Gaurav Chandel murder: Police recover car stolen using Gaur City resident’s SUV, suspect it to be work of same gangUpdated: Jan 19, 2020 23:14 IST
The Ghaziabad police have recovered the looted Tiago car, believed to be connected with the gang involved in the murder of Gaur City resident Gaurav Chandel. The car was recovered on Sunday morning from a vacant plot in the Misalgarhi area in Ghaziabad, near National Highway 9 (NH 9). The police said they suspect this was the same Tiago that was looted on the night of January 14 in Ghaziabad with the help of Chandel’s SUV– KIASeltos –which was recovered from Ghaziabad’s Akash Nagar the same night.
Misalgarhi, where the Tiago was spotted, is barely 500-600 metres from Akash Nagar, both located near NH 9. It was looted by overpowering 24-year-old Ghaziabad resident Chirag Agarwal on January 14 from near Ghaziabad’s Mehrauli, also on NH 9. The gang later dropped Agarwal near a hospital close to Misalgarhi and fled with the Tiago.
The Ghaziabad police, which suspects the same gang that killed Chandel is responsible for stealing the Tiago, said the car was found abandoned on the night of January 17, two days before the vehicle was recovered by investigating officers. Officers explained that they deliberately left the car there in an attempt to catch the suspects.
“Though the Tiago was found on the night of January 17, we chose to leave it there and deployed officers who kept a 24x7 watch it to see if anyone comes to pick it up. But no one came to pick up the vehicle. It has now been sent for forensic examination,” superintendent of police (rural) Neeraj Kumar Jadaun said.
The police had recovered sets of partial fingerprints from Chandel’s SUV, which was recovered on January 14.
He added that the recovered Tiago bears a Haryana registration number, which belongs to a different SUV car—registered in July 2018 in Gurugram. “More details which have surfaced are being investigated as the Tiago bears a Haryana registration number, instead of its original Uttar Pradesh number,” the SP added.
Police said the Tiago was identified as the one belonging to Agarwal with the help of a sticker.
“We identified the Tiago through a sticker that had originally been pasted on the windscreen. It is the same car which was looted from Agarwal on the night of January 14. We are investigating if the Tiago was used to commit any more crimes before it was abandoned at Misalgarhi. Prima facie, the Haryana number used on the Tiago is a random number and it is suspected that someone picked a random number and made a fake registration plate,” Jadaun said.
Police said Chandel’s KIA Seltos was recovered the same night – January 14 – the night Agarwal’s car was looted. In addition to this, the fact that the two vehicles were recovered from localities Misalgarhi and Akash Nagar, which are barely 500-600 metres apart, had led the police to suspect that Chandel’s SUV might have been used to loot the Tiago.
“Police teams were deployed in plain clothes at a house in Misalgarhi and some suspects were identified who came near the car (Tiago) but did not board it or try to take it away. We were hoping that the gang would have some local members who would return to pick up the Tiago for executing other crimes, however no one came. Parking the looted Tiago near Akash Nagar is somewhat daring and could be the handiwork of a professional gang,” a police source said.
The police have come across several night-time footages from CCTV cameras from Akash Nagar but are yet to confirm if Chandel’s SUV also came to the locality on the night of January 14. Sources said that from some of the CCTV footage from the Misalgarhi area, a person can be seen parking the Tiago and walking away.
“There is high probability that both the cars had come to Akash Nagar and were driven by gang members. However, this cannot be confirmed till the persons behind all this are nabbed. The entire sequence of events indicates that the gang is well versed with areas around NH-9 and was able to drive cars easily at night to Akash Nagar and Misalgarhi,” said a police source.
The police are also trying to find out if the Tiago was used for executing any other crime and before being left behind at Misalgarhi.
“Police from Hapur, Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad and Aligarh, as well as units of the state Special Task Force are working on the cases and have several gangs on their radar, including the Ashu gang which operates locally. It is suspected that gang members belong to these areas (around NH-9 in Ghaziabad) or have some connection with the city. The main gang which gives way to such carjacking incidents is the Ashu gang which is a dreaded gang and involved in cases of carjacking, loot and murders in the district,” a police source said.