Police captured five henchmen of jailed gangster-brothers Kapil and Jyoti Sangwan in southwest Delhi’s Najafgarh on Saturday evening, after being tricked into a trap and they fired pistols to escape.
An officer said three of them were wanted for the brutal murder of 74-year-old Shri Krishan, father of dreaded Delhi gangster Manjeet Mahal, currently lodged in Tihar jail.
More than 15 bullets were fired at Shri Krishan on January 29 at the gates of his home, almost a month after his son was arrested by a team of Delhi Police’s special cell.
He died instantly as bullets pierced his head and chest.
The murder is viewed as fallout of a raging gang war between Mahal and the Nandu group, the one led by the Sangwan brothers. The feud has claimed more than a dozen lives on the southwestern outskirts of Delhi and border areas in Haryana over the past five years.
The gangsters have been targeting family members, as their animosity has exacerbated in the past year.
Deputy commissioner of police Sanjeev Kumar Yadav said the five men arrested on Sunday when they were on the way to Mitraon village to attack members of Mahal’s family.
Assistant sub-inspectors Krishan Kadiyan and Rajender Hooda had information that they would be passing through Surakhpuri-Najafgarh Road. A trap was laid accordingly to capture them.
“Their car was blocked by our vehicles when it reached a particular spot. The occupants were asked to surrender, but they fired five bullets at our men in an attempt to escape. Nobody was wounded and the attackers were overpowered,” Yadav said.
The police fired two warning shots. Assistant sub-inspector Hooda’s flak jacket took one of the bullets from the gangsters.
The arrested men are Krishan alias Bhalu, who had Rs 50,000 reward on his head, Anil Sharma, Deepak Maan, Pankaj Dagar, and Dipak Sharma.
A carbine, six semi-automatic pistols with 75 cartridges were confiscated from them, along with the car. The five spent shells were also retrieved as evidence.
Officer Yadav said the arrest prevented a possible bloodbath at Mahal’s house in Mitraon village.
Their main target apparently was Mahal’s brother Sanjay and other family members.
Police said the arrested men were doing the jailed Sangwan brother’s bidding to avenge the killings of two close associates Vikrant and Dinesh in Gurgaon and Chhawla in February. The duo was murdered within 12 days of each other, after Mahal’s father was shot dead.
Officers suspect the two deaths were plotted by Mahal and his sidekick, Nafe Singh alias Mantri, who is also in jail, and executed by their hitmen.
Mantri’s father too was gunned down by the rival gang.
Police said rival gang members could be looking for an opportunity to kill Mahal either in jail or on court premises during hearings. The gangster was a target when he visited his village under police protection to attend his father’s last rites in the first week of February.
“However, the plan could not be executed because he was heavily guarded. The attackers came prepared but backed,” Yadav said.