A joint team of UP special task force (STF) and Ghaziabad police arrested two men early Friday morning for their alleged involvement in the attack on Bharatiya Janata Party leader Brijpal Teotia at Murad Nagar on August 11.
Following the incident, a reward of `15,000 (each) was announced for information leading to their capture. So far, six persons have been arrested in connection with the case.
According to the police, 22-year-old Abhishek Gurjar, of Siroli in Loni, and 20-year-old Gaurav Chaudhary, a wrestler from Dankaur in Gautam Budh Nagar, were arrested while riding a stolen Apache bike. Police recovered an automatic .30 calibre and another semi-automatic .32 calibre pistol along with a mobile phone from them.
The police said that Abhishek, a BBA graduate, and Gaurav came in contact with prime suspect Vicky, younger brother of prime accused Manish during their college days. Vicky is stated to be pursuing an MBA degree.
“They were roped in by Vicky for the attack. Both the accused used to frequent Vicky’s house. They consented to be a part of the group that attacked Teotia. The two were inside the Fortuner car, along with five others, and attacked Teotia with weapons. While Manish used an AK-47 rifle, others used pistols,” KS Emmanuel, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Ghaziabad, said.
Sources in the STF said that Gaurav and Abhishek had suffered due to murders in their family and wanted to avenge the incidents with Manish’s help. So, they helped Manish deal with Teotia in lieu of his help in getting rid of their rivals later.
Manish, the prime suspect, is absconding with his cousin Manoj and wanted to avenge his father Suresh Diwan’s murder in 1999. At the time, Teotia was named in the murder case but was later given a clean chit, police said.
Since Manish believed Teotia was behind the incident, he planned the attack but the latter and his aides, travelling in a Scorpio car, survived. Nearly 50-60 rounds of shots were fired, including those from the AK-47 recovered by police.
Following the attack, the assailants parted and escaped in two groups. Gaurav and one other suspect, Pehalwan, boarded an auto towards Modi Nagar but were encountered by a police check post. They escaped amid the cover of darkness, leaving behind a cricket bag that contained the weapons used -- AK-47, pistols and live ammunition.
“We also got vital leads about the Fortuner from Gaurav and Abhishek. Their friend and Manish’s younger brother Vicky is also a suspect in the case now as he roped in his two of his friends. Abhishek had told us that he had seen Manish with a big weapon two months ago and also saw him with an AK-47 two days before the incident,” the SSP said.
The Fortuner used by the assailants during the attack was robbed of a resident from DLF area of Gurgaon in June and a case was registered against unidentified persons. An investigation revealed that the Fortuner was seen in Manish’s Mehrauli village few days before the attack.
The police said that Manish had arranged the weapons that were used in the incident. The police and STF teams are still probing the origin of the AK-47 assault rifle.