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City scrap dealer gunned down

A SCRAP dealer, identified by the police as Vimal Bhagat, was shot dead by some miscreants on Tuesday night when he was returning home in Swarup Nagar after visiting the Hanuman temple in Panki.

india Updated: May 25, 2006 00:21 IST

A SCRAP dealer, identified by the police as Vimal Bhagat, was shot dead by some miscreants on Tuesday night when he was returning home in Swarup Nagar after visiting the Hanuman temple in Panki.

The miscreants in a car overtook the car of the dealer and opened indiscriminate firing with sophisticated firearms. The incident took place in the posh Swarup Nagar locality.

After initial investigations, sources in the police department said the murder was the outcome of mafia’s involvement in buying tenders on bid from railways here. Over the years goonda tax had been extorted from scrap dealers on the directives of mafias like Munna Bajrangi.

The scrap dealer was killed by professional shooters sent by some notorious criminals involved in purchasing railway tenders here through a pool of tender buyers, the sources said.

Sources disclosed that one year ago Mali Bhagat, father of the deceased, had a severe heart attack when Vimal was threatened with death if he did not pay Rs 2 crore.

A police official said, “It has come to light that Rs 2 crore were pending on Vimal Bhagat and for the last one year he had been receiving threats from the people involved in this trade.”

On Tuesday night, before Vimal was shot dead, he was talking to his sister in Delhi on cell phone and the sister heard Vimal having a heated argument with someone. Then the phone was disconnected. The sister again called up on Vimal’s mobile, only to be told that Vimal had been shot dead.

Though the case is still to be solved by the police, it points to involvement of sharpshooters sent from eastern UP, probably by Munna Bajrangi, who according to intelligence reports, is involved in railway scrap business here.

One back ago, another rich scrap dealer was attacked in similar circumstances by sharpshooters of a mafia and police later arrested a notorious sharpshooter of a dreaded criminal gang.

The murder of Vimal Bhagat has again exposed the involvement of mafia and affluent traders involved in purchasing railway scrap.

Sources said there were several pools of traders involved in this business which revolved around goonda tax. Vimal Bhagat was being forced to pay Rs 2 crore in return for the favour which fetched him a tender with the collusion of businessmen of his pool but when he failed to cough up the goonda tax, he was finally killed on Tuesday night.