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STF scanned over 800 Honda cars to solve two-year-old Noida murder case

A 26-year-old techie was shot dead in his SUV at Bypass Road near Barola in April 2015

noida Updated: Jun 03, 2017 00:44 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Ghaziabad,Noida,Ghaziabad court
The two men arrested in connection with the murder were produced by the CBI at a Ghaziabad court on Friday afternoon.(Ameeruddin/HT Photo)

To crack the blind murder case of techie Ankit Chauhan, the Uttar Pradesh special task force (STF) scanned nearly 800 Honda Accords and similar cars in Delhi-NCR as the three assailants had used a sedan of that make to commit the crime.

Chauhan, 26, was shot dead in his SUV at Bypass Road near Barola, Sector 76, while he was travelling with his friend Gagan Dudhoria in April 2015.

The challenge for investigators was the registration number “UP14BA-2300” purportedly used by the three assailants Shashank Jadaun, Manoj Kumar, and their accomplice Pankaj, who has since died. The STF scanned multiple registration numbers to track the correct Honda Accord car registered as “UP14AB-2200”, which belonged to Jadaun. When the civil police initially tracked the registration number of the car supposedly used during the crime, they found that it was of a Scorpio MUV.

“Only a few digits were clear to the victim’s friend, Gagan, who was present in the Fortuner during the murder. So we scanned multiple number plates, exchanging similar numbers and searching all Honda car models in Delhi-NCR and even in neighbouring districts. Finally, we came to the registration number of a car belonging to Jadaun. Its numbers had some similarity with the number plate of the car used in the attack,” said an investigator from UP-STF.

The original number plate of the car that the three men had allegedly used during the crime was recovered from Manoj’s house at Vijay Nagar in Ghaziabad. The Honda Accord is a 2005 model and had two previous owners. It was sold to Jadaun by the second owner and he, in turn, sold it to some other person around five months after the incident.

The other evidence that investigators had was a double tattoo spotted by Gagan on the hand of one of the assailants. The investigators said that the twin tattoo is on Jadaun’s left hand. One is above his elbow with the words “Om Namah Shivay” in Devanagri while the other below his elbow says “Kshatriya” in Roman script.

After zeroing in on a car number, the investigators roped in local informers to trail Jadaun and also started electronic surveillance. The agencies had been following Jadaun for the past one month.

A lot of data was also exchanged between the STF and the CBI. Jadaun had also escaped to Jaipur for a couple of months after the incident to let the matter cool down.

“In Jaipur, he had tried to get a doctor to remove the tattoo from his hand. The doctor demanded around Rs2 lakh, which he couldn’t pay. He wanted the tattoo removed to hide his identity as he had already read in the news that police were searching for an assailant with a specific tattoo,” the STF investigator said.

While Pankaj died at a Ghaziabad hospital due to multiple organ failure around four to five months ago, Manoj, a mechanic, shut down his shop and started driving trucks after the incident. Before his arrest, he had
been driving a cab for a cab aggregator.

First Published: Jun 03, 2017 00:44 IST