The Delhi police on Saturday claimed to have arrested four young men involved in the armed attack on Indian National Lok Dal Member of Legislative Assembly Bhagat Singh and cited personal rivalry as the reason behind the assault.
The MLA was shot at by assailants outside his office in south-west Delhi on Saturday and was rushed to the hospital with bullet injuries along with a relative who was also hit.
Commissioner of Police B K Gupta told reporters at a press conference on Sunday that the four men who were arrested on Saturday evening were close friends and one of them had personal enmity with the MLA.
The four arrested men are Vikas Dagar, 28, Kuldeep Mittal, 26, Sumeet Singh, 28 and Virendrer Sehrawat, 23, who are from Jharoda Kalan village of Delhi.
"Several teams were involved in the operation and they successfully nabbed the four last evening," Gupta said.
He said the four men were "novices" and had used new weapons in attacking the MLA.
"On interrogation they told us that they had conducted reconnaissance of the area (around the MLA's Najafgarh office) and for several days they observed that Singh used to come to his office between 8 am and 10 am. On June 1, they planned to attack him," he said.
One of the accused, Vikas, and his family had a personal rivalry with the MLA dating back to last year, when his aunt and her husband had suffered a setback in a village fund they had established.
When some people contacted the MLA for helping them recover their capital, Singh summoned the husband-wife duo to his office and asked them to pay back the money.
Vikas did not like Singh's intervention in the case and in June last year, in an inebriated state, he slapped the MLA who was visiting his village. A little scuffle broke out following the assault but was resolved by the village people present there.
But the strain continued and Vikas feared of a reprisal from the MLA's side. According to police, apprehending a threat to his life, Vikas decided to eliminate Singh as a "pre-emptive" move.
"There was no gang war involved here as was being speculated. This was a case of personal enmity or a village rivalry. There was also no fight over any plot," Gupta said.