Delhi's Hyatt Hotel has been issued notice by the Delhi Police asking why it didn't report the shocking and viral weekend altercation at its porch wherein a BSP politician's son, Ashish Pandey, wielded a gun at an outnumbered and stricken pair of restaurant-goers. Even as Pandey remains absconding, with police teams on the lookout for him, others who were on the scene have had their statements taken.
1. Republic TV has learnt that Ashish Pandey was a regular patron at the Hyatt Hotel. Following the preliminary investigation, Delhi Police sources say that he would visit the Hyatt often while in Delhi. In fact, not only Ashish but also his ex-MP BSP neta father Rakesh Pandey would also regularly visit, staffers stated. As a result, the police is verifying whether Ashish has had any previous altercations there, and if there was any attempt at a coverup.
2. With regards to the hotel in question having been issued a notice for not reporting the incident on time, as well as a notice by the licensing authority, Delhi police sources have said that the hotel security officer, as part of sensitisation requirements, was supposed to immediately inform the nearest police chowkey about any incidents inside the hotel. This was not done. Summons have been issued to the hotel security manager and he will be asked to explain. In case his statement is found to be inconsistent and if it is tantamount to an offence a case may be registered against the hotel, but only after a response to the summons.
3. Ashish is absconding since the incident, having last been active at 11 am in Lucknow on Tuesday. His immediate family is also unreachable.
4. Cooperation on arresting Ashish has been sought from the Uttar Pradesh Police and as per the Delhi Police, full cooperation is being extended. Three police teams are on the search for him at Lucknow and a lookout circular has also been issued at all airports in the country, while the UP-Nepal border has been put on alert. CCTV footage from the hotel has also been collected.
5. Ashish's friend Sahil has been questioned by the Police revealing that he, along with his wife, sister-in-law, Ashish and three women had reached Hyatt at 00:30 hours on Sunday. They had come in two cars. The fight broke out at around 3:30 am at the washroom, between Ashish and the male victim. Sahil claims he was nowhere near the fight and as it spilled out into the foyer and as he was taking his car out, he saw Ashish brandishing his gun. Sahil claims to have intervened in an attempt to stop the fight and told Ashish to leave the hotel but Ashish was furious and was abusing everyone.
6. The victims have recorded their statement before the police. Speaking to Republic TV on Tuesday, the male victim had narrated his harrowing experience and fear of reprisal, remarking on how Pandey and the others had repeatedly abused, bullied and attempted to instigate a fight with him and his friend for no apparent reason. They were all heavily under the influence of alcohol, the victim said, talking through the terror of being confronted by a gun for the first time.
7. In his narration, the victim spoke about how the incident began in the women's washroom, as three women accompanying Pandey abused and screamed at his friend who was there as a result of being nauseous. It was then that Pandey and others arrived on the scene, heaping further abuse and intimidation on him and his friend, who was by then howling.
8. The three women in the car with Ashish Pandey, one of whom was abusing the victims and laughing as well as another who was recording the video that eventually went viral, have all returned abroad. Two of them are said to be from London and another from the UAE. They all returned on Sunday.
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9. Ashish Pandey is said to have had a license for his revolver. The license is to be scrapped, however. It is unknown if his other many weapons, revealed on his social media, were licensed.
10. Eyes have also been drawn to Ashish Pandey's background. His father Rakesh, an ex-BSP MP, is a liquor baron in east-Uttar Pradesh and is also into sand mining. Ashish looks after his family's real estate business in Lucknow.