The men, who gunned down 62-year-old Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader-cum-businessman Deepak Bhardwaj, had apparently planned the killing over the weekend three days before executing it step by step, sources claimed on Friday.
The police claimed the conspiracy had plausibly been planned last Sunday, following which the accused first switched off their cell phones, then got their hands on the getaway vehicle before finally procuring the country-made weapons. "In fact, they were aware of the possibility of technical surveillance being used to track them down as the first step," said an officer.
"So, on the day of the incident, they did not carry their mobile phones to avoid being both tracked and to curtail it from being used as evidence to establish their location at the scene of crime," the officer added.
According to sources, after gunning down Bhardwaj, the trio drove all the way to Haryana's Jhajjar district, where they approached a local farmer and used his phone to contact the owner of Skoda Laura, which was used to commission the crime.
Car owner Rakesh, who has been detained, had then been asked to meet them in Bahadurgarh, from where he was supposed to drive it back home to northwest Delhi's Alipur village.
Meanwhile, sources claimed Sunil, one of the two contract killers, is wanted in two separate criminal cases - one of sexual assault and the other of attempt to murder -registered at the Alipur police station.
"We have questioned more than 50 persons in the case so far, including the friends and relatives of the accused. Raids are being carried out in the states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh," the officer said.
Sources said among other angles they were also probing whether Bhardwaj's relationship(s) outside marriage could have prompted someone from his family to order a hit on him.
Senior officers reiterated that they had definite leads in the case and only Bhardwaj's relationship with the mastermind of his murder remains to be ascertained.