NEW DELHI: The probe in an encounter in which four criminals were shot dead in south Delhi's Chhatarpur area on Saturday will be carried out by the Delhi Police's Crime Branch, a senior officer said here today.
Gangster Rajesh Bharti and three of his associates -- Sanjeev alias Sandeep Vidroh, Umesh alias Don and Viresh Rana alias Bhiku -- were killed, while eight police personnel were injured in the encounter.
One of the gangsters, Kapil, who was injured in the encounter, is currently undergoing treatment at the AIIMS Trauma Centre and is stated to be out of danger.
The case was transferred from the district police to the Crime Branch yesterday for a thorough investigation, said a senior police officer.
Bharti and Vidroh had escaped from the custody of Haryana Police around a year-and-a-half ago.
Bharti's gang, also referred to as the "Kranti Gang", was mostly active in Haryana, but in the last one year, they had committed crimes in Delhi too.
The Delhi Police's Special Cell had been tracking the gang for the last six-seven months.
On Saturday, it was learnt that the gang members would be coming to Chandan Hola village in Chhatarpur and a team of the cell's Northern Range, comprising 30 personnel, was stationed on the route they were expected to take while leaving from a farmhouse, where they had assembled.
The gang members, numbering around eight, were spotted coming from the farmhouse in two cars -- a Ford Endeavour, bearing a Haryana registration number, and a Hyundai i-20.
They were asked by the police team to surrender, but they started indiscriminately firing at the police personnel, the officer said.
The police retaliated and four persons were shot dead, while Kapil sustained injuries and was admitted in the AIIMS Trauma Centre.
The others managed to escape.
More than 100 rounds were fired by the gang members and the Delhi police's Special Cell in the shoot-out, police said.
Officers are waiting for Kapil's condition to improve so that they can ascertain the identity of the others who were accompanying him and the reason for which they had gathered at the farmhouse, the police said.
The farmhouse owner, Sanjeev, is at large.
It is still not clear whether he was accompanying the gang members at the time of the encounter.
The seized Ford Endeavour car belongs to him.
Bharti and Vidroh were carrying rewards of Rs 1 lakh each on their head, while Umesh was carrying a reward of Rs 50,000, the police said, adding that there were murder and extortion cases against them.
The police had recovered 40 fake number-plates of vehicles from the Hyundai i-20 car, the ownership of which is yet to established.
In the last one month, the gang had committed criminal acts in south Delhi, including robbing two Toyota Fortuner SUVs from the Vasant Kunj area on May 18 and 19.
In July last year, the gang had killed a man in Dwarka and left pamphlets behind, claiming that they were members of the Rajesh Bharti gang.
Vidroh was wanted in connection with that case.