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Friday night thriller

The sound of firing from AK 47 rifles disrupted a festive Friday night at Palam Vihar Block C in Gurgaon, as Haryana Police special commandos stormed into House No. 1846.

delhi Updated: Sep 27, 2009 00:18 IST
Sanjeev K. Ahuja

The sound of firing from AK 47 rifles disrupted a festive Friday night at Palam Vihar Block C in Gurgaon, as Haryana Police special commandos stormed into House No. 1846.

Four armed robbers were allegedly holed up inside the house of Anup Chaturvedi, the general manager of Maruti Suzuki Limited. The first gunshots were fired at 11.38 pm. By 11.55 pm 18 more shots had been fired.

Little after midnight, senior police officials declared that two armed criminals had been gunned down.

But a day later, police failed to explain what happened to the other two robbers who were reportedly inside.

The drama
At 9.30 pm, Chaturvedi’s son Divyandhu (22) was parking his car at the gate when three people snatched the keys from him and sped away in the car.

Four other people went inside the house.

Chaturvedi (50), his parents Jyoti Parsad and Sheela Devi, wife Beena Devi, his sister-in-law Manisha, a physiotherapist and a maid were home.

Chaturvedi said his wife came to his room and informed him that four men had forced themselves inside the house.
The robbers reportedly told everyone to gather in one room.

Recounting the incident, Chaturvedi told HT: “My wife said the criminals were demanding cash and jewellery. I told her to obey them and also call up the police. She called from the landline. Later, all of us were taken to one room. By that time, Manisha too had managed to call up some acquaintances on her mobile.”

Chaturvedi said they were taken to a room on the ground floor. “When they heard the police siren, the robbers left us and rushed to the first floor. We managed to get out of the house,” he said.

Ankit Kumar, one of the neighbours who received a call from Manisha, said: “She was terrified. She said about three to four robbers had kept them hostage at gunpoint. I informed the police. After she escaped from the house, I brought her to my place.”

Chaturvedi said the men were not speaking the local Haryanvi dialect.

Police action
The Maruti-Suzuki SX4 car was found abandoned in Block A. Police called special commandoes to storm the house. The house was cordoned off from all sides and armed personnel were posted on rooftops of surrounding houses.

“Since the criminals were armed, we planned entry using the commandos. Three teams stormed into the building at 10.35 pm from the front and back. The criminals were in the bedroom of the first floor,” said Gurgaon Police Commissioner S.S. Deswal.

Deswal said the police teams fired at the robbers in self-defence. “They were told to surrender but they fired at the police personnel. When our men fired in self-defence, two armed criminals were hit. They were rushed to the Civil Hospital where they were declared brought dead,” he said.

He said a 0.99 mm pistol, a country-made revolver, dagger and a mobile phone set were found from the two robbers. One revolver was seized from the abandoned car.

Nothing new
Last month, a Toyota Innova was taken from the house opposite that of Chaturvedi's house.

Sushil Kochar, a resident of the locality, said Ajit Kumar's family had returned from a movie at about 10.00 pm when armed robbers snatched the vehicle from their doorstep.

Police, family differ
Police officials said their personnel barged into the house and rescued the family members, except Anup Chaturvedi who had sneaked out the house on his own. The family members, however, said they had come out of the house at around 10 pm.

Police had entered the house only at 11.35 pm. Police have also failed to give the exact number of criminals inside and how the rest managed to escape.