A Mirchi gang member allegedly involved in the robbing and murder of Greater Noida resident Gaurav Chandel has been arrested in Hapur district 20 days after the sensational crime, officials said on Monday. Accused Umesh Singh alias Umesh Pandit was also shot at by the police in his legs when he allegedly tried to flee from their custody after snatching a policeman's service weapon, the officials said.
"Umesh was held late on Sunday night while he was ferrying the wife and a two-month baby of Mirchi gang leader and main accused Ashu Jaat on a motorcycle. They were held near Dehra Jhaal along the NTPC road in Dhaulana area following a tip off," the Hapur police said.
The accused has confessed to his involvement in looting Chandel's SUV, a Kia Seltos, on the night of January 6 while he was returning home from work in Gurgaon, the police said. A firearm and some ammunition were seized from his possession, while Ashu's wife was also taken into custody, the police said.
"After his arrest, Pandit was leading the police to recover Chandel's stolen belongings but midway asked the policemen to get down from the vehicle and started walking. He then suddenly snatched the pistol of a sub-inspector and opened fire in an attempt to flee. He was injured in retaliatory police firing," according to a statement issued by the Hapur police.
Chandel's body was recovered along a service road between Parthala Chowk and Hindon Vihar in Greater Noida (West) at around 4 am on January 7. The police suspected it was a loot and murder case as Chandel's car, his mobile phone and other belongings including a laptop, were missing. His death had led to massive outrage among citizens over the law and order situation and policing in Gautam Buddh Nagar and especially in Greater Noida (West), also known as Noida Extension.
The incident had also led to the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party over the law and order situation. On January 10, the SHO along with three sub-inspectors of Bisrakh police station were suspended for dereliction of duty and lax approach towards work.