A 27-year-old man, who had security cover after a previous attempt on his life, was shot dead inside a gated high-rise in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, late on Friday night. The killers had rented a flat in the building a few days before the murder, police said
Arshi Malik, a cloth trader, had survived an attempt on his life in January 2015 when several bike-borne armed robbers attacked him and his 19-year-old brother Amzad.
Amzad was killed in the incident and Arshi was fighting his murder case in court.
On Friday, at about 11.45 pm, Arshi was shot dead by gunmen when he was out for a walk in the compound. He lived on the first floor of ATS Advantage, police said.
“He sustained 4-5 bullet injuries. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared brought dead. After the January 2015 attack, police had provided him two armed personnel,” said Salman Taj, Ghaziabad superintendent of police (city).
The constables were supposed to provide Arshi round-the-clock security but were not at the spot during the incident.
“There had been instances where the victim allowed the constables to leave during evenings. We are probing why the security personnel went missing before the incident,” said Taj. He said two cops were suspended.
“The murder is a result of a previous rivalry,” said Taj. The attack seemed well-planned and several men suspected of the murder had rented a flat on the building’s 22nd floor a couple of days ago, police said.
“We have recovered a loaded pistol from their flat, which was vacant after the incident. The assailants stayed at the flat and observed Arshi. We are scanning CCTV footage of the high-rise to identify the accused,” the SP added.
Arshi’s family lodged a complaint and named Kale alias Yunus, prime accused in the 2015 murder, and four others — Aslam, Arif, Suhail and Akram — for Friday’s murder. A case of rioting and murder was registered at the Indirapuram police station.
“Kale had been demanding money from my son a month before my other son (Amzad) was killed. Fearing this, we moved out from Pasonda to Delhi. Arshi went to the ATS building with his wife and children,” said Arshi’s father Akram Malik.
He said the family named Kale in both murders but police did not arrest him. Kale, one of 11 brothers, has criminal cases against him at Sahibabad station, police said.
Akram said the two constables regularly accompanied Arshi to court hearings but often remained absent from duty.“Arshi recently gave his statements before the court in the murder case. He was killed as he refused to pay the money and for pursuing his brother’s murder case,” he said.
He was a frequent visitor to district police station to ensure his safety after his brother’s murder.
In Janury 2015, when Arshi and his brother were travelling by their Audi car near near Kanawni, assailants shot at both of them. Arshi suffered injuries but survived.
“We are cooperating with the police in investigation and have provided them documents and CCTV as desired,” said Prabhat Srivastava, facilities’ manager at ATS Advantage.