Trio held for murder of woman on Golf Course Extension RoadUpdated: Nov 19, 2020, 23:32 IST
The police on Wednesday night cracked the case of attempted robbery and murder of a 26-year-old woman near Golf Course Extension Road on November 3, and arrested three persons in connection with the case from a village in Bhondsi.
The three are snatchers and had fired at the woman, who was behind the wheel, to intimidate her when she had tried to drive off, the police said. The police were tipped off about the gang and arrested them when they were shifting accommodations.
Preet Pal Sangwan, the assistant commissioner of police (crime), said the suspects are involved in more than 1,000 snatching cases and several murders in Gurugram. The suspects were identified as Irshad alias Golu, of Nuh, Hari Om alias Kuldeep, of Datia in Madhya Pradesh, and Jitender alias Jeetu, of Narnaul in Mahandergarh. They lived in a rented accommodation in Bhondsi village and had changed three locations since the incident, the police said.
“During questioning, they revealed that they had reached Vatika crossing around 11.20pm and had taken a right turn towards Sector 56, when they saw the car (the victim was driving). The car crossed them at the signal and took a U-turn, when they that there were only two people and would be easy targets. They followed them and stopped at the corner of the road where the victims were looking at an under-construction site and they noticed two guards present there,” he said.
The victim, Pooja Sharma, who was driving towards Sector 40 with her fiance, Sagar Manchanda, had applied the brakes when the trio had intercepted them by riding on the wrong side of the road, the police said.
Sangwan said that when the suspects threatened them to roll down their windows, Sharma tried to speed away. Then they fired a shot at Manchanda, which missed him, following which they shot at Sharma. “The suspects revealed that they fled the spot within minutes and returned to Bhondsi. Manchanda drove Sharma to a private hospital in his car. A 9mm bullet was lodged in her head, which could not be removed despite surgery,” he said.
Sharma worked with the medical claims and insurance department of an IT company in Sector 38, and Manchanda is a software engineer with the same company.
Sangwan said the suspects, two of whom met in Bhondsi Jail last year, mostly targeted people on isolated stretches and conducted reconnaissance of the area before targeting their victims. Since lockdown was lifted, they used to snatch at least four mobile phones or gold chains every day.
“The suspects used a motorbike with a fake number plate and they had a car too. After the incident, they revisited the spot in their Swift car. They thought the victim had survived. The following day, they did not go out and kept checking news channels for information on the case. They also bought an English daily newspaper for three consecutive days to get updates on the case and was keeping a track on police movement,” he said.
KK Rao, the commissioner, Gurugram Police, said that it was a blind case, as the CCTV footage recovered from the spot was of little help. “Our teams had questioned nearly 500 people in a bid to crack the case. Policemen were deployed in civvies at several spots to get leads on the gang. The arrest has solved over 1,000 cases of snatching and at least three murder cases in Gurugram,” Rao said.
Rao said it took almost 15 days to zero in on the suspects as they had changed their location three times and had used different autorickshaws to shift their household items. “They were cautious and tried to mislead the police by shifting houses in three vehicles and tried best to avoid getting captured in any of the CCTV cameras. We had activated secret informers and the team had got a lead that this gang might be involved,” he said.
The police said they scanned the footage of the area where they used to stay and confirmed that the three were their suspects. Eleven teams were deployed in civvies in areas close to Bhondsi and Rithoj, and they were arrested when they had come to pick their items from their rented accommodation, the police said.
Rao said three of them got acquainted last year. “They had bought a .32 bore countrymade pistol from Madhya Pradesh for Rs 51,000 in the last week of October through Hari Om. They used to make nearly Rs 80,000 a week by selling snatched mobile phones. We have identified the shopkeeper in Nuh who helped them in erasing the data and change the IMEI number of the mobile phones,” he said.
The police said the gang was also involved in snatching the mobile phone of a 45-year-old woman from a mall in Sector 51 and later trying to extort her for Rs 10 lakh, by threatening to misuse her personal data, as reported by HT earlier. They had also shot dead an acquaintance, Gaurav Kumar, on Diwali night, in Shivaji Nagar, over an argument when they were inebriated, the police said.