Gangster’s aide injured in encounter with Delhi Police
A 33-year-old associate of absconding gangster Kapil Sangwan alias Nandu, allegedly involved in last Tuesday’s murder of 52-year-old property dealer Narender alias Ninti, was shot in his knee during an encounter with Delhi Police’s special cell team Monday morning in Delhi’s Dwarka.
The injured man, Kuldeep Rathi alias Raja, was arrested with one semi-automatic pistol, three cartridges, and a stolen bike that he was riding at the time of the encounter.
Eight bullets were exchanged between Rathi and the raiding party. While the policemen escaped unhurt, one of the five shots fired by them hit Rathi’s left knee, forcing him to drop his weapon and surrender, the police said.
Rathi, allegedly involved in around a dozen cases of murder, attempt to murder, extortion, kidnapping, and robbery, is said to be one of the hitmen of Nandu. He was declared a proclaimed offender by a court in 2017-18.
Before joining Nandu’s gang, Rathi was with jailed gangster Vikas Langarpuria, who had established his supremacy in areas at the Delhi-Haryana border with his criminal activities before his arrest in 2015.
Deputy commissioner of police (special cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav said they were interrogating Rathi to find if he was involved in the Ninti murder case in which Nandu’s cousin was arrested four days ago.
“Rathi has denied his role in Ninti’s murder or his presence in Delhi during that time. We are verifying his claims,” said Yadav, adding Rathi had set up his base in Himachal Pradesh and remained instrumental in providing logistical support and shelter to Nandu and other gang members.
DCP Yadav said Rathi’s arrest came following information that he had been called to Delhi by Nandu to plan and execute the murder of a rival. The special cell sleuths learnt that Rathi would come to Dwarka area to complete the hit job.
Around 4.30 am, the DCP said, the raiding team members spotted Rathi riding a motorcycle from Golf Road, Dwarka. Rathi accelerated and tried to escape as he was flagged down. The policemen chased him in their vehicles for almost 200 metres and soon intercepted his bike on a road towards Sector 10, Dwarka.
“When asked to surrender, Rathi opened fire and tried to flee. Our men fired back in self defence. One bullet hit Rathi’s knee. He was caught and admitted to a nearby hospital. His condition is out of danger,” said Yadav.
A resident of Najafgarh, Rathi graduated from Delhi University but joined Langarpuria’s gang and allegedly committed several serious crimes with him and other gang members. In the fight for supremacy in Delhi’s crime world, Rathi left Langarpuria’s gang and joined Nandu.