Rana, accomplices carried out mock shootout
Tuesday, July 31, 2001 (New Delhi):
Three accomplices of Sher Singh Rana, the man who says he killed Phoolan Devi, have told the police that they carried out a mock shootout, just days before the actual murder.
All three surrendered in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh yesterday and are now being interrogated in Delhi. They will be produced in court later today.
What these three men told the police of the chronology of events leading up to Phoolan Devi's assassination, when they were brought to the Crime Branch headquarters in Delhi this morning, was shocking.
According to them, they rehearsed the event four or five days before the assassination? by firing practice shots near a temple in Roorkee. A day before the assassination the foursome consisting of Sher Singh Rana - the ring? leader, Ravinder the salesman at Rana's liquor shop, his friend Shekhar Singh and Rajvir split into two teams.
Both teams headed for Delhi. Rana and Ravinder travelled in the green Maruti car while? Shekhar and Rajvir were in white Maruti car. Both teams had mobiles and were constantly in touch.? During the assassination apart from Rana, Ravinder also fired shots at Phoolan Devi's? security guard.
The two sped away in the green Maruti abandoning it at Pandit Pant Marg for an? autorickshaw, which they took to Delhi's Inter-State Bus Terminal and from there took a bus to Ghaziabad in UP.
The other team joined them at Ghaziabad in their white Maruti car.? None of them were willing to talk to the Press at all either about their motive for the crime or even about why they finally decided to surrender before a court in Saharanpur.
When the court refused on grounds that the case did not come under their jurisdiction they were arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police. While the police says they are not sure what to believe of the accomplices' version of the events, their virtual surrender has opened up a host of questions on whether or not the police teams searching for these men were making much headway in the case at all.