Mohammad Israel (30), a key associate of slain gangster Bunty, who was arrested from Coimbatore in south India had taken shelter in an ashram and had disguised himself as a mendicant.
Israel, a sharpshooter working for Bunty, was flown in from Coimbatore on Friday evening on an Air Sahara flight. He is involved in 19 cases of murder and robbery in Delhi.
It was Israel who had opened fire on the two friends — Ashneet Singh and Hardeep Singh — in Amar Colony on July 11.
Fifteen minutes later, he shot dead Sanjiv Suri in Andrews Ganj and the next day he shot at two Madangir traders. A week before this, he had gunned down a property dealer in Sangam Vihar.
Israel met Bunty in 2001 on a Blueline bus. “Israel was attacked by Bunty during a robbery bid. Israel had retaliated and pinned him down. Bunty was impressed with Israel and invited him to join his gang. Israel, who was unemployed, contacted him ten days later,” said a senior police officer.
Israel, a well-built man, called himself “Dhakar Singh”.
Israel moved to Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh after a reward was announced on them. “He went to a politician’s house. He had worked earlier there.
He was told to go to Ramchandra Mission ashram in Coimbatore. He moved there a month ago and grew his hair and sported a beard. He was living as a saint under the assumed name of Ajay. He even learnt the local dialect and tried to dodge the police,” said HGS Dhaliwal, DCP (south).
“We reached him with the help of mobile phone records. He was in touch with three friends — one of them a policeman in Meerut,” said the police.
“He called his friends in Meerut and Bulandshahr from a PCO in Tirupur and asked enquired about his family,” said the officer.
Israel was picked up from near a bus stand and was interrogated. He broke down and confessed to the crimes he had committed.
His elder brother Bhura, presently in jail, has also worked with Bunty.