A Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate from the Khurja constituency in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district, was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly murdering his brother and a friend, reported ANI. The police have also arrested Firoz, a sharpshooter, and accused Manoj Gautam’s friend in connection with the murders.
Manoj Gautam, his brother Vinod and his friend Sachin had attended another RLD leader, Jayant Chaudhary’s rally in Khurja on February 6. They left the venue in their Scorpio car, however Vinod Gautam and Sachin could not be found soon after. The Gautams’ cousin Gurdeep had informed the police that Vinod Gautam and Sachin were missing, reported The Indian Express.
At 10 pm on February 6, the police found the Scorpio in a field near Agwal area in Bulandhshahr. The bodies of Vinod Gautam and Sachin were found 200 metres away from the car the next day. The bodies had bullet injuries to the heads and chests. Manoj Gautam had fainted when the bodies were found and was taken to the hospital.
The police seized Manoj’s .32 bore pistol, which was used to commit the crime, the mobile phones of the victims and three empty cartridges from Firoz, reported Hindustan Times. The call details of the three accused and some call recordings of conversations helped crack the case, police told The Hindu.
Manoj Gautam had been working for the Bahujan Samaj Party for three years, but had failed to get a ticket. A few weeks ago, he had joined the RLD and was fielded from Khurja constituency. Manoj told the police that he had hatched the plan to eliminate his brother to “gain sympathy votes”. He had planned to frame his political opponents for the murder, reported The Hindu. He had spent crores of rupees campaigning and was reportedly under severe financial distress.