BSP leader gunned down in Delhi farmhouse

New Delhi


Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Deepak Bhardwaj was shot dead in a south Delhi farmhouse Tuesday morning by "two to three" unidentified people, police said, suspecting that contract killers did the job.

Bhardwaj, who contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections on a BSP ticket and was the richest candidate with assets worth over Rs.603 crore, was gunned down in the farmhouse in south Delhi's Rajokri area around 9 a.m., an official said.

His associate was injured and is under treatment at a hospital.

Initial inquiries revealed that the killers entered the farmhouse in a dark grey colour Skoda car with a fake registration number.

"Three men gained entry through the main gate of the farmhouse 'The Nitesh'. They showed their identification cards to the gatekeeper and on the pretext of booking a hotel for some function, they entered the 35-acre farmhouse," said police officials.

"Bhardwaj was walking on lawn No.2, which is 200 metres away from the main gate. The men stopped the car and two men alighted from it and went to talk to him. They had an argument with him, after which they opened fire," a police official told IANS.

The assailants then fled in the car in the direction of Gurgaon.

The number of the car was reportedly DL3C 7062, which was later found to be fake. The vehicle is yet to be traced.

Bhardwaj, 61, who dabbled in real estate, hotels and education, was rushed to Fortis Hospital in Vasant Kunj where doctors declared him dead. His body has been sent to the mortuary of All Indian Institute of Medical Science.

Police said three rounds had been fired at him from an automatic revolver. Bhardwaj suffered three bullet injuries - two in his chest and one in the head, an official said.

Prima facie, it appears to be personal rivalry, the official said, adding that the attackers might have been contract killers, hired to do to the job.

Police said Bhardwaj has two sons - Nitesh, 32, and Hitesh, 35.

While Hitesh is related to Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan by marriage, Nitesh was living with his mother in Dwarka.

"Recently, Nitesh had filed an FIR against Bhardwaj over some property matters. Bhardwaj had also filed a complaint against Nitesh, who was handling the property business. It is not confirmed how long he was staying away from his father," said an official.

Hitesh, married to Shah Rukh Khan's wife Gauri's cousin, runs the Gyan Bharti school in Dwarka. - IANS