The son of a former Bahujan Samaj Party legislator was seen waving a pistol to threaten a former Delhi MLA’s son and his woman friend at the luxury hotel in Delhi during a quarrel in the early hours of Sunday. tags
A young couple is harassed in the portico of a five-star hotel by a powerful Uttar Pradesh politician’s son who brandishes a pistol and drives away in a BMW car. A video of the incident later goes viral on social media. It could be a typical Delhi story of entitlement, wealth, connections, bluster, and a lethal weapon.
The son of a former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator, in pink trousers and a black t-shirt, was seen waving a pistol to threaten a former Delhi MLA’s son and his woman friend at the luxury hotel in Delhi during a quarrel in the early hours of Sunday. Since neither the victims nor the hotel authorities approached the police, suspect Ashish Pandey may have gotten away with the crime if a video of the act had not gone viral. Two days later, Delhi Police booked him on Tuesday, taking suo motu (on its own) cognisance of the incident.
They issued a lookout circular against Ashish to stop him from leaving India and have also strengthened security at the Nepal border. The police have issued a show cause notice to the hotel over withholding information and helping Ashish escape.
A Lucknow-based realtor, Ashish is the son of Rakesh Pandey, a former MP from the Ambedkar Nagar constituency in Uttar Pradesh from 2009 to 2014.
Ashish’s brother, Ritesh Pandey, is a serving BSP MLA from UP’s Jalalpur.
Ashish Pandey’s Facebook profile showed him posing with several weapons, including a rifle, pistols and knives. UP’s director general of police (DGP) OP Singh said Pandey has had a licence for a pistol since 2000.
Whether it was the same pistol he brandished early on Sunday morning, and the licence status of the other weapons seen in the pictures, would be known only after Pandey’s interrogation. Delhi Police have sought to get the arms licence of Ashish Pandey cancelled.
Pandey was initially booked by Delhi Police only under the Arms Act on Monday morning, but police later added Indian Penal Code sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 354 (criminal force used against woman to outrage her modesty).
If convicted under the Arms Act, the most stringent of all these offences, Pandey could land in jail for at least seven years. “Ashish switched off his mobile phone and escaped from his Lucknow home with his wife and children at 9.30am today (Tuesday). The UP Police have formed multiple teams and are helping us to arrest him,” said Devender Arya, deputy commissioner of police (south-west).
The incident took place at the Hyatt Regency hotel in south Delhi’s Bhikaji Cama Place at 3.40am on Sunday. The DCP said Pandey was at the hotel with five friends — three women and two men — to attend a party.
Gaurav Singh, the son of Kanwar Karan Singh, a former Congress MLA from Delhi’s Model Town constituency from 1998 to 2013, was visiting the coffee shop of the same hotel. “My friend wanted to throw up after having soup. I walked her to the washroom and waited outside. Three seemingly drunk women entered the same washroom moments later. They were randomly abusing and cursing. As I called for the hotel staff to assist my friend, the three women began bullying and abusing her,” Singh told a news channel.
According to an investigator, the women also abused Singh for standing near the washroom meant for women.
Singh said that he requested to be left alone. But as he and his friend were planning to leave the hotel, they were again allegedly confronted by three women, accompanied by Pandey, in the portico of the hotel.
“My friend retaliated by showing the women her middle finger. As I was calming down my friend, Ashish brought out a pistol from his BMW car and threatened to shoot me at the porch of the hotel,” alleged Singh.
The video, apparently shot by one of Pandey’s woman friends on her mobile phone, shows him carrying a pistol and being accompanied by a woman friend as the duo went about threatening the couple. The hotel’s security guards appeared to talk to the two groups.
In the video, Pandey is heard saying he is from Lucknow and is seen threatening to “bury” the couple and their “kranti” (revolution). The video also shows one of Pandey’s male friends trying to calm him down but it did not stop him or the women from hurling expletives.
Pandey and his friends later drove away while the other couple went on to have dinner before leaving. Hyatt Regency management issued a statement on Tuesday saying the hotel was cooperating with authorities and that the safety and security of their guests was its primary concern. Pandey and his family members were not available for comment, despite repeated calls.
First Published: Oct 16, 2018 23:50 IST