Gangster Ashok Pradhan, aide arrested by Delhi Police’s Special Cell

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New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) An alleged gangster and his aide wanted in multiple cases have been arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, officials said on Tuesday.

Gangster Ashok Pradhan, 36, was carrying a reward of over Rs 5 lakh on his arrest and his aide Arun Baba a reward of Rs 1 lakh, they added.

The duo was devising plans to eliminate arch-rivals Neeraj Bawana and Naveen Bali during their upcoming court appearances, police said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Manishi Chandra said technical and manual surveillance was mounted and a police team was stationed at different locations to trace the suspects’ movements.

'On January 31, our team received a tip-off that Ashok Pradhan and Arun Baba were expected to travel towards Millennium Park, Outer Ring Road, for some purpose. Accordingly, we dispatched a team which managed to nab the accused persons who were travelling in a car,” he said.

“Firearms loaded with live cartridges were recovered from them and the car driven by them, which was found to be robbed from Rohtak in Haryana, was also seized,' Chandra added.

The officer said Pradhan has ongoing gang-rivalry with Neeraj Bawana (presently in jail) and his syndicate. He has been the chief executor of several gang-wars in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh claiming over a dozen lives, the DCP added.

'Ashok Pradhan, along with his aide, was planning to eliminate Neeraj Bawana and his associate Naveen Bali, both of whom are presently in jail, on their upcoming court appearances.

“After the implementation of COVID-19 protocols, physical appearances of under trial prisoners in courts had been stopped. The accused were waiting for its resumption which has just begun,' Chandra said.

During preliminary interrogation, Pradhan disclosed that in 2018 he along with his gang members had attacked a prominent businessman in Jhansi under a contract killing deal. However, the businessman survived, but his driver was killed. In October 2020, he had made an extortion call to a municipal councilor in Bahadurgarh to pay Rs 50 lakh as ransom. However, these claims are being verified, the DCP said.

According to police, Pradhan was on the run since 2014 after jumping parole and is wanted in seven cases including that of murder and robbery in Delhi and Haryana. His aide Arun is wanted in three cases including murder and attempt to murder.

After the arrest of Pradhan and Baba, police are working to trace their other gang members, the officer said. PTI AMP AQS AQS