Four members of a gang were arrested after they allegedly fired outside the office of a property dealer in outer Delhi's Mundka to extort money, police said on Monday.
The accused, all members of "Cheeta gang", had taken up this modus operandi to make money and settle the loan of approximately Rs 3 lakh taken by one of the accused, police said on Monday.
Sahil (21), Lalit Mehra (22), Bharat (24) and Manoj (20) were arrested on October 23, almost a week after the incident, they said.
One of the accused had taken a loan of approximately Rs 3 lakh from a person who was pressurising him to return the amount. To repay the amount, the accused took to crime, the police said.
According to the police, the firing incident took place on October 16 outside the office of a property dealer who along with brother and a staff were sitting inside.
At around 3 pm, two bike-borne men, who had their faces covered, arrived at the spot and fired. One of the bullets hit a wall at the office, police said.
A case was registered and the possible routes taken by the accused were tracked. They also checked the footage of around 350 CCTV cameras installed in nearby areas of Delhi and Haryana.
Senior police official (Outer) Parvinder Singh said during investigation, head constable Sunil Kumar received an input about possible movement of criminals involved in the firing incident from Geetanjali Enclave to Tikri Border and that they were planning to commit another crime.
Police said the team managed to arrest the three criminals --Sahil, Lalit and Manoj on October 23.
"When questioned, Lalit told the police that he had taken a loan from a person named Pandit Ji who was pressurising them to return the amount. However, he could not arrange the amount," Mr Singh said.
When he failed to generate any income from their ventures, he along with his associates finally agreed to form an extortion gang and named it "Cheeta Gang," Mr Singh said.
Lalit knew a man named Bharat whose brother Kaptan alias Cheeta was a dreaded criminal who was involved in nine cases, including four murder cases, and is presently lodged in Bhondsi Jai. Bharat himself was also earlier involved in an attempt to murder case, the police said.
"Thereafter, Bharat joined the three accused and used the nickname of his bother in order to create fear and dominance in the area. They planned to commit one crime after another within a short span of time to demand protection money, Mr Singh said.
Bharat who had two country-made firearms gave his associates one firearm and live cartridges. On Bharat's direction, Lalit along with the other three fired outside the property dealer's office, police said.
Bharat was also arrested following raids, police said adding two country-made pistols and five live cartridges were recovered from him.