Luxury car showroom firing: Owner asked to pay ₹5 cr by gangsters | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Luxury car showroom firing: Owner asked to pay 5 cr by gangsters

May 08, 2024 05:40 AM IST

Employees said the showroom owner started receiving extortion calls from unknown and international phone numbers soon after the firing. Police said they are yet to ascertain the identity of the shooters, even as 14 teams

A day after two men opened fire at a used luxury car showroom in Ganesh Nagar, Tilak Nagar, employees of the showroom said the duo gave an employee of the showroom a piece of paper having the names of two gangsters, Naveen Bali and Neeraj Faridpuriya, alongside the word “Bhau gang” that is led by fugitive gangster Himanshu Bhau.

Bullet marks and broken glass at the showroom in Ganesh Nagar, west Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna/HT)
Bullet marks and broken glass at the showroom in Ganesh Nagar, west Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna/HT)

Employees said the showroom owner started receiving extortion calls from unknown and international phone numbers soon after the firing, asking him to pay up 5 crore. Later in the day, a friend of the showroom owner’s also reported having received an extortion call, asking for 5 crore.

Deputy commissioner of police (west) Vichitra Veer said efforts were being made to identify the attackers. Veer said the incident could be an extortion bid and that they are probing the case from all possible angles.

At least seven, including 43-year-old Manoj Malik, owner of the showroom ‘Fusion Cars’ and a local politician, were injured in the firing as shards of broken glass hit them due to the continuous firing. It also left three holes in the front floor glass panel and two holes in the glass panel of an adjacent private bank branch.

There was panic in the area as the three-storey building is located on Lala Ganesh Das Khatri Marg which is barely 20 metres from the Najafgarh Road, one of west Delhi’s busiest roads having commercial establishments on both sides.

“I was so terrified by the firing that I feared for my life while I was being taken to the hospital in an ambulance and even suspected its driver a possible threat to my life. I become suspicious and alert when even police in plain clothes visited the showroom for investigation. The firing incident is still fresh in my mind,” said Mohammad Mikhail, one of the injured employees of the car showroom.

The firing, followed by the extortion call, caused panic among local shopkeepers and residents of Ganesh Nagar. A few shops were already shut on Tuesday, even as the police deployed personnel from its crime branch and special cell.

Mikhail said that he was standing inside the showroom, just near the glass door, when two men, whose faces were not covered, walked in. When Mikhail asked the purpose of their visit, one of them told him that they had booked a car and handed over a slip to him when he enquired about the model of the car.

“As I read the first name ’Naveen Bali’ that was written in Hindi on the slip, the other man whipped out a pistol and fired at the glass door. Bhaiya (Manoj Malik) was also standing next to the door. The bullet shattered the glass door and its broken pieces hit us both. We both ran towards the staircase and bhaiya went to the first floor. They fired more shots, towards the first floor glass panels and in the air, before fleeing on a bike. The glass pieces hit my face and right eye,” said Mikhail.

Another employee, who refused to share his name, said that one bullet hit the front number plate of a luxury two-seater sports car, ricocheted and hit the ceiling. Another bullet pierced through at least five small panels of the false ceiling before falling on another luxury sedan. “Everyone was looking for a safe place to take cover. There were three to four clients along with their children when the firing took place. My colleagues and a local politician, who is our employer’s friend, also suffered injuries,” the employee said.

Two employees of the bank, including a woman, also suffered minor cuts after being struck by broken glass.

“We kept our bank closed today. Our bank staffers, especially women, are in shock,” the bank manager said, asking not to be named.

Ved Singh, the president of Ganesh Nagar residents’ welfare association (RWA), said that residents of the neighbourhood were jittery. “Many of us heard the sound of the gunshots as the firing took place on the road outside our colony. Once the Lok Sabha elections are over, we will meet the authorities concerned and put forth our proposals for increasing security,” Singh said.

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