New Delhi, Mar 30: Police was yet to make any arrests in connection of the murder of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) legislator Bharat Singh who was gunned down last evening in southwest Delhi's Najafgarh area while two of the four other persons injured in the attack remained critical.
According to DCP (southwest) R A Sanjeev, four persons including a woman and a minor boy had also suffered bullet injuries in the incident. [Delhi: Ex-INLD MLA Bharat Singh shot dead in Najafgarh]
Other than one of Singh's personal guard, a woman identified as Sunita, Paras (16) and a Delhi Police constable, Sandeep were also injured in the incident.
Sunita and Sandeep were discharged while Paras, who was shot in the abdomen, was still in hospital. Singh had received six bullets, including two in his head from close range.
38-year-old Singh was attacked by over six armed men who had reached the spot in a SUV. At least 15-20 rounds of bullets were fired. He was later declared dead at Medanta hospital in Gurgaon.
While Singh was cremated in his native Dichaon village in Najafgarh in the afternoon, his elder brother Krishan Pehalwan, who has more than two dozen criminal cases registered against him accused the Home Ministry and Delhi Police of not giving adequate security to the former MLA leading to his death.
"My younger brother (Bharat Singh) was attacked in 2012 as well and he has been getting regular threats. We have been demanding adequate security for him since the last three years but the Delhi Police and Home Ministry did not pay heed to the request and he was killed," he told reporters in Dichaon village today.
Locals claimed that the attack was culmination of a longstanding rivalry between the two brothers and gang of local criminal Udayveer alias Kaale, who was recently released from jail.
Sources said that it is almost certain that the murder took place over a property dispute and a Haryana-based gangster is also suspected to have carried out the attack using UP-based shooters.
Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi however sought to downplay the incident as one of personal rivalry and not of gang-war. He also expressed confidence that investigators will be able to nab the assailants soon as police was working on certain leads.
"We are working on some definite leads. Several teams of south-west district are working on this case. Apart from this our, sleuths from Crime Branch and Special Cell are also helping them. We are confident that we will nab the assailants soon and the case will be cracked," Bassi told reporters here today.
"I would not like to term it as gang-war. There are certain long-standing rivalries among certain groups and there have been some incidents in the past involving these persons. These kind of old rivalries are common in Delhi's rural belt and one shouldn't look at these incidents as gang-wars. These criminal incidents are a result of certain disputes between individuals," he added.
Investigators also indicated toward an inside job as they suspected of somebody leaking information about Singh's movement to the attackers.
"Both brothers used to remain amid tight security. Even at their house and office, a number of bouncers used to be deployed and CCTV cameras were installed. Anyone can meet them only after establishing identity. It seems somebody tipped off the attackers that Singh was going to the function with a handful of men," said an official associated with the probe.
Police is scanning the CCTV footage of the neighbouring areas of the banquet hall where the attack had taken place on Singh yesterday around 8:10 PM to find clues. The incident had taken place at around 8:10 PM when Singh was attending a religious programme at Abhinandan Vatika in Najafgarh, from where he was elected MLA in 2009.
One of the CCTV footage shows a man running out of the banquet hall and fleeing soon after the attack on a bike. Investigators are trying to identify this man.
Eyewitnesses claimed that the attack was very much like those seen in movies, as the attackers first sprayed bullets indiscriminately and then when Singh and his PSOs were incapacitated, one of the attackers walked up to the former MLA and shot him in the head from close range.
Police have questioned dozens of people in this connection so far and working on several leads but no arrests were made in this connection till late evening. Police is also looking for the black SUV which was used by the assailants to reach the spot and flee.