A children's fight in a school led to the killing of a 45-year-old man in a dramatic case of mistaken identity in Greater Noida. The police on Wednesday arrested two men who had allegedly planned the killing.
The police also unearthed the link between these episodes and the robbery of an SUV, which was used in the killing, a senior official said.
On February 3, unidentified assailants had stolen a Renault Duster from Kasna police station area. They too had arrived at the crime spot in a Duster. On February 5, the killing of a local, identified as Neeraj, was reported from near a post office, senior police official Vaibhav Krishna said.
"During probe it emerged that the vehicle was stolen by four men with a motive to use it in the February 5 killing. They were targeting someone by the name of Avadhesh, 45, who works in the post office," he said.
"But instead they shot dead Neeraj, who looked similar to Avadhesh. Three men were involved in the killing and all three have been arrested. The fourth man, a sharp shooter of the Anil Dujana gang, was involved only in the robbery, he is absconding and searches are underway for him," Krishna said.
He said during probe it emerged that a fight broke out between the son of Avadhesh and the brother of one of the accused, Subodh Bhati.
"Both are Class 11 students who had threatened to exact revenge on each other. Bhati's brother took the matter to him, who then reached out to his criminal friends and planned to kill Avadhesh."
"But due to the striking resemblance of Avadhesh with Neeraj, they killed him. This was a case of mistaken identity. But since they have killed someone and had planned the killing, they have been arrested," Krishna told reporters.
Bhati, Sonu Yadav have been arrested. Another accused, Anit Singh, was already in jail, while their fourth accomplice is at large, he said.
Both the cars have been recovered and impounded, while some firearms and ammunition were also seized during the arrest of Bhati and Yadav on Wednesday, he said.
"They all have a crime history, cases against them and are trained criminals," the senior official said.
Charges have been pressed against the accused for murder, related offences and under the Arms Act and have been remanded in judicial custody, the police added.
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