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Cops double as hired guns

An investigation into the contract killing of two Ghaziabad-based realtors led the police here to their own men.

india Updated: Jul 09, 2010 00:42 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal

An investigation into the contract killing of two Ghaziabad-based realtors led the police here to their own men.

Sanjeev Sharma and Prakash Chand Khanna were shot dead on June 7 near the Loni-Baghpat border. Investigations revealed that Sharma’s rival had ‘hired’ two men in the Baghpat unit of the elite Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Uttar Pradesh Police, who used official surveillance to track the victims. The two policemen and two local criminals then killed Sharma and Khanna.

On Thursday, Ghaziabad police arrested Constable Praveen Bansal, Azad Bainsla, a property developer from Indirapuram who allegedly ordered the hits, and Sandeep Bainsla, Azad’s relative and a criminal and SOG informer.

Head constable Muhammad Abdul and the other hitman are absconding.

“An inspector who earlier headed the Ghaziabad SOG is also a suspect. He seems to have tipped off Abdul about the arrests so he could flee,” said Ghaziabad Senior Superintendent of Police Raghubir Lal.

The police said Sharma’s elder brother, Subhash, was also murdered in 1996 and Sharma suspected Azad to be behind the murder.

“Sharma threatened Azad and even tried to get him killed through contract killers. This terrified Azad, who approached his relative Sandeep, who had good connections with the Baghpat SOG men,” Lal said.

On June 7, the SOG men tracked the victims to Seemapuri, northeast Delhi. Along with their accomplices, they then abducted Sharma and Khanna and gunned them down in the jungles near the Loni-Baghpat border, the SSP said.

“Azad provided the killers with funds, a .32 calibre pistol and a Chevrolet-Yuva car. He flew to Bangkok three days before the killings and returned to India two days after his rivals were gunned down,” Lal said.

This is not the first time the UP police’s links with criminals have come to light. In April, the crime branch of the Delhi Police had arrested an alleged land grabber, Anup Juneja, who with the help of some UP policemen slapped frivolous cases against people whose property he wanted to grab.