At least three attempts had been made on BJP leader Brijpal Teotia’s life before the August 11 attack, police sources revealed after four suspects were picked up.
Claiming they made “good progress” in the investigation on Wednesday morning, Uttar Pradesh Police said several of the politician’s enemies had come together to carry out the attack using an AK-47 and other automatic weapons.
Teotia had sustained about five bullet injuries and was taken to a hospital in critical condition that night after the assailants opened fire on his vehicle.
Rahul Tyagi, a member of dreaded Rahul Khatta gang from Baghpat, Nishant Bhadoriya, Jitender aka Pope and Ram Kumar from Ghaziabad were arrested by the Uttar Pradesh special task force, UP additional director general (law & order) Daljit Singh confirmed on Wednesday. “More information would be made available as the day progresses,” he said.
Police sources said there were about seven assailants in a Fortuner SUV had ambushed Teotia, and one other attacker on a scooty close by. Another eight helped coordinate the attack, planning and managing resources. Some of the suspects were in the CCTV footage procured by the police.
Sources said attempts on the BJP leader’s life were made on August 5, 8 and 9, but were foiled by his bullet-proof Pajero car. On August 11, Teotia had travelled in a regular Scorpio car, making him vulnerable to attackers.
Sources say the murder of Suresh Diwan in 1999 might have led to the attack as Diwan’s son Manish suspects Teotia’s involvement.
Police suspect Manish arranged for the AK-47 rifle. They also suspect he received help from his cousin Manoj, who hails from Mehrauli, and also holds a grudge against Teotia.
Manish, Manoj and other suspects are at large.
Police are also investigating the role of Sunita, wife of slain gangster Rakesh Hasanpuriya, who was in touch with Manoj.
According to the police, she claimed that Teotia and his close aide Inderpal Singh tipped the police off which led to the encounter that killed Hasanpuriya in 2005 at Kavi Nagar in Ghaziabad.