Taxi driver dragged to death in Delhi: Suspects boarded cab at Saket
Special commissioner of police Sagar Preet Hooda said the two accused were arrested within 24 hours of the crime and both are residents of Meerut
A day after two men were arrested from Meerut for allegedly robbing a taxi driver of his car and fatally dragging him alongside the vehicle, police said that the two men had hired the cab from Saket, pretending to be passengers who had to go to the airport, the Delhi Police said on Thursday.
Police said that the two suspects, identified as Mehaj Salmani, 33, and Mohammad Asif, 24, boarded the cab a little after after 9.30 pm and made the victim drive them before attacking him inside the vehicle.
Bijender Shah, 43, a resident of Faridabad, was dragged alongside his own car on NH 48 for nearly 1km.
According to a police officer associated with the case, the two accused looked for an isolated spot to push Shah out after boarding the cab. Even though Shah resisted, he was pushed out but his right arm got stuck in the seat belt. Salmani then took over the steering wheel and shut the door. “The accused then tried to hit a divider hoping that Shah would fall off. Eventually, he applied a sudden brake which threw the victim off,” said the officer, requesting anonymity.
Special commissioner of police Sagar Preet Hooda said the two accused were arrested within 24 hours of the crime and both are residents of Meerut.
A second senior police officer, aware of the matter, said the two have committed similar crimes in Ghaziabad and Delhi but in those cases, the victims did not sustain grievous injuries. According to the criminal history of the two men, accessed by HT, Salmani was involved in a similar case, where he robbed a driver of his car in 2019.
“Their modus operandi is to enter cabs as passengers and then either threaten the driver to leave the vehicle or thrash them before pushing them out. In this case, when they pushed the driver out, he got stuck on the right side and they didn’t stop because they were in a hurry to flee,” the officer said.
The second investigator said that there was no GPS in Shah’s car due to which they are yet to piece together the sequence of events.
The first investigator said that a special investigation team was formed with five sub-teams immediately after the incident. Three teams were sent to Meerut, one to Sonepat and one to Gurugram. “After robbing people of cars, most of them go to Meerut because that’s where cars are dismantled,” the second officer added. The suspects were spotted on one of the routes which investigators were tracking.
“SSP Rohit Singh Sajwan, SP Piyush Singh, and DSP Amit Rai part of the Meerut Police were constantly in touch with me and the local intelligence of Meerut played a crucial role in the arrest,” said DCP (south west) Manoj C.
According to the FIR registered in Meerut’s Lisari Gate police station, seen by HT, the local police received input that two people were approaching Sotiganj in Meerut after a car robbery in Delhi’s Saket. Sotiganj is infamous for dismantling and sale of stolen cars. The two were apprehended on Wednesday afternoon, a UP police officer said.
Shah was the sole breadwinner of his family of seven and spent most of his earnings on his children’s education. He is survived by his wife and their children — two sons aged 12 and 14 and three daughters aged 16,18 and 20. Delhi police said they are in talks with some organisations to provide financial assistance to the family.