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Gang war bullets for Delhi MLA

New Delhi, June 2: Gunmen chased and shot a Delhi MLA at his party office and left him seriously injured this morning, with police blaming the attack on the resurgence of a 1990s feud between two Najafgarh mafia gangs.

Indian National Lok Dal legislator Bharat Singh, 35, is the brother of Kishan Pahalwan, 40, a party councillor and alleged gangster who is being tried in several murder cases.

The police believe that the rival Balraj gang shot Bharat, who has taken bullets in his abdomen and left hand and is fighting for his life in hospital.

Clashes between the Pahalwan and Balraj gangs, allegedly involved in extortion and contract killings, claimed lives almost every day in the late 1990s, police sources said.

“Kishan eliminated Balraj in 1998 but, after years of lying low, members of the Balraj gang have again become active,” a senior officer said.

“We suspect the attack (on Bharat) to be the fallout of the legendary feud. Raids are on to arrest the attackers.”

Chief minister Sheila Dikshit met police commissioner B.K. Gupta to review legislators’ security.

“It is a matter of great concern that an MLA has been attacked. We have to take precautions,” Dikshit said. “Two MLAs raised the issue of (extortionists’) threats to them yesterday and today this incident has happened. Security should be enhanced.”

An officer said five people came in a car and barged into Bharat’s office in Najafgarh, barely 500 metres from his home, around 8.30am and began shooting. Bharat tried to flee but was chased and shot.

Bharat’s uncle Dharampal too suffered a bullet injury but none of the party supporters and officials present were hurt.

Pahalwan was barely 20 when he was convicted of murder in 1992 but was released from jail five years later and formed his gang, a police source said. Since then, he had been on the Delhi and Haryana police’s most-wanted list, with at least 27 murder cases against him.

In 2005, he was arrested in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, but received bail. He lay low for a while and successfully contested the 2007 Delhi civic polls. He was re-elected this year from Najafgarh, the same area from where cricketer Virender Sehwag’s sister Anju Meherwal too won as a Congress nominee.

Police sources said Pahalwan owned property worth at least Rs 50 crore in Delhi, including several flats in Dwarka and farms in Najafgarh.