Cops go undercover to nab murderer from UP, now selling ‘chole bhature’

Cops looked for him for years and ultimately the case went cold till sometime back when a crucial tip-off woke up the Delhi Police Crime Branch.
Express illustrations.
Express illustrations.

NEW DELHI: Twenty years ago in 2004, Sipahi Lal alias Gurdayal used to work at a vegetable shop in Azadpur Mandi.

Things changed after he abducted and murdered a businessman, put the body in a gunny bag and dumped it in a drain near Karala village.

He committed the sensational crime along with four of his associates. All were held except Sipahi Lal, who disappeared into thin air.

Cops looked for him for years and ultimately the case went cold till sometime back when a crucial tip-off woke up the Delhi Police Crime Branch. “Recently, the police got a tip-off that Sipahi Lal was selling ‘chole bhature’ under a different name near the Ramlila Maidan in Mainpuri,” DCP (Crime) Rakesh Pawariya said.

To trace his movement, cops placed an Assistant Sub Inspector, Sonu Nain, near the Ramlila Maidan, disguised as a mango seller.

Nain kept looking and after two days, he came to know that Sipahi Lal was selling chole bhature under the name of Gurdayal.

“When confronted, he tried to hoodwink the police by identifying himself as Gurdayal. But later he broke down and disclosed his real name and identity. The accused has been arrested under the appropriate sections of the law,” the DCP added.

Sharing details of the 20-year-old case, the police said that on October 31, 2004, a businessman named Ramesh Chand Gupta left his house in Delhi’s Shakarpur area in his Santro car, but did not return home. His brother Jagdish Kumar lodged a case of abduction with the Shalimar Bagh police station. On November 2, 2004, Gupta’s car was found deposited at the Bahadurgarh police station, but the man was still missing.

Based on the suspicion of the family members, a person named Mukesh Vats was arrested. On interrogation, Vats disclosed that he along with his associates Sipahi Lal, Shareef Khan, and Kamlesh abducted Gupta and later killed him. Vats ran a vegetable business at the Azadpur Mandi and Shareef Khan, Kamlesh, Rajesh, and Sipahi Lal were his employees.

The accused put the body in a gunny bag and dumped the same in a drain near Karala village. During the investigation, Shareef Khan and Kamlesh were arrested from Karala where Gupta’s body was also found. However, Sipahi Lal could not be arrested and was declared a proclaimed offender by the court.

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