A 33-year-old alleged gangster was shot dead in a revenge killing by the members of a rival gang, five of whom were arrested after a high-speed chase and a massive police operation early on Sunday in Delhi’s upmarket Greater Kailash area.
At around 2.30am, gunshots rang out at the BRT corridor near Sadiq Nagar traffic signal in south Delhi. Occupants of a white Scorpio, armed with pistols, rammed their vehicle into a motorcycle that Raju Ramakant Rao, alias Raju Babu, was riding and fired at him indiscriminately, police said.
Rao, who also dabbled in real estate and had four criminal cases against him, was killed on the spot, abandoned by his men who quickly rode away in their motorcycles.
“The Scorpio first hit Raju’s motorcycle. As he fell and tried to make a run for it, the men opened fire. They shot him in the head several times,” Shibu, an aide who was with Rao, told the police.
The murder, said a senior police officer, was fallout of a bloody turf war between Rao’s gang and the one led by Deepak Gautam, alias Pandit, over south Delhi’s Ambedkar Nagar and Madangir areas. Rao recently took over the Gangwal gang after the arrest of kingpin Raju Gangwal, sources said.
Both the groups were rivals in drug peddling and betting rackets.
“At least five members from both the gangs have been killed in less than a year,” joint commissioner of police Deependra Pathak said. Gautam was one of the men arrested on Sunday.
The shots fired by him and his gang alerted a night patrol of the Greater Kailash police station. Led by SHO Sandeep Ghai, a team rushed to the crime spot. The assailants drove the Scorpio, which was without a number plate, towards B Block in Greater Kailash-I on seeing the police Gypsy.
The police gave them a chase as assailants entered the upscale residential area. They hit a dead-end and were forced to dump the vehicle and run for cover after making a futile attempt to break their way out of a colony gate.
A three-hour game of hide-and-seek followed with 100 policemen fanning out in the colony. It was around 5.30am when the police called an end to the operation, nabbing all but one of the assailants.
“They fled in different directions after abandoning the vehicle. However, five of them were nabbed during the operation,” said deputy commissioner of police (southeast) Mandeep Singh Randhwa.
Investigators said Pandit’s gang wanted to avenge the killing of a member, Ajay, alias Chote, recently murdered in Tihar Jail allegedly on Rao’s instructions.
Ajay was arrested for allegedly murdering Rao’s two accomplices a few months ago.
The police said Pandit’s gang was keeping a close watch on Rao for the last 20 days. On Sunday, they followed him for several kilometres before intercepting him at the traffic signal.
Sunday was the second time in five months that a gang war bloodied south Delhi’s streets. On March 9, a hotel employee was killed and a man seriously injured when five masked men fired at them near Qutab Minar. The police, which arrested eight men, said the firing was the outcome of a gang rivalry over money and property disputes.