A key witness in the murder of former MLA Bharat Singh was shot dead outside Japanese Park in Rohini on Tuesday evening. Vipin Chaudhary, 24, was chased and shot five times by four unidentified men in Rohini Sector 10 till he bled to his death.
Chaudhary, who once used to be the driver of Bharat Singh, had police protection but had reportedly asked his personal security officer (PSO) to leave early on Tuesday.
The shooting could be the result of a gang war between two families, which claimed the life of former INLD MLA Bharat Singh, brother of gangster-turned-politician Krishan Pehalwan. Singh was shot dead at a wedding in Najafgarh by rivals in April 29 this year. The feud between the two families has claimed at least five lives on both sides since 2002.
Soon after Chaudhary’s murder, Pehalwan alleged that the murder was connected to his brother’s case and was part of a bigger conspiracy.
“Vipin Chaudhary is one of the eyewitnesses in the murder of INLD MLA Bharat Singh and used to work as his driver. He was allegedly shot dead near Japanese Park by four men in a car. We have registered a case of murder in the matter. If the killing was associated with the murder of the MLA or not is a matter of investigation,” DCP (outer) Vikramjeet Singh said.
The police said Chaudhary was on his way to drop a woman at her house in Rohini when four persons in an i20 car intercepted him near hotel Crown Plaza on a deserted stretch. When two of the men reportedly asked Chaudhary to get down from the bike, he tried to escape but one of them opened fire. The men reportedly chased Chaudhary and pumped in four more bullets in his chest till he collapsed.
“The woman tried to stop the men but she was pushed to the ground. She escaped unhurt. The men reportedly fired a few rounds in the air to scare onlookers. The police rushed Chaudhary to hospital where he was declared dead on arrival,” a senior police officer said.
Chaudhary had reportedly got armed police protection after the arrest of the main accused in Bharat Singh’s murder, Udaiyveer Kala, in April as he had been receiving threats. On Tuesday evening, Chaudhary asked his PSO to leave early on as he had to go somewhere else. Police said that the assailants were aware of Chaudhary’s movements and had been trailing him after he left the INLD office in Nangloi just an hour before the incident.
The body has been sent for a postmortem examination. According to sources, the police detained two persons for questioning. “We are analysing CCTV footage. Investigation is on,” police said.