It was a script straight out of a Bollywood potboiler: a man who wants to win the election at any cost gets his brother killed to gain sympathy votes until the long arm of the law catches up with him.
The police on Wednesday arrested Manoj Gautam, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate from Khurja constituency in Bulandshahr district, along with a sharp shooter Feroj, on charges of killing his brother Vinod Gautam “for electoral gains”.
The duo was sent to jail and raids were on to arrest a third accomplice, Parvinder, who was absconding till the filing of this report.
Sub inspector Sokendra Singh told journalists that Manoj ’s pistol was used to eliminate his brother Vinod and his friend Sachin. Police have recovered Manoj’s .32 bore pistol, 3 empty cartridges and mobile phones of the victims — Vinod, 20, and his friend Sachin, 26 — from Feroj.
Police claimed that Manoj’s plan was to blame his rival Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate for the murder so that people would vote for him out of sympathy on February 11, when the district goes to polls.
A recorded conversation between Parvinder and Feroj helped them solve the case and arrest the accused, police said.
During interrogation Manoj admitted to the charge and said he had come under heavy debt in the last three years while working for the BSP after being made incharge of Khurja seat, and was declared the party’s candidate for the elections.
However, the BSP later fielded another candidate in his place. Manoj then joined the RLD .
With an aim to win the polls at any cost, Manoj thought of eliminating his close relatives ahead of polling to seek sympathy votes and shared the idea with his close aide Parvinder.
They decided to execute their plan after RLD leader Jayant Choudhary’s rally on Monday. Jayant addressed a rally in Khurja on Monday evening to seek votes for Manoj.
Later, Manoj asked his brother Vinod to pick him from Agwal village . Manoj then gave his pistol to Parvinder and sent him to Agwal to pick up Feroj. The duo then shot Vinod and Sachin who were waiting for Manoj in their Scorpio SUV.
When Vinod and Sachin didn’t return till late night, a complaint was lodged with the police .
A police team found the Scorpio late on Monday night and on Tuesday morning the pradhan of village Agwal informed them about two bodies lying in a mango orchard in the village.
The bodies were identified as that of Vinod and Sachin. On seeing the bodies, Manoj fainted on the spot and was admitted to a hospital.
Manoj was discharged from the hospital by the time Vinod’s body arrived at their village in Bulandshahr and was present at his brother’s funeral.