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Roorkee court shooters lived in flat near Police Line in Doon

Three shooters, who showered bullets on gangster Devpal Rana in broad daylight in Haridwar district on Monday, had been living in Dehradun for the past few weeks, raising questions on the verification drive of tenants conducted by police

dehradun Updated: Nov 21, 2017 20:26 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times
Roorkee,court shooters,Police Line
The shooters who killed Devpal Rana had been living in a rented flat in Race Course area of Dehradun.(Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT)

Three shooters, who showered bullets on gangster Devpal Rana in broad daylight in Haridwar district on Monday, had been living in Dehradun for the past few weeks, raising questions on the verification drive of tenants conducted by police.

Ironically, they had hired a flat in an apartment in the Race Course area, just next to the city’s Police Line.

An undertrial prisoner, Rana was attacked when he had been brought to the Roorkee court from Deoband prison in Uttar Pradesh for a hearing and later succumbed to his injuries. While two of the assailants were arrested from the court premises, Dehradun police arrested the third shooter from a rented flat in the Race Course area late on Monday.

The third attacker Vikas Chaudhary, a resident of Jind district in Haryana, revealed to police that the flat had been taken on rent by gangster Rishipal Rana -- who had tasked the shooters to kill Devpal.

“We had planned the elimination of Rana at the rented accommodation, from where we made visit to Roorkee court premises for recce, before ultimately executing the plan on Monday,” Chaudhary, who was arrested by a team of police personnel stationed near the apartment in plain clothes, told police. He was found in possession of a pistol. Police is looking for the owner of the house.

This is not the first time criminals have been found living right in the heart of the state capital, despite claims of the police of holding regular tenant verification drives.

Earlier this month, the Special Task Force of Uttarakhand police arrested Shahrukh Pathan, a sharpshooter who worked for the notorious interstate Jeeva Gang for the murder of Haridwar-based businessman Amit Dixit in March. The hardcore criminal, who carried a reward of ₹60,000 for his arrest, confessed to have lived in Dehradun for about a month earlier this year.

In April, Jharkhand police arrested a hardened criminal Vikram Sharma - who was wanted in many cases and carried a reward of ₹30,000 – from Dehradun. He had been residing at Aman Vihar area in Dehradun since 2012 to evade arrest, with the local police having no inkling about the same.

In November 2016, two aides of the sensational Nabha jailbreak mastermind were arrested from their hideout in the Raipur area of Dehradun, leaving residents shocked. The jailbreak had seen Khalistan Liberation Force chief Harminder Singh alias Mintoo along with his aide and four other gangsters escaping the high security jail in Punjab.

Dehradun superintendent of police (SP) City Pradeep Kumar Rai, however, said the verification drive of tenants was an “ongoing process” which was pursued by the city police actively.

“We keep holding verification drives and have penalized a large number of landlords over the months for failing to get their tenants verified,” Rai said, adding that special focus would be made on verifying tenants living in apartments.

First Published: Nov 21, 2017 20:26 IST