A 45-YEAR-OLD woman architect was shot in the head, allegedly by a former JD(U) MLA from Bihar, at a New Year’s party at a farmhouse in south Delhi Monday night, police said. The woman, identified as Archana Gupta, was shot around midnight and is said to be in “critical condition” at a private hospital in Vasant Kunj.
Police said the former two-time MLA, Raju Kumar Singh, is “absconding” along with his driver. Singh, who switched to the BJP in 2015, is an influential real-estate businessman hailing from Muzaffarpur. He faces five cases in Bihar (see page 5), including two under the Arms Act and another of attempt to murder. Special Commissioner (law and order) R P Upadhyay said an FIR has been registered against Singh and others for attempt to murder and destruction of evidence, based on a complaint filed by Vikas Gupta, the woman’s husband who is a realtor.
“He has filed a complaint stating that they were at the farmhouse on Monday night for a New Year party with friends on the invitation of Raju Singh’s elder brother. He stated that around 12 am, two or three rounds were fired by Singh. Gupta saw his wife Archana fall down, bleeding profusely,” Upadhyay said. “The incident occurred at Rose Farm, which is owned by Singh’s mother. He lives there with his two brothers and their families. We are conducting raids to nab him,” he said. The farmhouse is located at Mandi village in Fatehpur Beri.
Police said they came to know of the incident around 1 am when they received a call from Fortis Hospital that a woman with a gunshot wound had been admitted there by her family. “Her husband said they had gone to the party around 9-9.30 pm,” said a senior officer.
Police reached the farmhouse, detained some guests for questioning and spoke to family members of the ex-MLA to confirm that the brothers had jointly hosted the party. By then, they said, Singh had gone missing. Police are also probing whether the shots were fired from Singh’s licenced pistol, which is yet to be recovered.
Sources said a forensic team collected evidence from the spot, with police probing the possibility that some of it may have been tampered with. Police also inspected the farmhouse premises through Tuesday while asking Singh’s family members to stay on the lawns. When The Indian Express visited the farmhouse, the main gate was locked — it was opened only for the police. At the hospital, Archana’s family confirmed she had been admitted with a gunshot wound but declined to provide details. (Inputs from Santosh Singh, Patna)