cancelled. He has been on the run since then,” said Kumar.
“We first cordoned the area around the guesthouse. Initially there were some issues about identifying him because he had put on weight and changed in appearance over the past year, but when he saw police personnel, he himself opened fire,” said Sumit Kumar, DCP (crime).
Gurgaon Commissioner of Police Sandeep Khirwar added: “One round was fired by him and two rounds by police personnel in retaliation. He sustained two gunshot wounds in his legs….”
Apart from Akhilesh, his wife Garima was arrested from the guesthouse. The police said she tried to shield him from the bullets and made an attempt to seize the weapon of a police officer.
“A case has been registered against the two at the DLF Sector 29 police station under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 307 (attempt to murder), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of duty), and 34 (common intention) of the IPC and the Arms Act,” said Ravinder Kumar, the PRO of Gurgaon police.
Garima has been remanded in 14 days’ judicial custody.