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Ex-call centre employee killed for refusing to pay Rs50 lakh extortion money

The victim, Amit Kochar, was among the five persons shot dead in four separate incidents in Delhi over a 15-hour period between Thursday night and Friday morning.

delhi Updated: Jun 16, 2019 10:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Extortion,Call centre,Call centre worker
His refusal to pay ₹50 lakh as extortion money led to the murder of a 35-year-old ex-call centre employee in West Delhi’s Vikaspuri on Thursday night, the Delhi Police’s crime branch said on Saturday after apprehending a 16-year-old suspect. (AFP Photo)

His refusal to pay ₹50 lakh as extortion money led to the murder of a 35-year-old ex-call centre employee in West Delhi’s Vikaspuri on Thursday night, the Delhi Police’s crime branch said on Saturday after apprehending a 16-year-old suspect.

The victim, Amit Kochar, was among the five persons shot dead in four separate incidents in Delhi over a 15-hour period between Thursday night and Friday morning.

Kochar had left his job at a call centre a few months ago to try his hand at real estate. But the nabbed juvenile suspect has told the police that Kochar was also into cricket betting. The allegation, however, has been refuted by his three months pregnant wife, according to the police.

“The allegation made by the juvenile that Kochar was into cricket betting is a matter of probe, but the gang of extortionists wanted him to pay over ₹50 lakh,” Joy Tirkey, deputy commissioner of police (crime branch), said.

The DCP said the juvenile was among a gang of five criminals who were led by a man named Lokesh alias Surya, a nephew of jailed gangster Manjeet Mahal. “When Kochar repeatedly refused to pay up, they decided to threaten him at his home,” the officer said.

On Thursday night, they landed outside Kochar’s home just as he was expecting a restaurant to deliver food. They rang the doorbell drawing Kochar out of his home. “Kochar was tricked into entering his Hyundai i20 car on the pretext of moving it to make space for another car. As soon as he was inside, Lokesh occupied the front seat, pointed a gun at him and asked him to pay up,” the officer said.

As Kochar told them about his inability to pay the money, the other four people allegedly blocked him from making any attempt to escape. “Lokesh asked him one last time to pay up. When he refused, Lokesh shot him multiple times,” the officer added. Kochar was hit four times, while a total of seven bullets were fired.

The killers then drove away in a Hyundai Creta car —found to have been robbed from Rajasthan last year — even as some local residents noticed the make of their vehicle. Kochar was found lying dead in his car by his friends who were in his house.

The DCP said a tip-off led to the apprehension of the suspect from Rohini Sector 35 around 4 am on Saturday. “He was waiting for someone outside the Creta car when we found him. He took cover behind the car and even fired a shot at us, but we managed to catch him before he could do more damage,” the DCP said.

The boy, who is a school drop out and son of a government employee, was allegedly found to be carrying three pistols and 21 live cartridges.

Police said he was involved in five other crimes as well which include the Creta robbery, attempt to extort ₹1 crore from a doctor, a ₹15 lakh robbery at a departmental store in Janakpuri and an extortion call to the same store owner days later and an attempt to murder.

The police said they are on the trail of the four other suspects who have been identified but remain at large.

First Published: Jun 16, 2019 01:31 IST