A sharpshooter, hired by a former lawmaker to kill a BJP worker here, has been arrested, the Uttar Pradesh Police said on Monday.
Narendra Gurjar, who had been a personal security officer of former BSP legislator Amar Pal Sharma, was arrested on Sunday and during interrogation, confessed to having killed Gajendra Singh Bhati on the behest of Sharma. He said Sharma paid him Rs 10 lakh for the purpose.
Bhati was shot dead on September 2 in Khoda area bordering Delhi on National Highway-24.
Sharma was booked in the murder case after Bhati’s brother lodged a complaint, alleging that the former Bahujan Samaj Party legislator, who is now in the Congress, was behind the killing.
In his complaint, Yogesh Bhati had said that he noticed his brother had been disturbed for the last three-four days and on asking the problem, was told that he (Gajendra Bhati) wanted to contest in the upcoming municipal elections in Khoda but Sharma had threatened him not to enter the fray.
He said that when his brother did not agree, Sharma hired contract killers who killed him.
Gurjar, alias Narendra Fauji, is a resident of Sakalpura village and was arrested from his hideout near Koyal Enclave at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Police seized white-coloured Apache motorcycle, and a .30 calibre pistol with four live cartridges, which were used in the crime, from him.
“The motive of the murder has been established a political one. Sharma’s wife is inclined to contest the municipal chairperson’s election… it was a case of rivalry between two families. Narendra Fauji has been nabbed and other two accused are on the run. The police teams are conducting raids to nab them,” said Ghaziabad’s Senior Superintendent of Police H.N. Singh.
He said Fauji has a criminal record with cases of heinous crimes registered against him at different police stations of Ghaziabad.
Sharma, who was the lawmaker from Sahibabad in the previous assembly, denied any involvement in Bhati’s murder and said he was being victimised. He demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe.
He has not been questioned during the last nine days since the crime even after he was booked.
Meanwhile, Fauji’s wife also lodged a complaint with the SSP saying that her husband was picked up by 14-15 persons in plain clothes on the early evening of September 7.
Suspecting foul play, Reena said she immediately called police control room at 100 twice. But the SSP contradicted her claim and said the arrest was made on September 10 from Koyal Enclave.