Even as the Delhi Police went gunning for Amritpal Singh Sachdeva (65), the man behind the misery of thousands was lazing around at his relative's house, watching on television the mayhem caused by his 'house of cards' on the fateful day.
Reason behind his composure: The money that he gave in kickbacks allegedly to local authorities.
For R50, 000 per month he allegedly secured the "services" of some of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) employees besides Delhi Police personnel.
"When he was arrested from the Geeta Colony house, he started name dropping, including that of politicians. He also claimed to have ties with a few senior police officers. Though these could be false claims, we are still investigating the matter," said a senior police officer on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
During interrogation, Sachdeva claimed that out of the R4.5 lakh that he earned every month in rent from his four buildings, he kept aside R50, 000 to give away as monthly "payments" to officials.
It is proven by the fact that in the last 20 years, Sachdeva, who has 42 criminal cases against him, never received a single notice for any violation from the MCD.
Also, no one from the Delhi Police ever went to check on his properties that housed a sweatshop, employing 10-year-olds to do embroidery work.
"He has given us names of a few officers both from the Delhi Police and MCD. We are investigating the matter," added the officer. According to police officers, Sachdeva claimed that he used to bribe MCD officials R500 to R10, 000 every month.
"We are looking for evidence so that we can build a strong case against all these officers," the officer said.
However, Sachdeva is not the only one. Builders and property dealers infest the whole of east Delhi's 450-square kilometre area. According to MCD officials, there are around 650 builders who mainly deal with construction of unauthorised buildings in the area.
"The builder mafia is very strong in east Delhi. Around 200 builders are spread over Lalita Park and Ramesh Park. We are not able to take any action against them, as they are very powerful," said a senior MCD official.