One of Delhi’s most-wanted criminals was shot dead by Meerut Police in an alleged encounter on Tuesday evening. According to police, Shakti Naidu had been absconding since January 30 after allegedly murdering his own gang member, Honey, for refusing to assassinate a Delhi Police ACP. On Tuesday morning, Meerut Police received information about Naidu’s movement and he was intercepted.
“Naidu had been on police surveillance since the intra-gang shootout, in which one of his aides was killed and another injured. We tracked him down to Vaishno Dham’s Arc City Colony through an informer’s tip. The accused fired at us after being spotted and tried to escape. At one point, the accused and police were face to face, exchanging fire. Naidu was injured and later succumbed to injuries. A policeman was also injured,” said SSP (Meerut) Ajay Pal Sahni.
According to police, they began checking Arc Colony for suspicious activities after Naidu was spotted in a Fortuner, which was stolen by him earlier from Meerut. After an initial round of firing, local police informed senior officers and a perimeter was set up close to the colony. Naidu was armed with several rounds of ammunition, and a 9 mm carbine and 12 mm double barrel rifle were recovered from his possession.
After Naidu shot dead Honey and injured gang member Tilak Raj, the latter had, in a video, alleged that a plan was being hatched to assassinate ACP Special Cell Lalit Mohan Negi. Raj had further said Naidu was suspicious that his gang members might leak this information to police.
According to a senior police officer, the gang was planning to assassinate the senior Delhi officer as he had slapped the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) on Naidu and others in connection with a Rs 7.8 crore dacoity in Lajpat Nagar in 2014. Naidu was arrested in 2002 as well in connection with a bank robbery, and has several cases pending against him in various parts of Delhi.
Naidu had earlier served six years in prison and was currently out on parole from Tihar Jail. According to sources, even while serving time, he was actively recruiting gang members.
Explaining the strength of Naidu’s gang, an officer said he would recruit juveniles so they would not face the full wrath of the law if caught. “Following his directions, four juveniles had barged into a court room in Karkardooma and tried to kill a notorious gangster, Irfan alias Cheenu. But they ended up killing a constable instead,” said the officer.
Meerut Police is currently combing the region to trace other gang members. Police are investigating if Naidu travelled to Delhi in the last three weeks.
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