The prime suspect in the attack on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Brijpal Teotia, Manish Diwan, had fired at him from a distance of 15 to 20 feet, which gave Teotia and his aides a chance to survive the attack, said the police. The police made the claim after reconstruction of the scene of crime.
The victims were travelling in a Mahindra Scorpio on August 11 when the suspects allegedly opened fire on them on Rawli Road in Murad Nagar town of Ghaziabad.
The police have so far undertaken two crime-scene reconstructions, once after the first four suspects were nabbed on August 17 and later when two other suspects were caught on August 19. The exercise was meant to determine the exact location of the seven suspects when they allegedly opened fired and to find out the weapons used.
“We took the help of the arrested suspects. They told us who handled which weapon and how far they fired from. Manish was adamant on firing from the AK-47 and shot from nearly 15-20 metres. He could not handle the sudden burst of fire and the assault rifle lifted up. When it happened, the others firing from pistols took shelter behind a pile of bricks to avoid getting hit by the bullets flying everywhere,” said Rakesh Kumar Pandey, superintendent of police (rural).
“While others were hiding behind the bricks, Manish came running to them and said, ‘ho gaya... ho gaya (it is done).’ Following this, Teotia’s group also fired from their car and the assailants escaped,” he added.
Manish, the case’s prime suspect allegedly planned and hatched the conspiracy to kill Teotia whom he believed to be behind the 1999 murder of his father Suresh Diwan in Delhi. Teotia was named in the FIR, but later the police gave him a clean chit in the case and filed a final report.
Police said nearly 50-60 rounds were fired by seven assailants in the Fortuner car used in the attack on Teotia. The weapons included AK-47 and other automatic and semi-automatic weapons. More than two dozen rounds of live ammunition were also recovered by the police after the assailants dumped the ammunition and weapons in a bag at Modi Nagar after the incident and fled.
Police claimed that following a tip-off from the arrested suspects, they are also closing in on two shooters, Bittu and Pehalwan, who had weapons but could not fire due to shots from the AK-47 flying all over and also because they were seated in the middle seat of the Fortuner, hindering their aim on Teotia’s car.