A murder accused was arrested after a shootout near Delhi border early on Thursday, hours after he entered a police post and allegedly gunned down a constable for refusing him water from a purifier to add to his booze.
Gyasi Khadkhadi, a sharpshooter in a cousin’s gang, was a guest at a wedding party organised in a ground close to the Banthla police post in Loni, 20 km from here, on Wednesday night, police said.
At around 8.30pm, he barged into the post and asked for water to add to his drink. “When constable Sudesh Yadav said no, an enraged Khadkhadi whipped out his 9mm pistol and shot the 28-year-old in the chest,” Ghaziabad senior superintendent of police Dharmendra Singh said. Yadav died on the spot.
A 15-hour hunt followed, with police virtually sealing borders of Ghaziabad, the western Uttar Pradesh district notorious for its criminal gangs that indulge in extortion, kidnappings and murders. As many as 600 people, including wedding guests, were also questioned.
Early Thursday, a police party spotted for the 28-year-old, out on bail in an attempt to murder case, on a motorcycle with two other men near a brick kiln and gave them a chase. When asked to stop, Khadkhadi opened fire.
“Our men returned fire after a warning. Gyasi (Khadkhadi) was hit thrice — in leg, pelvic area and heel,” Singh said. He fell off the bike while his partners drove away.
Khadkhadi, being treated in the ICU of a private hospital, was also identified by a sub-inspector standing guard on Wednesday evening at a barricade close to the Banthla police post.
Police said they seized a blood-stained shirt that Khadkhadi was wearing on Wednesday from his home in eponymous village. The pistol used in the crime was also found.
“The shirt has been sent for forensic examination. His statement, explaining the incident, was also video-recorded,” the SSP said.
Though police said Khadkhadi had confessed to the crime, it would have no legal value, as the confession would not be admissible as evidence in court.
Khadkhadi, who got bail two months ago in an attempt to murder case, shared close ties to crime, police said. He was a shooter for his cousin Harendra Khadkhadi, a dreaded gangster facing several cases of extortion, murders and robberies arrested on April 24. Many of his family members are also serving time from crimes such as murder and robbery.