Dreaded gangster flees police custody after dramatic shoot-out in busy Delhi hospital
A dreaded gangster escaped police custody, while one alleged criminal died and two others got injured in the dramatic shoot-out between the police and associates of the gangster who had come to rescue him.
Gunshots rang out at east Delhi’s Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) hospital on Thursday noon when four policemen and a group of at least seven criminals exchanged nearly 20 shots, triggering panic in one of Delhi’s busiest hospitals, police said.
A dreaded gangster escaped police custody, while one alleged criminal died and two others got injured in the dramatic shoot-out between the police and associates of the gangster who had come to rescue him. The policemen did not suffer any injury except some discomfort after the assailants threw chilli powder on their faces, the police said.
Joint commissioner of police (eastern range) Alok Kumar said the gang of assailants had come to rescue Kuldeep Maan alias Fajja, a close confidant of jailed gangster Jitender alias Gogi, who was brought to the hospital, escorted by five personnel of the Delhi Armed Police’s 3rd Battalion, from the Mandoli Jail, after the jail doctor referred him to GTB hospital’s surgery OPD for treatment of a stomach-related ailment.
The police said Fajja was arrested along with Gogi and two others – Rohit Moi and Kapil alias Gaurav -- from an upscale residential colony in Gurugram, following an operation by a special cell team, on March 3 last year. Fajja is allegedly involved in several cases of murder, extortion and robbery.
A senior police officer, requesting anonymity, said around 11am, five personnel of the 3rd Battalion left the jail with Fajja and reached the lock-up at the hospital for jail inmates around half an hour later through gate number 1 of the hospital. After making the prisoner’s visit entry in the logbook, the five personnel escorted Fajja on foot to the OPD surgery, which is nearly 300 metres from the lock-up. One of them was carrying a video camera and was recording the process, said a senior police officer from the battalion, who also asked not to be named.
After the medical check-up, four personnel were escorting Fajja back to the lock-up while the fifth stayed back in the building to complete the paperwork. They had walked around 100 metres when the policeman who was capturing the video, spotted two to three men with firearms outside the hospital’s gas plant number-2 and raised the alarm, the officer said.
“Another policeman quickly responded and took out his service pistol. However, the gun got locked while he was cocking it. Suddenly, one of the assailants overpowered him from behind while his accomplices threw chilli powder at the policemen,” the officer said.
As the assailants opened fire, two policemen carrying an MP5 machine gun and a self-loading rifle, returned the fire. Two bullets hit one of the assailants, who had overpowered a policeman, and he was caught. He was later identified as Ankesh.
Another assailant, identified as Ravi Jakshi, was also hit by two bullets in the chest. He ran towards the maternity and child block. However, after running around 200 metres, he collapsed and died on the road in front of Florence Nightingale College of Nursing on the hospital campus, the officer said.
The police said the CCTV cameras of the hospital were defunct so they have not been able to get the video footage of the incident.
The hospital authorities refused comment on the violence, saying it was a police matter.
A second police officer said the assailants had come in a white Scorpio SUV and at least two motorcycles. The police said Fajja escaped with the assailants in the car.
While escaping, two assailants pointed a gun at a biker and his pregnant wife at the hospital’s Gate number 7, pushed the couple, snatched their bike and sped away. They fired three rounds in the air to disperse the crowd that tried to overpower them, eyewitnesses as well as the police said.
The bike owner from Uttar Pradesh, who had brought his pregnant wife for a routine medical check-up, fell on the ground after being pushed by the assailants. He informed the police about his bike’s snatching and the firing by the assailants. Two calls regarding the shoot-out were made by the police personnel involved in the gunfight.
The shoot-out and a bleeding man running on the road triggered panic among the hospital staff, patients and their attendants.
“For a couple of minutes, we were all in shock as nobody knew what was happening. Many people went inside the hospital building after hearing the gunshots. It was only after the policemen told us about the encounter that we understood the situation,” said a private security guard of the hospital.
Another witness, Veerpal, who sells chhole-kulche outside gate number 7 said he was busy with his customers when two men came running from inside and pointed a pistol at the biker, who was with his wife.
“The assailants pushed the couple away and snatched their bike. They fired three rounds in the air because of which people present at the gate panicked and ran for cover. The assailants fled on the bike, brandishing their guns,” said Veerpal.
A third police officer said a case has been registered and teams have been formed to nab the suspects.