Nearly four months after a cloth trader was gunned down inside the ATS Advantage highrise, the Uttar Pradesh police has increased the reward on absconding prime accused Kale, alias Yunus, to Rs50,000.
The police have failed to track the accused despite roping in a team from the crime branch for the purpose.
Arshi Malik was murdered, allegedly by Kale, after the former denied to pay an extortion amount of Rs30 lakh. In January 2015, Arshi’s younger brother, Amjad, was allegedly gunned down by the same group while the brothers were travelling in their Audi car near Vasundhara. Arshi had suffered bullet injuries but survived.
“The director general of police has increased the reward on Kale from Rs15,000 to Rs50,000. Our teams are still trying to trace him,” Salmantaj Patil, superintendent of police (city), Ghaziabad, said.
Iqbal, another brother of Arshi, who is also a witness in Amjad’s murder, is holed up inside his apartment since Arshi’s murder.
“Both children of Arshi bhai, aged 10 and 8, have not attended school (at Indirapuram) since the murder. The minors were just a few steps behind Arshi during the incident and witnessed the gruesome bloodshed. Arshi’s wife is not ready to send them to school. I only leave the house to attend hearings in Amjad’s case, that too with two guards provided by the police. Otherwise, we don’t leave the place at all,” Iqbal said.
Both Arshi and Kale hail from Pasonda in Sahibabad. After Kale demanded money, Arshi refused to pay and shifted to the Indirapuram highrise. Kale and accomplices rented a flat in the highrise and kept a watch over Arshi and allegedly gunned him down on March 11 when he was taking a stroll with his family.
“Like Arshi, I often go to officials and request them to arrest Kale but they seem helpless. Our entire family is in fear of being the next victim. Before his death, Arshi frequently met police officials for Kale’s arrest in Amjad’s murder case but he was gunned down instead. We feel that Kale is getting political protection. I heard that he visited Pasonda a couple of days before the recent Eid festival. In fact, we suspect that he is roaming around freely while we are holed up like the accused,” Iqbal said.
Since Arshi’s murder, the police arrested five men, including Tahseem, Kale’s brother. He had told the Ghaziabad police that Kale had links with a police official in Uttarakhand. Following a report by the Ghaziabad police, the Uttarakhand police suspended the inspector and are also conducting a detailed investigation into his possible involvement in Arshi’s murder.