A gang of robbers fired pistols and wounded a constable when two police cars blocked their vehicle from behind and front on an isolated byroad in northwest Delhi’s Rohini area on Sunday.
The operation began around 9am when the station house officer (SHO) of Sultanpuri police station was informed that a gang of five robbers was moving in the Rithala and Begampur Road localities in a white Maruti Swift to target a property dealer.
The SHO formed a team of 11 men and dashed off in three private hatchbacks to avoid alerting the gang. A scout car spotted the Swift on Begampur police station road, about 2km from Rithala Metro station, and quickly blocked the robbers from the front. Another car closed in from behind.
The gangster driving the Swift, identified as Sudhir alias Kala, tried to get away by accelerating and hitting the car blocking the way, and then reversed suddenly to make space to wiggle his vehicle out of the tight spot.
When a constable saw the Swift trying to push its way out of the trap, he fired and deflated a tyre. The policemen then asked the robbers to surrender, but they pulled out their pistols instead and fired. A bullet hit constable Pradeep’s left thigh; and the police team engaged the robbers in a close gunfight.
The shooting ended as quickly as it started after a bullet grazed Sudhir’s neck and pierced through the cheeks of fellow robber Vijay alias Rajesh seated next to him.
Constable Arvind sneaked from behind and broke the rear windscreen of the Swift, sticking his gun to the head of robber Sanjay Geroge, who was on the back seat with partner Farman.
The other three in the car tried to escape, but were overpowered in a matter of seconds. Fifth suspect Rahul alias Sunny, who was a scout, was on a motorcycle. He was caught a while later.
Sanjay, Vijay and Farman are known criminals. Police said Sanjay was arrested in 2008 for looting a bank car carrying cash in the Delhi Cantonment area. He is out on parole. In February, the trio was declared proclaimed offenders for attempting to murder a person.
Sunday’s attack was the second on Delhi Police personnel in less than 36 hours after constable Anand Singh was shot dead by three robbers in outer Delhi’s Bawana. Singh challenged them when the killers were robbing a woman in front of a crowd of people.
They escaped after shooting at the policeman. Nobody from the crowd came to his rescue.
Police suspect the robbers caught on Sunday murdered constable Singh. “They were being interrogated,” DCP (outer Delhi) Vikramjeet Singh said.