Property dealer, bystander killed as rivals go on shooting, stabbing spree

A three-year-old fight between two neighbours culminated in the murders of a property dealer and a bystander in North East Delhi’s Jyoti Nagar on Wednesday night, police said. The 26-year-old property dealer, Govind Bhati, was shot multiple times and then stabbed till he died.

“My brother’s body was unidentifiable. There was hardly any part of his body left that did not have stab wounds,” said Bhati’s cousin, Ramu.

Police said that a bystander, 22-year-old Akash Verma, received one gunshot wound to his neck. But his older brother, Vinod, claimed that Akash was shot multiple times and also stabbed. “The killers must have thought that Akash was among their targets, ” said Vinod.

Govind, who was interested in body building, lived in Meet Nagar area and helped his father in property dealings and transport business. Akash worked as a salesman at a footwear store in Seelampur.

Police said they were yet to determine how many times Govind was shot and stabbed, but said that at least a dozen rounds were fired in the attack that was carried out by a group of six men, who attacked immediately after a wedding procession passed by.

Atul Kumar Thakur, deputy commissioner of police (northeast), identified the main attacker as Anil, a local “criminal” who owns a computer shop in south Delhi’s Nehru Place. While Anil was absconding, the police said they had arrested three 19-year-old suspects – Aman, Ashu and Ankit – from Meerut where they were allegedly hiding.

“Anil lives in Jyoti Nagar’s Meet Nagar area and has four criminal cases against him. He is a ‘bad-character’ of Jyoti Nagar police station,” said the DCP.

A bad character, according to police records, is a person with multiple criminal cases whose activities must be monitored because he or she is a threat to law and order. One of those cases was that of attempt to murder registered against him in 2016 by Govind who lived in the same neighbourhood. “It was an argument in the street that had turned violent. Govind had accused Anil of firing at him after which a case of attempt to murder and Anil was jailed,” said the DCP.

Anil had responded by filing a case of assault against Govind.

“The criminal cases only increased the animosity between them. Be it during their court visits or in the streets, they would often indulge in confrontation. Anil later hatched a plan to kill Govind and roped in some of his friends,” said the DCP.

They allegedly consumed alcohol together before setting out with two guns and some knives. They spotted Govind pillion riding a motorcycle with his friends around 10.30pm in Meet Nagar.

“Govind’s motorcycle got stuck on the road because of a wedding procession that was passing by. Moments after the procession had left, the gang attacked Govind. They shot him four-five times. Govind apparently still fought back and took on the attackers, after which they stabbed him many times,” said Bhati’s cousin, Ramu.

Around the same time, Akash — who was walking back home to Ashok Nagar — stopped to watch the wedding procession.

“My brother was standing on the roadside to watch the procession when one of the attackers stabbed him before shooting him four times,” said Verma’s brother, Vinod. The person who allegedly shot Verma has been identified as Aman, one of the three arrested suspects.

Meanwhile, it took the local police about five minutes to reach the spot, a period during which curious onlookers recoded videos of the collapsed men, who were later declared brought dead at a hospital.

First Published:
May 31, 2019 05:04 IST

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