On the run for almost three months after National Investigation Agency (NIA) officer Tanzil Ahmed was shot dead, the mastermind in the murder case was today arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) from Noida, said a senior officer.The main accused in the case, Muneer (35), a former student of Aligarh Muslim University, was nabbed from Bisrakh area in Gautam Budh Nagar in the National Capital Region.
“Muneer, who masterminded the murder, and his accomplice Adnan were arrested by the STF. Muneer was carrying a reward of Rs. 2 lakh,” IG (STF) Ramkumar told reporters in Lucknow.
Acting on a tip-off that the two would come to Noida, an STF team arrested them at around 9.30 am following an encounter, he said.
A .32 bore pistol, a revolver, cartridges, a motorbike and Rs. 90,000 in cash were recovered from the duo, he added.
Muneer was involved in a number of criminal activities, including looting Rs. 34 lakh from a bank cashier in Bannadevi area of Aligarh in 2014, Rs. 31 lakh from a PNB employee in civil lines area there in the same year and Rs. 1.5 crore from a cash van in Kamla Nagar locality in New Delhi on November 29, 2014, the IG said.
He has also confessed to looting a 9 mm pistol from the bodyguard of a judge in Gomti Nagar area of Lucknow, he added.
The pistol was later used in the killing of the NIA officer. Muneer was angry with Ahmed for having alerted the police about some of his accomplices and getting them arrested, said Mr Ramkumar.
After committing the crime, Muneer went to Nepal, stayed there for some time before coming back to India, the IG said, adding that he was planning to go to Mumbai in two-three days.
Mr Ahmed (45) was driving back to Delhi after attending a family wedding at Sahaspur village in Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh on the intervening night of April 2 and 3 when two men on bike overtook his car and shot him 24 times.
His wife Farzana Khatoon too received bullet injuries and succumbed 10 days after the incident at AIIMS in New Delhi while their two children, aged 14 and 12, survived the attack as their father had asked them to duck in the back seat of the vehicle.
It was Muneer who had allegedly fired at Mr Ahmed and his wife.
Earlier, four persons — Rizvan, Tanzeem, Rehan and Zainul — were arrested in connection with the NIA officer’s murder.
Uttar Pradesh police had claimed to have solved the case by arresting Rehan, the nephew of Mr Ahmed’s brother-in-law, along with Zainul. After the arrests, the police had contended that a domestic dispute was the motive behind the crime.
The IG said investigations so far have not pointed towards any financial transaction between Mr Ahmed and Muneer as reported by a section of the media.