The Ghaziabad police on Wednesday arrested a ninth accused in the August 11 attack on BJP leader Brijpal Teotia.
Manoj has been accused of planning and helping furnish the AK-47 used in the attack. He is one of the two prime accused in the case.
Manoj, who hails from Mehrauli village, was in Jaipur at the time of the attack. After the attack, he went to different places, including Ajmer, Pushkar, Arga and Rudrapur, to evade arrest.
The AK-47 used in the attack allegedly belonged to a slain ganster Rakesh Hasanpruiya, who was killed in a police encounter in April 2005. The weapon was passed onto Manoj and Manish’s family four months ago.
“Manoj was not part of the attack team but masterminded it He paid R2 lakh to his friend Shekhar Chaudhary and arranged 50-60 for cartridges and two pistols,” said Rakesh Kumar Pandey, superintendent of police (rural).
“Manoj fled to Jaipur before the attack as his family did not want him to get implicated directly. We traced his mobile there at the time of the attack,” Pandey added.
To check for whether the police was looking for him, Manoj apparently put up six or seven surrender applications at the Ghaziabad court that he did not show up for, said Pandey.
“After the attack, his cousin (and main assailant) Manish called him up and told about the attack. After that, Manoj made 22 calls to various persons and arranged for a car for his family to escape. He also tried to get a car arranged from one Vijay Bahadur, a history-sheeter, when the assailants’ stolen vehicle got stuck in the jungles of Modi Nagar after the attack,” Pandey said.
Talking about the motive behind the attack, police said that the father of the main accused, Manish, was murdered in Delhi in 1999. Teotia was one of the several people named in the FIR of the attack. However, his name was cleared in the final police report.
Manish, however, held Teotia responsible for the murder and planned to attack him with his cousin Manoj.
Manish’s mother Satbiri has also been named as an accused in the case for her alleged involved in criminal conspiracy, said police.
“We have obtained a non bailable warrant against her. Her role was to instigate Manish to avenge his father’s death. She knew about the plan and motivated her son for revenge,” said Pandey.
So far, police have arrested nine people and have obtained non-bailable warrants against the seven absconding accused.
Police officials said that Manoj was also named as an accused in a triple murder near Dasna jail in 1997 and had allegedly used AK-47 then.
“He and his uncle Suresh Diwan were also among several accused name in the FIR. They were awarded life imprisonment but acquitted from the high court. We will be verifying the information when we take him on police remand,” Pandey said.