NEW DELHI -- In what now appears to be part of a long-standing family feud and gang war, firing by unidentified men on Wednesday morning on a busy Gurgaon road caused a traffic pile-up that left one person dead and three others injured. The incident was reported at around 9 am opposite the Gurgaon Central Mall.
According to some eyewitness accounts, unidentified men in a Santro opened fire at an occupant in an SUV that was on its way from Haryana to Delhi. The driver of the SUV tried to swerve to escape the bullets, ramming into three other vehicles. Two cars toppled over while an autorickshaw that was parked at the side of the road was smashed, police said. Another auto driver who was across the road died on the spot after a stray bullet hit him.
According to the initial police investigation, the SUV had two occupants — Rakesh, who was accused of being the mastermind behind the murder of the sarpanch of Hayatpur village in Haryana in 2011, and Hansraj, who was driving the vehicle. Rakesh is the leader of a local criminal gang, and is also a witness in another criminal case, said police.
On Wednesday morning, five men in a Santro with a UP registration plate intercepted the SUV and four of them got out of their car. They then allegedly opened fire, shooting repeatedly at the SUV. While Hansraj received bullet injuries as he tried to swerve out of the firing range, his car turned turtle and landed on top of the auto rickshaw parked nearby, injuring him grievously. Rakesh meanwhile sustained injuries after the SUV jumped nine feet into the air before it turned turtle.
The assailants escaped in the meantime towards Delhi, and are yet to be identified. They are believed to be members of another gang which has an old rivalry with Rakesh's gang, said police. Rakesh, Hansraj, and the injured auto driver were rushed to the hospital where they are under observation.
Mg road firing near gurgaon central mall pic.twitter.com/WaMruHtQeg— surender singh (@singhSurennbt1) July 15, 2015
Rakesh had allegedly hired four contract killers to murder the Hayatpur sarpanch because of a long-standing family feud related to land ownership. In fact, one of Rakesh's alleged associates had even been set on fire by Hayatpur villagers.
While Rakesh was arrested soon after the incident in 2011, there have been repeated instances of violence between the two families.
Car crushes auto On MG road gurgaon after occupant fired upon in suspected gang war. pic.twitter.com/7EvVrrRiaT— abhishekbehl (@abhishekbehl) July 15, 2015
A car which met with accident on MG rooad after the firing put on one side. pic.twitter.com/WHJa64hrAL— abhishekbehl (@abhishekbehl) July 15, 2015
"This place is becoming the wild west," said Rajeev Sinha, president of the resident's welfare association in nearby Essel Towers. "The police are unable to control the traffic and people are always scared."
Sinha said that eyewitnesses had seen someone in a Santro chasing down the occupant of the Fortuner, firing shots, and zooming away. "An autorickshaw driver who was standing nearby told our security supervisor that the Santro driver disappeared quickly after firing shots."
@gary_1980in I am Prez of Essel towers RWA & it happened next to our complex.Got worried..seems this is due to gang war but 3 innocents died— Rajeev Sinha (@RajeevSinha2408) July 15, 2015