Eyewitnesses recount panic during GTB hospital shootout

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New Delhi, Mar 25 (PTI) When I heard gunshots, I got scared and sat down inside my food stall from where I could see people running for their lives, said a shopkeeper near the GTB hospital here where a gunfight broke out on Thursday between the police and those who had come to aid the escape of a notorious criminal.

The fierce gunfight left one assailant dead and triggered chaos with patients and their relatives running for cover, officials said.

While the criminal escorted by the police managed to flee, the police nabbed one of his six associates who was injured in the gunfight, they said.

Five to six men had come to the hospital and fired at the police team, escorting Kuldeep alias Fajja who had been brought there for treatment, in order to help him escape custody, police said.

'Initially, I could not understand what was happening. Later, when I heard the gunshots, I got scared and sat down inside my food stall.

'People were running for their lives, but I could not leave my stall. After the gunfight was over, I heard people talking that the accused used chilli powder to release their associate,' he said. There was widespread panic among the people after the shots were fired, eyewitnesses said.

Another shopkeeper, who also runs a food stall near the hospital and did not wish to be named, said the accused used gate number seven to escape.

'I was at my stall when the incident took place. I heard shots being fired from the rear of the hospital building. Some of them who were running from the police, went outside gate number seven of the hospital which was open at that time,' he said.

Vinod, who had come to the Delhi State Cancer Institute, said he was present outside the hospital's gate from where the accused fled.

'I saw two men come out of the gate number seven and stop a bike. They snatched the two-wheeler, fired in the air and fled with the vehicle,' Vinod said.

The shootout took place around 12.30 pm when the third battalion of the Delhi Police was taking Kuldeep to the hospital for treatment, police said.

Kuldeep is a member of Gogi gang. The members of the gang were involved in extortion, collecting ransom and protection money and committing car-jacking among others. Kuldeep had been arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police in March 2020 from Gurgaon, they added. PTI NIT NIT TDS TDS