A relative of a slain National Investigation Agency (NIA) sleuth was among two people arrested over the assassination but the prime accused continued to evade a multi-state dragnet, police officials said on Tuesday.
NIA officer Tanzil Ahmed, 46, was shot dead by motorcycle-borne assailants in front of his wife and two children on April 3 when he was returning from a wedding at Bijnor, around 450 km from capital Lucknow. The NIA official’s wife was also injured.
Police have ruled out any terrorism angle in the killing of Ahmed and said that property dispute and personal enmity was behind the incident.
Bareilly zone inspector general (IG) VS Meena and Moradabad deputy inspector general Omkar Singh addressed a press briefing to announce the arrest of Tanzil’s nephew Mohd Reyan and his accomplice Mohd Jainni, both in their twenties.
The motorcycle used to commit the crime has been recovered, they said.
According to police, Reyan was upset with Tanzil as he allegedly didn’t help his aunt and uncle when they were involved in a feud with their neighbour. As a result, the couple had to spend two days in jail.
Police quoted Reyan as saying that Tanzil not only insulted his aunt on several occasions but also implicated her in a false mobile theft case.
To settle scores with Tanzil, Ryan got in touch with a known criminal Muneer and told him that the NIA officer was spying on him and would inform the police about his involvement in a Rs 91 lakh robbery from a bank cash van in Bijnor district in December.
Muneer and Tanzil had also bought two properties that had led to enmity between the two, police added.
“However, we are still trying the facts,” Meena said.
At the time of the crime, Reyan was driving the motorcycle while Muneer fired at Tanzil, he said.
Muneer is wanted in eight cases – including murder and attempt to murder -- lodged in Aligarh and Bijnor.
Police, however, said Muneer is still absconding and an alert have been issued to prevent him from leaving the country. He owns a passport made in 2011.
“The weapons used in the crime are with Muneer. Raids are being conducted to arrest him,” Meena added.
The killers had pumped 24 bullets into Ahmed and four into his wife Farzana, as their 14-year old daughter and 12-year old son watched the incident from the back seat of the Wagon-R car in which they were travelling.