Two members of the "bikers' gang" that was held responsible for at least four murders and a spate armed robberies in and around the national capital last month were shot dead by the Delhi Police on Monday morning.
The police said gang leader Om Prakash alias Bunty and his accomplice Rajesh were killed around 6.45 a.m. in a gun battle near the Badarpur border between south Delhi and the satellite town of Faridabad in Haryana. Two policemen were injured in the process, they added.
The bikers' gang - so-called due to their habit of speeding in and out of crime scenes on motorcycles - had become notorious due to their predilection to start shooting.
Bunty and Rajesh had been on the run after three other gang members were arrested on July 31. Each had a reward of Rs.50,000 on his head, the police said.
One gang member, Nasir alias Zakir, 27, was arrested from the same Badarpur area when he went to meet the wife of another gang member, Israil alias Ajay Bidhuri, along with his two accomplices Mushtaq Ahmed, 24, and Rakesh, 28. Nasir was involved in at least 18 cases of murder, robbery, kidnapping and snatching, the police said.
The police had said at the time of Nasir's arrest that Ahmed alias Munna Khan and Rakesh alias Chholewala were not directly involved in the crimes, but were arrested for providing logistics and hideouts for the gang members.
At that time, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South Delhi) H.G.S. Dhaliwal said robbery was the main motive behind all the incidents.
"Bikes were just used as a tool to rob the people. They only robbed Pulsar motorcycles because of its speed and high performance. They were not selling or disposing them off.
"If one bike broke down they would steal another. The reason behind killing the owners of these motorbikes was to avoid identification and evade arrest. They did not even hesitate to kill people for amounts as meagre as Rs 2,500.
"The other reason to kill was to get the original papers and keys of the bike, which owners invariably keep in the vehicles. With the original papers in their possession they knew police would not doubt them and they would get away easily."
Dhaliwal had said Bunty, who was wanted in 22 cases of murder, snatching and robbery, had formed the gang during his stay in jail last year.
"Between June 28 and July 17, the gang committed crimes in Delhi and fled to a village, Garhi Shhedra in Noida (another satellite town of Delhi, in Uttar Pradesh), and stayed there. Their photographs were released to the public at the time. They committed most of the crimes during that period," Dhaliwal had said.
The biker gang first made news July 5 when its members gunned down property dealer Sonu, 25, outside his Sangam Vihar residence in south Delhi. That day, they shot another man and robbed his bike in the same area.
They robbed the owner of a TV showroom in the Kalkaji area of south Delhi and the customers during daylight the next day. The same day they robbed another motorbike from Defence Colony area of south Delhi at gunpoint.
On July 11, the gang killed two friends - Ashneet Singh, 24, and Harjeet Singh, 26 - in Amar Colony near Lajpat Nagar, again in south Delhi. Barely a few minutes later, they shot dead Sanjeev Suri, 30, near the Andrews Ganj crossing when one of the motorcycles they had stolen ran out of fuel.
The very next day the gang shot Naresh and Pawan, both in their 30s, in south Delhi's Dakshinpuri area. On July 21, they robbed a motorcycle from Okhla area.
After carrying out a series of robberies and killing people in south Delhi, the gang robbed and beat up a motorcycle rider in Mayur Vihar area of east Delhi. They also robbed in two shops in east Delhi.
Dhaliwal had said at the time of Nasir's arrest that the gang had committed a series of robberies in Noida and looted many people at gunpoint.