Man gunned down in park, chased inside an apartment complex and shot dead
A 40-year-old man was attacked by at least three unidentified gunmen while he was walking in a park in East Delhi’s Patparganj on Wednesday morning, chased to the nearby Aditi Apartments housing society, where he tried to hide behind parked cars, and shot dead, police said.
The victim, Rahul Singh Nagar, contested the 2017 municipal elections in Delhi on a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ticket from the Vinod Nagar constituency. With assets worth over Rs 9.51 crore, Nagar was among the richest candidates who had contested the elections. His immovable assets include 13 residential buildings, four commercial shops and three cars, including an Audi, his brother, Satya, said.
The identity of the killers or the motive behind the crime were not clear, police said. They suspect that Nagar may have been killed over a property dispute. A police officer said they used to receive complaints against Nagar regarding “property grabbing”.
Jasmeet Singh, deputy commissioner of police (east), said Nagar was shot four times, and died before he could be taken to hospital. The police are investigating whether more rounds that may have missed Nagar were fired either at the park or in the apartment complex.
A case of murder has been registered at Mandawali police station.
Nagar, a property dealer by profession, lived with his wife and daughter in West Vinod Nagar, which is about a kilometre from the scene of the crime. His four brothers and parents live in another house in the same locality.
According to the DCP, Nagar had some criminal cases against him. “Those cases were mostly pertaining to quarrels,” he said. Nagar’s brother, Satya, however, said that those were all old cases, which were eventually closed.
Every morning, Nagar would walk with a friend – Satish Master,40, a government school teacher in Daryaganj -- in the park outside Aditi Apartments, which is the first housing society of the line of apartment blocks on Narwana Road, a stone’s throw from the main Mother Dairy factory in Patparganj.
“He would always be accompanied by his friend,” said Satya. “The friend told us that he had stopped to urinate while Nagar kept walking. Suddenly he heard multiple gunshots,” he added.
“There were 40-50 people walking in the park when the firing started. Though none of us exactly saw where the firing was taking place, all of us started running and we all were scared for our lives. I did not see the attackers. All I saw was Nagar ji running towards the apartments,” said Satish, adding that he informed Nagar’s family after seeing him dead.
The DCP said the attack took place at around 7.15am, just as Nagar was walking out of the park.
He added that the initial probe suggested that there were three to four assailants, but Satya said the friend told him at least two more assailants were waiting outside the park.
Once the shots were fired, Nagar ran into the apartment complex to hide. An investigator who asked not to be named said he managed ran through a corridor of the complex, with the attackers continuing to pursue him. “He went to the parking lot inside and hid behind some cars. But he had already been shot four times by then. He had bullet wounds in his chest, head and hand,” the investigator said.
As residents, who heard the gunshots, began coming out of their homes, the assailants escaped, police said.
“No resident from our society was present in the compound where the man was shot. Our security guard was at the gate. But he was unarmed and could not do anything against armed attackers,” said Prakash Chander, secretary of Aditi Corporation Group Housing Society Limited.
Nagar was taken to Max Hospital in Patparganj but was declared “brought dead”.
Police said they are scanning CCTV footage for clues, but there was no breakthrough till Wednesday evening.
Nagar’s family members said there was a near-fatal firing attack on him in November 2019 as well but the police did not take any action. Joint commissioner of police (eastern range) Alok Kumar, however, said that four persons were arrested in that case.