Man held for shooting at, robbing fruit vendor, search on two others
A week after a 50-year-old fruit vendor was shot at and robbed of nearly ₹4 lakh in northwest Delhi’s Adarsh Nagar, police on Tuesday said the daylight armed robbery was committed by three men, including two habitual criminals, from Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda.
One of the two, identified as Surender Verma alias Munna, was arrested by the northwest Delhi Police from his in-laws’ home in Gonda, with the help of their counterparts in Uttar Pradesh. During questioning, police said he revealed that the three accused had taken a room on rent in outer Delhi’s Shahbad Dairy for the last one month to avoid a UP Police drive to arrest habitual criminals ahead of approaching gram panchayat elections.
“Verma has revealed that a relative of one of the two absconding suspects is also contesting the pradhan elections in his village. His purpose behind committing the robbery was to arrange money for the candidate’s election campaign expenditures. Verma’s disclosure will be verified when we arrest the suspect,” said an investigating officer, who did not want to be identified.
Around 1 pm on April 6, Krishan Kumar, a fruit vendor from Azadpur fruits and vegetables market, was walking towards a private bank to deposit ₹3.90 lakh when two men wearing masks allegedly pointed a gun and asked him to hand over his cashbag. Kumar was allegedly shot on his left arm when he resisted the robbery. The duo allegedly snatched the bag and fled on a bike with their third associate, police said.
Deputy commissioner of police (northwest) Usha Rangnani said that a case was registered and multiple teams were tasked to nab the suspects. The special staff team scanned the CCTV cameras installed on the routes that the suspects took while fleeing. The video footage showed that after a few hundred metres, two suspects got down from the bike and got on an e-rickshaw.
“We followed the trail and found the bike abandoned in Jahangirpuri area. The suspect who rode the bike at the time of the crime was identified as Surender Verma. Through electronic surveillance, Verma’s location was found in Gonda, from where he was arrested,” said Rangnani, adding that Verma purchased a mobile phone worth ₹10,000 from the ₹30,000 he received as his share of the loot.
During questioning, the DCP said Verma, who was previously booked in four cases, including under the Gangster Act in Gonda, revealed that a majority of the loot and the pistol used in the crime is in the possession of his associate, Jitender Maurya, who was earlier involved in seven crimes in Gonda.
“Maurya deposited ₹2 lakh in his bank account. We have seized the account and are making efforts to arrest him and the third suspect, Abhishek Verma,” added the DCP.