He had escaped while being produced in court this year

A 25-year-old notorious criminal who escaped from judicial custody while being produced in Rohini courts here earlier this year has been arrested along with his accomplice from the outskirts of the Capital after a brief encounter.

A 9 mm pistol, a country-made pistol, five live cartridges and a motorcycle have been seized from them.

Neeraj Pal, who carries a Rs.50,000 reward on his head, is among the 10 most notorious criminals active in Delhi, said the police.

Acting on a tip-off, an Outer Delhi Police team laid a trap on G.T. Karnal Road this past Sunday and signalled two motorcycle-borne men coming from the Alipur direction to stop. But the duo took the service road in a bid to escape and also fired a shot at the police team. The two were, however, overpowered and arrested. They were later identified as Neeraj and his accomplice Pradeep alias Chairman.

Neeraj was arrested in connection with a 2011 robbery in a Rohini showroom, but escaped from the court premises with his wife’s help on March 30.

After the escape, Neeraj allegedly threatened the complainant and the eye-witnesses against deposing before the court against him and his gang.

He reorganised his gang and carried out contract killings at Loni in Uttar Pradesh and several robberies in Delhi and its neighbouring areas.

On June 19, Neeraj, Vicky, Vikas and Pradeep committed a robbery in Mianwali. He and his gang were also involved in a case of carjacking in Rani Bagh.

Neeraj, a resident of Pitampura village, started as a petty criminal and graduated to hardcore crime after coming in contact with one Ranjit alias Bihari, said the police. Neeraj and his accomplices allegedly murdered a factory owner during a dacoity in North-West Delhi in 2011.

Pradeep is a resident of Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh.

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