Cops were waiting for Dabodia in armoured car

A Delhi Police team of the Special Cell, donning bullet-proof vests, was waiting near a petrol pump in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj in an armoured Mahindra Scorpio car, fully prepared for a firefight before most wanted criminal Neetu Dabodia of Dabodha village was spotted on Thursday.

Neetu Dabodia alias Surender Malik, who was shot dead, had come near the petrol pump in a Hyundai i20 car to plan a kidnapping. 

The 30-year-old criminal, who hailed from Dabodha village in Jhajjar district of Haryana, was wanted in at least 42 cases of murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping for ransom and extortion in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

Two of his accomplices killed in the shootout have been identified as Alok Gupta from Kannauj in UP and Deepak, a resident of Mohan Garden in Uttam Nagar here.

According to Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) S N Shrivastava, action began at 10:30 pm and ended when the team made a call to the police control room at 10:48 pm.

They recovered a Webley revolver, two pistols, an SAF carbine fitted with magazines and seven cartridges, a bag containing 18 cartridges from the car and 16 cartridges from Dabodha.

“A team of special staff had been formed to apprehend this most wanted criminal. On Thursday, the team received specific information about the movement of Dabodha and his accomplices to a place near a petrol pump adjacent to Hotel Grand in Vasant Kunj,” Shrivastava said.

The team kept waiting for Dabodia and his accomplices near the hotel since Thursday afternoon. It spotted an i20 car at 10:30 pm. 

When the team approached the car, the driver tried to speed away towards Vasant Kunj C-5. 

“The vehicle was chased and upon being intercepted ahead of Grand Hotel, it hit the police vehicle, which overtook it to prevent its escape,” Shrivastava added.

On being trapped, the three occupants came out of the car and tried to flee towards a dark alley by opening indiscriminate fire on the police.

In self-defence, the police team also fired from their service pistols. Once the situation was brought under control, a call was made to the PCR and the injured were shifted to AIIMS trauma centre.

“The criminals were declared dead on arrival, while two members of our team were hit on their bullet-proof vests. Our vehicle was also hit by the assailants’ bullets,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav. 

After initial probe, it has been established that the car belonged to Deepak and was being driven by Alok. Dabodia was spotted on the passenger’s seat of the vehicle.

Investigating officers said Alok has a criminal history and is an accused in at least five cases in Delhi and Haryana, while Deepak’s criminal history is being ascertained.

 Deepak’s body was identified by his father on Friday.

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