BJP leader’s murder: Ex-MLA Amarpal Sharma surrenders before court

The UP Police had also announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for information leading to Sharma’s arrest, but the police failed to nab him so far.

noida Updated: Oct 17, 2017 22:10 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Bhati murder,BSP MLA,BJP leader murder
Former MLA Amarpal Sharma (centre) on Tuesday surrendered before Ghaziabad court and was sent to Dasna jail on 14 days’ judicial custody. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

Former MLA Amarpal Shrama on Tuesday surrendered before the court of additional chief judicial magistrate in Ghaziabad in connection with the murder of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Gajendra Bhati.

The UP Police had also announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for information leading to Sharma’s arrest, but the police failed to nab him so far.

It was on September 2, on Eid, that Bhati was gunned down by two armed bikers in Khoda. Bhati’s friend and BJP’s Khoda ‘mandal’ head Balbir Chauhan also sustained bullets but survived.

Sharma is a former MLA and was elected on Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket from Sahibabad constituency in the previous assembly elections. Just before the recent UP assembly elections, the BSP expelled him from the party and Sharma later joined the Congress and contested the Sahibabad seat but lost to BJP candidate Sunil Sharma.

Kuldeep Singh, Sharma’s lawyer, said, “We had moved the Allahabad high court against the FIR lodged in connection with the murder case. However, due to court holidays, the matter got delayed. So, we decided to surrender before the court. My client has been sent to 14 days’ judicial custody.”

The police had earlier arrested one of the two bikers, Narendra Gurjar alias Fauji.

Soon after his arrest, Fauji had told mediapersons, “Sharma offered me Rs 10 lakh to get rid of his rival. The second person with me was Raju Pehalwan. Sharma told me to get rid of me as Bhati may have posed problems in future elections. While I was on the way to collect the money, police arrested me from near Bhopra. Former councillor Pradeep Chaudahry was also killed at the behest of the former MLA.”

Fauji’s wife and locals from Loni later staged protests at the Ghaziabad district headquarters and claimed that police had falsely implicated him in the murder case.

On September 21, the special cell of the Delhi Police made another breakthrough and arrested Raju Kumar alias Pehalwan, a former international Kabaddi player, who was named by Fauji as the second sharp shooter who accompanied him on the hit.

Singh, Fauji’s lawyer, said, “In the CCTV footage, the police came across two men on a bike and they later arrested Fauji and Raju Pehalwan. However, neither was seen in the CCTV footage. Fauji was falsely implicated as he was a former personal security officer of Sharma. Raju Pehalwan was in Palwal and was watching a movie with his friends at the time of the murder. The CCTV footage was shown to police but they did not take it into consideration.”

Senior superintendent of police HN Singh said, “We will apply for Sharma’s custody and will investigate the murder case further.”

Sharma, who was in hiding when he moved the Allahabad high court, failed to get the FIR lodged against him at Khoda police station in Ghaziabad quashed.

In its order on September 20, the high court said, “Having heard the arguments advanced by learned counsel for the parties present and perused the impugned F I R as well as the other material brought on record, we do not find any ground for quashing the impugned F I R (sic).”

However, the court directed that in case Sharma surrenders and applies for bail before the court within three weeks, the same shall be dealt with in accordance with the law.

Sharma has been sent to Dasna jail after his surrender on Tuesday.

First Published: Oct 17, 2017 22:09 IST