Swift action by two Delhi police constables foiled a possible gang war that was all set to take place in the heart of the Capital at Connaught Place on Saturday night.
Police have learnt that the three alleged criminals involved in the gunbattle were associates of an alleged drug dealer operating in Shankar Market area. They were hired by the drug dealer to settle scores with members of his rival drug peddling gang active in the same locality.
On Sunday, the Delhi police recognised the suspect arrested by the two policemen, Prateek and Sandeep, as Mohammad Rizwan alias Irfan, a notorious criminal from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh.
Irfan had fired four bullets at the two policemen while attempting to flee the area. The constables retaliated by firing one round that reportedly hit a taxi parked in the lane. Irfan is wanted in as many as 20 cases of murder, attempt to murder, dacoity and robbery in Moradabad.
Police have also learnt that Irfan has three cases registered against him in Delhi. This includes a murder case in Jamia Nagar last year in which he was later arrested by the Special Cell.
“After remaining in Tihar Jail for some months, Irfan was shifted to Moradabad as he was wanted by the Moradabad police in several cases. Irfan was released on bail a few months ago and has been absconding since then,” said a police source, adding the suspect who was seen with Irfan at the time of the shootout has been identified as Babu.
Irfan has told the police that his drug dealer friend wanted him to intimidate some witnesses who were to depose before a Delhi court in a kidnapping case registered against the dealer’s close aide Ashu Pehalwan. The witnesses are associates of the rival drug dealer, police sources said.
“As per their plan, Irfan was supposed to shoot Babu in his leg or scare the witnesses by firing bullets at them, not targeting their body. However, before they could execute their plans, the three were spotted by the two constables, who were patrolling the area on their motorcycle,” said a police source.
Irfan and his two aides were hiding behind the old Campa Cola factory in Shankar Market when the two constables reached there.
“Just as the constables called out to the three suspects, they began running in different directions. While Babu and the other suspect fled through the railway underpass, Irfan was chased by the constable in the lanes,” said a senior police officer.
Even as Prateek tripped and sustained injuries, he managed to overpower Irfan with the help of local people and his colleague Sandeep.