Court shootout: All 4 apprehended accused are juveniles

New Delhi: All the four accused held for allegedly shooting dead a constable and injuring an undertrial in a courtroom yesterday have been found to be juveniles "hired" for killing the undertrial.

Following their arrest, the police is now hot on the heels of their Bulandshahr-based accomplice who allegedly plotted the dramatic shootout on the direction of a northeast Delhi-based gangster -- Naseer, who is in jail.

Acting swiftly, the police cross-checked the records and ascertained the age of the assailants withing 24 hours. The four accused had claimed that they were juveniles following their detention after the incident at east Delhi's Karkardooma court yesterday, said a police official.

While two of them had no criminal record, one was an accused in a robbery case and another was allegedly involved in the brutal murder of a youth at southeast Delhi's Ambedkar Nagar area last year, said the official.

The entire plan was allegedly masterminded by Naseer, who is currently lodged in a jail in connection with a murder case. Naseer had a grudge against the undertrial, Irfan, who had allegedly killed one of his prime aides, said the official.

While the undertrial, who was the actual target, sustained two bullets in yesterday's firing and is in a hospital, the head constable, Ram Kanwar Meena, escorting him died after being hit by four bullets, the official said.

"Naseer had instructed one of his aides at Bulandshahr to arrange people for the attack and the juveniles were specially hired keeping in mind the legal provisions in connection with them," said the official.

The Bulandshahr-based man (name not disclosed) arrived in Delhi and met two of the juveniles, who later roped in two more to execute the plan. They were all briefed by the man about the case again. Teams will be sent to Bulandshahr to look for the co-conspirator. The police are also gathering evidences, after which they are also likely to book Naseer in the case, the official added.

Meanwhile, it has also come to the fore that the third batallion of Delhi Police, entrusted with transport of prisoners between jails, courts and medical facilities, had communicated to the court conveying threat to the life of Irfan and requested for hearings through video conferencing. However, the proposal was pending till yesterday, when the incident took place, a senior official said.

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