Delhi and Uttar Pradesh police teams raided several places Wednesday in pursuit of a politician's son, who is elusive after brandishing a gun at a five-star hotel, even as a court issued a non-bailable warrant against him.
Ashish Pandey, son of former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Rakesh Pandey, had pulled out a pistol at Delhi's Hyatt Regency hotel early Sunday to allegedly threaten Gaurav Kanwar, son of a former Congress MLA.
The police have so far questioned over 50 people, including the father and uncle of the accused and some employees of the hotel, as to why they did not inform them about the incident on October 14.
The police learnt about the incident only on October 15, after a video of it went viral, and contacted the hotel authorities, who then filed a complaint.
An officer of the Uttar Pradesh police said Pandey, a realtor from Lucknow, held licences for three firearms, which had now been suspended.
Kanwar has said in his statement to the Delhi Police that Pandey had pulled out his gun and shouted "I will kill you", which had "scared" him to the extent that he did not approach them.
A video of the incident went viral on the social media, triggering a massive public outrage and prompting the Delhi Police to step in and launch a hunt for Pandey, who has since been untraceable.
In the video, Pandey is seen in a confrontation with two other guests at the foyer of the hotel.
"Raids have been carried out at various places associated with Pandey and we will be able to make the arrest soon," Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General (Law and Order) Anand Kumar said.
Ambedkar Nagar Superintendent of Police (SP) Vipin Kumar Mishra said Pandey held all-India licences for a .32-bore pistol, a .12-bore double-barrel breech-loading gun and a .315-bore rifle.
The licences were suspended and the notice of the same was delivered to Pandey's address under the Akbarpur Kotwali police station limits, District Magistrate (DM) Suresh Kumar told PTI.
An officer of the Delhi police said the three women, who were accompanying Pandey and were involved in triggering the incident, were yet to be identified, but it was known that they were currently abroad.
The police said they were conducting raids in Lucknow and eastern Uttar Pradesh, including Jalapur, the constituency of Pandey's MLA brother Ritesh. His friends, family and relatives are being questioned to gain clues about his hideout.
The Delhi Police obtained a non-bailable warrant against Pandey and also issued a show-cause notice to the hotel for alleged negligence.
Additional Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh Anand Kumar said the licence for the weapon brandished by Pandey at the Delhi hotel was issued in Ambedkar Nagar in 1999.
He said he was not aware if any other case was lodged against Pandey in Uttar Pradesh.
According to Kanwar, he was abused by some people when he had escorted his woman friend to the hotel washroom after she fell ill during dinner.
When the two were waiting for their car at the hotel foyer, Pandey and his friends approached them again.
"I will kill you," Pandey allegedly told him.