Speculations are rife about the reason behind the deadly attack on INLD MLA Bharat Singh outside his office on Saturday morning.
Sources point towards a local criminal wanted in several cases who is also a “budding extortionist who wants to look more dangerous” for the armed assault on the sitting southwest Delhi MLA.
The enmity between Vikas Lakkarpur alias ‘Vicky’, a resident of Jharoda Kalan, and INLD MLA Bharat Singh goes back to 2011 and, according to sources, is punctuated with skirmishes triggered by the most trivial of reasons.
However, investigators claimed that the objective behind each incident has seemingly been the same — challenging and defying Singh’s legal authority and the popularity he enjoys in the Najafgarh constituency so that Vicky can “seem more dangerous” than he is currently deemed in the world of crime.
“Last year, apparently, Vicky’s mother had been publicly slapped by Singh when he caught her operating a lottery den in the area. A day or two later, a drunken Vicky had a scuffle with Singh at a local temple in full public view. A property dispute may also have been the reason,” said a senior police officer.
“What Vicky seems to want to gain by his shenanigans is a more notorious image; going from the ‘boy who had a scuffle with the local MLA’ to being feared as the ‘man who pumped bullets into an MLA’.”
Once he is jailed, sources suspect, Vicky is likely to be deemed relatively more dangerous by, say, a local mid-level businessman to refuse paying extortion money to.
While some believe Saturday’s incident could be the beginning of a bitter, and possibly bloody, feud between rival criminal gangs who want to wrest control of the Capital’s porous borders, others said it could be the resurrection of an older enmity between Singh’s brother, Krishan Pehalwan, and his erstwhile rivals.
“It is possible that Vicky is just a pawn — put up to it and financed by some gangs in adjacent Haryana, who want to get back at Pehalwan, who also has a criminal background,” the officer said.
Meanwhile, Singh’s family claimed that he had been requesting that he be given security since 2009 but the state hadn’t been forthcoming.
“He’s being targetted by his rivals who can’t compete with, or digest, the good work he has done since he came to power,” Singh’s cousin Devender said.