Lest he fall prey to a lynch mob in the process of intimidating a witness, a small-time criminal was rescued from the midst of dozens of angry residents in outer Delhi's Kanjhawala area, police said.
The step, police said, was in order to prevent 'another Hayatpur-like incident' reported from neighbouring Gurgaon, in which a man was burnt alive after he shot the village sarpanch.
Things went from bad to awry when the accused, Praveen, who has six criminal cases registered against him, was being beaten by locals after he fired an aerial shot to intimidate Joginder Singh, a witness who was due to testify against him in one case in court on Friday evening.
"The case of attempt to murder was lodged at the Kanjhawala Police Station after Praveen and his associate Gaurav had assaulted a local resident identified as Joginder Singh in 2009, had come up for hearing on Friday. We reached the spot after receiving a call stating that shots had been fired," said BS Jaiswal, deputy commissioner of police (outer). Police say, Praveen, armed with a country made pistol, and along with Gaurav had gone to the village to threaten Singh.
"All of a sudden, Praveen took-out the revolver and fired at Singh after being provoked by Gaurav, a co-accused in the case. The duo was caught by local residents as they attempted to escape after firing. A police team was rushed to the spot and the duo rescued," DCP Jaiswal said. Police said the said revolver and a live shell had been recovered. A case under the arms act has been registered against them.