UK-Based Gangster Could Be Behind INLD Chief’s Chilling Murder: Sources

INLD chief murder: The INLD chief was gunned down on Sunday.

New Delhi:

A gangster based in the United Kingdom is likely behind the sensational murder of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Nafe Singh Rathi, sources said, adding that three more individuals have been named in the FIR.

On Sunday, at a railway crossing in Haryana’s Jhajjar district, a Toyota Fortuner carrying Mr Rathi came to an unexpected halt, only to be ambushed by a mysterious i20 car. A cinematic scene ensued as five men emerged, unleashing a hail of bullets upon the SUV. The 66-year-old Mr Rathi and a loyal aide were killed, while two others fought for survival in critical condition. The assailants spared the life of Mr Rathi’s nephew, who was driving the vehicle, instructing him to inform the family about the incident.

The police are now on a manhunt for the elusive i20 which swiftly fled the scene following the attack.

The three new individuals mentioned in the FIR are Virendra Rathi, Sandeep Rathi, and Rajpal Sharma, bringing the total to 15 suspects – 10 known, including former BJP MLA Naresh Kaushik, and five unknown. According to police sources, two out of the three newly named individuals have political affiliations.

The investigation has taken an international turn with suspicions pointing to the involvement of a notorious gangster based in the UK. This gangster has allegedly orchestrated political murders in the past, including that of a BJP leader in Delhi a few months ago. Haryana Police will question a close associate of the UK-based gangster today currently incarcerated in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

Delhi Police’s Probe

Delhi Police suspects the potential involvement of sharpshooters associated with jailed gangsters, Lawrence Bishnoi and Kala Jathedi, in the brutal killing of the INLD leader.

The Delhi Police’s Crime Branch and Special Cell, working collaboratively on interstate gangsters’ networks, have visited the crime scene in Jhajjar. At least five teams from the Special Cell and four from the Crime Branch have been actively coordinating with their counterparts in Haryana to probe the murders.

The possibility of the involvement of other foreign-based gangsters, such as Himanshu Bhau, suspected to be residing in Portugal, is not being ruled out.

“It is suspected that gang members of jailed gangsters might have taken the contract to eliminate Rathi for money,” said a Delhi police official, as quoted by news agency PTI.

The gangs associated with Bishnoi and Jathedi are known for engaging in extortion and contract killings across Delhi-NCR, Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan.

The execution-style employed in Mr Rathi’s murder resembles previous incidents, particularly the killing of Rajput Karni Sena chief Sukhdev Singh Gogamedi, suggesting a common modus operandi. The shooters associated with the Lawrence Bishnoi-Godly Brar gang reportedly used foreign-made Zigana and Beretta pistols in both cases.

CBI To Step In?

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Monday announced in the state assembly that the investigation would be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

“If the House is only satisfied with a CBI probe, then I assure the members that we will hand over the case to the CBI,” Mr Vij said

The political fallout from the incident has been swift, with the opposition demanding a high court judge-monitored CBI probe into Mr Rathi’s murder. The incident, termed by the opposition as the state’s “first political murder,” has ignited a fierce debate on the adequacy of security measures provided to Mr Rathi, who had reportedly sought protection due to threats on his life.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar led the Haryana Assembly in paying tributes to the INLD chief on Monday, vowing to bring the culprits to justice.