Vijay Veer and Manjeet Singh, the accused in the murder of Gurgaon Expressway toll plaza attendant Umeshkant Pandey, made two mistakes that ended their three-day run from the law, police said on Monday.
“The first was when main accused Vijay Veer sent his friend Manjeet to the toll plaza to enquire about the condition of the victim. He was caught on CCTV camera,” said Maheshwar Dayal, deputy commissioner of police (east), Gurgaon. “The second, Vijay got the accessories of the Bolero changed from a dealer in Gurgaon after he decamped to Rohtak for two days after the crime,” said Dayal.
Veer’s white Bolero was highly customised. His sport utility vehicle’s distinct top end, front grille, steel rod below back bumper, roof rail were vital clues. He had got some of the accessories of Bolero changed from the dealer on Sunday.
Before the breakthrough, police had questioned the car accessories dealer, who was among the many contacted during the probe, but he had declined to divulge details. Now, police might take legal action against the dealer for destroying the evidence.
According to a police source, Veer had been carrying the murder weapon, a pistol, for the last two years. He got the pistol from a person named Sanjay in Uttar Pradesh. Police are investigating if he had a licence for the pistol. Police have booked Veer under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Arms Act. Singh has been charged with section 201 of the IPC for destroying evidence and helping Veer flee Gurgaon after the crime.
Following intense media coverage of Pandey’s murder, police had formed 37 teams to hunt for clues. Fifteen teams checked on 350 white Boleros registered this year in Gurgaon, 17 teams were sent to all 35 villages exempted from toll and 12 teams scoured liquor shops and drinking places along National Highway 8 up to Jaipur.
Considering the likelihood of the accused getting the look of the vehicle changed, three teams had visited car accessories shops.