New Delhi: Delhi police on Sunday claimed to have arrested four young men involved in the armed attack on INLD MLA Bhagat Singh and cited personal rivalry as the reason behind the assault.
The MLA was shot at by assailants outside his office in a south west Delhi locality yesterday and was rushed to hospital with bullet injuries along with a relative who was also hit.
Commissioner of Police B K Gupta told reporters at a press conference today that the four men who were arrested yesterday evening were close friends and one of them had personal enmity with the MLA and had even slapped him once last year.
The four arrested are Vikas Dagar, 28, Kuldeep Mittal, 26, Sumeet Singh, 28 and Virendrer Sehrawat, 23, who are from Jharoda Kalan village of Delhi.
"Several teams were involved in the operation and they successfully nabbed the four last evening," Gupta said.
He said the four men were "novices" and had used new weapons in attacking the MLA.
"On interrogation they told us that they had conducted recce of the area (around the MLA`s Najafgarh office) and for several days they observed that Singh used to come to his office between 8 AM and 10 AM. On June 1 they planned to attack him," he said.
One of the accused, Vikas, and his family had a personal rivalry with the MLA dating back to last year when his aunt and her husband had suffered a setback in a village fund they had established.
When some persons contacted the MLA for helping them recover their capital, Singh summoned the husband-wife duo to his office and asked them to pay back the money.
Vikas did not like Singh`s intervention in the case and in June last year in an inebriated state he slapped the MLA who was visiting his village. A little scuffle broke out following the assault but was resolved by the village people present there.
However, the strain continued and Vikas feared of a reprisal from the MLA`s side. According to police, apprehending a threat to his life, Vikas decided to eliminate Singh as a "pre-emptive" move.
"There was no gang war involved here as was being speculated. This was a case of personal enmity or a village-rivalry. There was also no fight over any plot," Gupta said.
The attack on the MLA last morning had raised concerns and shortly after the incident, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had asked the Police Commissioner to enhance security of legislators.
The Commissioner today said that the police has provided security to other MLAs including Jaswant Rana, Surendra Kumar and Shoaib Iqbal.
The attackers had come on motorcycles and were waiting outside the MLA`s office when he arrived. He was shot and chased inside his office and his relative Dharampal also suffered bullet injuries in the attack.
Singh, 35, is the brother of MCD councillor Krishan Pahalwan against whom there are several criminal cases.
Police said the four weapons used in the attack have also been recovered from the accused, who also tried to attack the policemen who went to nab them.
The motorcycles used in the crime have also been recovered.
The two victims injured in the attack are recuperating the hospital.
After the attack, INLD President President and former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala charged that lawlessness was on the rise in Congress-ruled States.
Delhi Leader of Opposition V K Malhotra also alleged that the capital was becoming a crime capital.
Dikshit yesterday held a meeting with the Police Commissioner to discuss the security scenario in the capital.
The meeting was held on the direction of Speaker Yoganand Shastri after MLAs yesterday demanded police protection citing increased "threat perception" while having to deal with difficult situations in public interest.