“We don’t forgive the murder of our people” sums up the mood in Mitraon village in Najafgarh following the brutal murder of Shri Krishan, father of one of Delhi’s most dreaded gangsters, Manjeet Mahal.
An uneasy calm prevails over the area after Krishan was gunned down by a group of men outside his home. Retaliation is the buzzword though nobody speaking it aloud.
“Yes, there is tension in the village. Shri Kishan ji always kept away from these fights. He should not have been targeted,” Dalbir Singh, Shri Kishan’s younger brother told HT. He, however, said the village elders will do all to ensure peace.
Throughout the day, Mahal’s friends and well-wishers drove into the village in SUVs to mourn his father’s death. There was widespread shock over the daring manner in which the assailants struck despite the security arrangements in Mahal’s house and the village.
Mahal’s sprawling bungalow is guarded by at least half-a-dozen CCTV cameras. The entire houses is secured by barbed wire fencing on high walls.
In fact, almost every house in Mitraon and the nearby Dichaon Kalan is guarded by CCTV cameras because of the frequent gang wars between groups belonging to the two villages.
“The killers must be really desperate because they did not care for the cameras or the police post that is located outside the village,” said the victim’s brother even as he did not take names.
Soon after Shri Krishan was killed, at least one of his relatives rushed to the room where the cameras’ DVR (digital video recorder) was kept. “During similar attacks in the past the killers stole the DVR to evade arrest. So, our priority was to secure the recording so that the killers could be identified,” said a relative.
The villagers are angry that the killers could get away without any resistance despite the presence of a police post right outside the village. “If the police are not able to keep a tab on the people entering and leaving the village, they need not be deployed,” said a villager.
The police, meanwhile, are scanning the footage they have retrieved from the victim’s house and some other houses in the village. Police said they were pursuing some “crucial” leads, but there were no arrests till late Sunday.
Among several suspects on their radar are Krishan Pehalwan, brother of slain ex-MLA Bharat Singh, and a gang led by Suraj Bhan. Mahal is the alleged mastermind in the murder of Bharat Singh and police have reasons to suspect that Pehalwan was extracting his revenge by eliminating the jailed gangster’s father.
But Pehalwan denied the involvement of his men in the incident. The former gangster-turned-councillor told HT he was home at the time of the incident.
“I was home with my police security when the incident took place. The person who died is neither my enemy nor do I consider him to be one. I am busy with the forthcoming municipal elections. I am available if the police want to interrogate me. I have nothing to hide,” said Pehalwan.
The role of Suraj Bhan’s gang is also under probe because Mahal and his associates had allegedly tried to kill him in December 2015. The incident had left Bhan’s friend, Sunil aka Doctor, dead. The police have rounded up several persons from both groups and are questioning them.