The police launched a massive manhunt to track down the accused who shot dead a 22-year-old toll booth operator Umeshkant Pandey on the Gurgaon Expressway on Thursday midnight.
The police have recorded statements of the people present at toll plaza at the time of incident. Pandey was manning a cash lane at the Kherki Dhaula (42nd Milestone) toll plaza on the Expressway when the man and a companion drove up in a Mahindra Bolero.
According to toll plaza sources, the driver refused to pay the toll (people from many nearby villages are exempt from paying it if they have proper identification).
The argument between the two and the shocking build-up to the moment the bullet pierced Umeshkant Pandey's chest was all caught on CCTV, though the cameras failed to catch the vehicle's registration number.
"From the footage, it seems he (Pandey) had an argument with the accused. The camera shows two men in the vehicle. The accused showed Pandey his driving licence/ID card. After a few minutes, Pandey lifted the boom barrier and asked him to go, then closed his window," said one employee on condition of secrecy.
According to the sources, the SUV waited at the window for close to two minutes, with the driver demanding that Pandey open his window again. When the toll collector did just that, the accused opened fire at him from close range.
"He was immediately rushed to Medanta-The Medicity hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries," said a spokesperson for the Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL).
"We were not aware the shooting had taken place as there was a lot of traffic and noise. We came to know only after a truck driver, who was behind the Bolero, informed us of the incident," said a senior official at the toll plaza.
"We have got the CCTV footage from DGSCL. However, the cameras could not detect the number plate due to reflection from headlights," said a police official.
A case has been registered against an unknown person, the official added.
"We earnestly request local authorities to step in and provide more security to our toll collectors, ground staff and commuters so that such unfortunate incidents can be avoided," said the DGSCL spokesperson.
(With inputs from HT reporters)