Man who took on sand mafia shot dead

Del

A 40-year-old man, who had allegedly taken on the sand mafia operating in his village, was shot dead at his residence in Raipur village in Sector 126, Noida, on Wednesday.

Family members alleged that he was murdered as he had complained against a particular family engaged in illegal sand mining. The family also claimed that the mining was being done in the same area where suspended IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal had led a massive crackdown on the illegal sand mining recently.

According to police, Pale Ram Chauhan had his lunch and was watching television at home when three men arrived on a motorcycle.

Family members told police that the men parked the bike, walked inside the house and fired three bullets at Chauhan. They got back on the bike and fled the spot, police said.

Villagers immediately alerted police, who came and took Chauhan to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Eyewitnesses told police that the motorbike, on which the assailants arrived in the village, had no number plate.

Chauhan's son Ravindra Chauhan said, "My father had lodged a complaint against a family which was involved in illegal sand mining on the banks of the Yamuna. They had threatened to wipe out our family."

Preetinder Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police (Gautam Buddh Nagar) said, "Some of the family members told us that they suspected the involvement of a neighbour in Chauhan's murder. No one has seen the bikers, so it would not be proper to level allegations against anyone at the moment."

Singh said they had detained a suspect whom he was not ready to name as yet.

He said police were probing if the murder was a result of a sand mining rivalry.

"The family against whom allegations have been levelled were in a dispute with Chauhan over a plot of land. There was also a third party involved. We will be looking into the role of everyone involved," Singh said.

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