Seven men were arrested on Tuesday by the Faridabad police in connection with the murder of Haryana Congress leader Vikas Chaudhary, who was shot dead outside a gym in Sector 9 on June 27.

Four other people, including a gangster’s wife, who were allegedly involved in planning the murder and supplying weapons to the perpetrators, had been arrested earlier.

The police said the motive behind the murder was yet to be established, as the arrested persons were acting on orders from someone who is yet to be identified. On the day of the incident, the police had said that a financial dispute and personal enmity due to Chaudhary’s criminal past were suspected to be the reasons for the murder.

The police on Tuesday said the investigation had revealed that as many as nine people were involved in the execution of the crime on the morning of June 27, who had arrived in three cars, a Maruti SX4 sedan (seen in CCTV camera footage outside the gym), a Maruti Swift and a Hyundai Accent.

Four of the seven men arrested—identified by their first names as Saurabh, Atul, Sunil and Amardeep—were allegedly either in the SX4 car when Chaudhary was shot or were stationed about 100 metres from the crime spot for backup. The other three—identified by their first names as Naveen, Dharamjit and Suraj—had arranged cars and provided a place for the others to hide after the crime. All the cars have been recovered, the police said.

Sanjay Kumar, commissioner, Faridabad police, said that on June 27, five men in an Accent car reached Faridabad from Sonepat and four men arrived in a Swift car from Delhi.

“They (the suspects) had parked the SX4 sedan, which was stolen from Gurugram and had fake number plates, in Faridabad, and five men from both the cars got into it, making their way to Sector 9. The criminals were wary of using the other two cars since both had genuine registration number plates, and ran the risk of being detected on CCTV camera footage. Meanwhile, three men waited in the Swift car, about 100 metres from the gym, as backup,” Kumar said. The police said another man stayed behind in the Accent car.

The police said the plan was to have three men as backup in the area in case Chaudhary’s personal security officers (PSOs) retaliated against the shooting, and they could attack him if he escaped. They added that interrogation had revealed that Saurabh and Atul had done the reconnaissance of Chaudhary’s house and gym on June 25 and 26 on the behest of one Sachin, who was allegedly driving the SX4. Both were waiting in the Swift car with weapons on the day of the murder.

As Chaudhary was about to exit his Fortuner SUV in the gym’s parking lot around 9am, two armed men got out of the SX4 and allegedly fired at least 12 rounds at him. Chaudhary was shot in the chest, arm and neck. After shooting him, the men escaped in the SX4 and later abandoned it in Sector 76, from where it was recovered. All the suspects then escaped in the other two cars, the police said.

The police said several of the arrested men had a criminal record. “Dharamjit was accused in murder and assault cases. Naveen is wanted in an illegal arms possession case while Sunil also has cases of assault registered against him,” said Sube Singh, spokesperson, Faridabad police, in a statement. Two of the suspects had confessed to multiple vehicle thefts, he added.

On Tuesday, the crime branch of Sector 30 arrested Saurabh and Atul, both residents of Faridpur village, from a checkpost in Tigaon village, Faridabad. A pistol, a countrymade gun and six cartridges were allegedly recovered from them. The other five men were arrested by another crime team from Surajkund when they were going towards Delhi in an Accent car.

Chaudhary, 41, a spokesperson for Congress in Haryana, had a criminal record, and 13 FIRs of extortion, kidnapping and attempt to murder had been registered against him since 2007 in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The police had said that he was declared a bad character (BC)—a person who has a history of crime—at Sector 7 police station, Faridabad.

On June 29, the police had arrested the wife of a Gurugram-based gangster Kaushal, and his domestic help, suggesting his involvement in the conspiracy. The police had said that his wife, Roshni, and domestic help, Naresh, were taking directions from Kaushal, believed to be abroad, over the phone. Two others, Harender and Manjesh, were arrested for procuring and supplying weapons to the shooters.

On Monday, a team of the Faridabad police had taken Amit Dagar, a close aide of Kaushal, on production remand, and an associate of Sachin, Tek Chand, for questioning in the case.

First Published:
Jul 10, 2019 02:19 IST

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