Prime accused in cloth trader Arshi Malik’s murder at ATS Advantage highrise, Kale, gave police the slip again amid a heavy exchange of gunfire near the Hindon barrage late Tuesday. The police arrested two of his accomplices in the incident.
The police were on the lookout for prime accused Kale, alias Yunus, in connection with the murder of Arshi Malik, who was gunned down inside ATS Advanatge highrise at Indirapuram on March 11. Earlier, his 19-year-old brother Amzad Malik was also allegedly gunned down by the accused in 2015.
On Tuesday, police got a tip-off that Kale was travelling from Ghaziabad towards Hindon barrage in a white car with three others. They managed to intercept the vehicle near the isolated stretches of Hindon barrage around 11pm.
“The accused opened fire on the police and we had to retaliate. Sanjay, Kale’s accomplice, sustained a bullet injury and was arrested along with another accomplice, Ravi. Though there were specific leads, those arrested said that Kale was not present in the car during the shootout. They said that two of Kale’s shooters, Akbar and Usman, managed to escape,” Salmantaj Patil, superintendent of police , Ghaziabad, said.
Officials extensively combed the area but could not trace Kale. “Investigation in Arshi’s murder revealed that Kale, Akbar and Usman had fired over Arshi and escaped,” the SP said.
According to sources, the police had picked up Kale’s brother Nawab, earlier on Tuesday, who revealed details of Kale’s movement. A reward of `15,000 was announced for information on Nawab, who was allegedly involved in the murder of Amzad Malik in January 2015. Sanjay, another of the accused, also carries a reward of `5,000 and was allegedly involved in Arshi’s murder.
Arshi and Kale were acquaintances in Pasonda and the former’s flourishing cloth business led Kale to demand `30 lakh from Arshi. Arshi moved to ATS highrise while the rest of his family moved to Delhi.
Kale’s first alleged strike came in January 2015 when he opened fire over Arshi and Amzad near Vasundhara, while they were travelling in their Audi car. Amzad was killed in the incident.
Since the incident, Arshi was pursuing Amzad’s case in which four persons, including Kale, were named in the FIR. “Arshi bhai received death threats and was persuaded to back off from giving statements in the court. Kale had threatened him over the phone and challenged to kill him, which he finally did,” Iqbal, Arshi’s brother, said.
An investigation revealed that Kale and his men had hired a flat on the 22nd floor of ATS highrise, where Arshi lived on the first floor. The accused allegedly kept a watch over their target with the help of binoculars. They allegedly killed Arshi on March 11.
On March 20, Pankaj Kumar, Prince Kumar and Naseem Chaudhary, who allegedly helped Kale plan the murder, were arrested. Ten days later, the police arrested Kale’s brother Tahseem, who revealed that Kale was in touch with a police inspector at Kotwali Cantt in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
The inspector was previously posted near Pasonda and is alleged to have links with Kale. The Uttarakhand officials suspended the inspector and started a detailed investigation.
“In 2015, a case of rape was lodged against three of us (Iqbal and two brothers) at Dalanwala police station, where the inspector was posted, to restrain us from giving statements in Amzad’s murder. The case was later transferred to Ghaziabad where it was expunged by the police,” Iqbal said.
Further investigation revealed that the rape allegations were false, the police said. The SP said that they have got new leads from the men arrested on Tuesday.