NEW DELHI: Hours after firing on Dalit leader Chandrashekhar Azad in Saharanpur, the Uttar Pradesh Police have recovered an abandoned Swift Dzire car from near the attack site, which, official believe, could lead them to the attackers.
The Toyota Fortuner car of Azad, the founder of Bhim Army and Azad Samaj Party, is seen being chased by the hatchback in CCTV cameras installed in Deoband.
The New Indian has obtained a 27-second CCTV footage showing the suspected Swift Dzire car closely tailing Azad’s car moments before the attack. The incident occurred between 5:15 pm and 5:30 pm under the Deoband flyover when Azad was heading to his home from Delhi.
Authorities are now using the car’s registration number, which traces back to an owner in Haryana, to trace the perpetrators. Several people from Deoband have been taken into custody for interrogation.
Police suspect the involvement of three to four people in the attack. Azad, who was sitting in the front seat, managed to evade serious injury by quickly concealing himself when the attack took place. While a bullet grazed his waist, another pierced through the window. Police believe that three to four shots were fired at Azad during the incident.
According to police sources, the attack appears to be the work of local youths, but investigations are underway from all possible angles. The car’s owner has been identified, and efforts are being made to gather information about the attackers.
An FIR has been registered at Deoband police station in Saharanpur in connection with the attack under sections 307, 506, 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as well as the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Following the attack, Azad was initially taken to a nearby hospital and later transferred to the district hospital in Saharanpur. Doctors have stated that his condition is stable and he is under observation.
Late at night, he released a video statement appealing to his supporters to remain calm and refrain from any violent acts and vowed to continue his fight through constitutional means.
In a show of solidarity, hundreds of Azad’s supporters gathered at the hospital, protesting against the Uttar Pradesh Police and demanding enhanced security for Azad. Ajay Gautam, the media incharge of Azad’s party, announced plans to request authorities to provide Z-plus security cover for Azad’s protection.
On Thursday, Olympic wrestlers Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia visited Azad in the hospital. Azad had previously shown his support for the wrestlers’ protest against former wrestling federation chief Brijbhushan Sharan Singh.
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