August 13, 2016 4:00:21 am
A day after BJP leader Brijpal Teotia, along with five associates, was seriously injured when assailants opened fire at them, police are looking at a 32-year-old personal rivalry relating to a property dispute and an enmity that has allegedly led to eight murders as the reasons behind Thursday’s attack.
While the identity of the assailants are yet to be confirmed, police have detained a woman constable from Baghpat for questioning and are on the lookout for two others — a resident of Mehrauli, Teotia’s native village, and another from the Razapur area of Ghaziabad.
Investigators are also scanning the property dispute dating back to 1984 allegedly involving Teotia and the three persons, one of whom was identified as Manoj Dewan, who is also from Mehrauli village under the Kavi Nagar police station limits in Ghaziabad.
Additional Director General (Law and Order), Daljit Singh Chawdhary, said preliminary investigations have revealed the role of Dewan and his associate in the attack — police have also traced their location at the time to the crime scene.
According to police, Dewan had an old land dispute with Teotia and their enmity has allegedly led to eight murders during the last two decades. “In 1984, three murders took place in Mehrauli village in Ghaziabad. The three killed are believed to have been close to Teotia. In 1996-97, three more people were murdered near Dasna jail, which is close to Mehrauli village. In 1999, another murder took place in Delhi, that of Suresh Dewan, Manoj’s uncle,” a senior police officer said.
While Dewan’s family suspected Teotia’s role in the murder, Delhi police did not find any evidence against Teotia and no action was taken against him, police said.
“In 1993, Manoj Dewan and two others were booked in the murder of Teotia’s associate, Suresh. In 1984, three others close to Suresh were also murdered in Mehrauli village,” the police said.
On Friday afternoon, news of the attack on Teotia reached Mehrauli village although local residents refused to divulge details of the personal enmity between the BJP leader and any other resident. While confirming that these murders had taken place many years ago, a Mehrauli village resident, on the condition of anonymity, said, “He (Teotia) has not been living here for many years. More than 10 years ago, he moved to the city (Kavi Nagar) and rarely visits the village. Why would a personal enmity dating back to 1984 be the reason for the attack now?”
Next to a primary school in the village stands a one-storey building belonging to Teotia. A caretaker maintained that he was unaware of any dispute that Teotia might have had with any village resident which could have led to the incident.
Along the National Highway 24, over 25 policemen have been stationed in a narrow lane which forms a part of Mehrauli village. Anyone approaching the lane, which gives access to four houses and a plot of land — properties of one of the suspects — is questioned by the police and asked to leave. “These four houses and the plot of land at the end of the lane belong to Manoj Dewan’s family. When the police reached here last night, after the incident, the houses were locked. There must be four families living here with each household having around four members. There is a dog and buffaloes in these houses. But the occupants left last night,” said a constable deployed in Mehrauli village.
The woman constable who has been detained is the wife of Rakesh Hasanpuria, who has several criminal cases against him, said police. “He was also involved in the arms trade. In 2003, he was killed in an encounter in Kavi Nagar station area. Hasanpuria’s family believes that Teotia was the informer who told police about his whereabouts,” the senior police officer said.
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