Updated: March 22, 2021 7:14:28 am
A 55-year-old man who had been given police protection after his father was murdered last year, was shot at and injured in Bulandshahr on Sunday. He is fighting for his life in hospital, but his 32-year-old son, who was accompanying him, was killed.
The murder could be part of an ongoing blood feud between two families that began with two murders more than 15 years ago, police suspect. Six people from both sides had been killed before Sunday’s murder.
Police said Dharmpal was attacked in Bulandshahr’s Dhanaura village while he was travelling in a Toyota Innova with his wife, two sons, and a police bodyguard. One of his sons, Sandeep, succumbed to his injuries.
“We received information that an incident of firing took place in Dhanaura village in which four persons were injured, one of whom was Dharmpal, whose father was murdered in Bulandshahr in May 2020,” Santosh Kumar Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, Bulandshahr, said.
“Four accused in that case (of Dharmpal’s father’s murder), including the main accused, Amit, are currently in jail. On Sunday, two persons opened fire at Dharmpal and his son Sandeep, who were travelling with an armed bodyguard. We are investigating,” SSP Singh said.
Dharmpal and his family were returning to their home in the village after working in their fields on Sunday, police said. Motorcycle-borne assailants intercepted their vehicle, which fell into a ditch, following which there was firing from both sides, police said.
“They (the assailants) fired many rounds. I rolled out of the vehicle and returned fire with my carbine, forcing them to flee. I got the car out of the ditch and took them (Dharmpal and his family) to hospital,” Pushpendra, the police bodyguard, said.
According to police, Dharmpal had been given licences for a rifle and a revolver, and assigned an armed bodyguard after his father Kalicharan was murdered. Police said the rivalry between the families of Dharmpal and Amit dates back to 2005, when Dharmpal’s mother and a servant were killed, and Amit’s father, an uncle, and two of their associates were sent to prison for the murders. All accused are currently serving life imprisonment in Agra jail, police said.
Two years after the murders of Dharmpal’s mother and their servant, Amit’s mother and uncle were murdered in 2007, allegedly by people on Dharmpal’s side.
“After Amit’s father was put in jail and his mother was murdered, he only had revenge on his mind. His name also surfaced in the murder of Dharmpal’s brother in 2019 in Aligarh. When asked, Amit would say that all he could see was his mother’s dead body, which spurred him to seek revenge,” SSP Singh said.
“The accused (in Kalicharan’s May 2020 murder) Amit has no known relatives or family in the village anymore. Their house lies empty and abandoned. We are investigating how the accused could have been involved in this (Sunday’s) crime while he was in prison. The police personnel deployed with them showed great bravery,” he added.
A bullet hit Sandeep in the head, police said. Dharmpal has been admitted to Kailash Hospital in Greater Noida in a critical condition. A bystander in the village also received minor injuries, police said.
An FIR has been filed against unknown accused, and four teams are investigating, police said.
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