The families of his victims have been provided police protection, as witnesses on both crime scenes where the three murders took place saw Ashwini Kumar a.k.a. Johnny Dada, the main suspect fleeing, waving his pistol.
Inspector General of Police, Moradabad, Ramit Sharma has hiked the reward on Ashwini from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000.
Ashwini Kumar has left his digital footprint on Internet by uploading TikTok videos wherein he portrays himself as a 'villain'. He has more than 15 teams from 21 police stations of the district searching for him. Drones were also deployed to aid the search operation in Bijnore.
The police official said that Ashwini now tops the 'most wanted' list in the district.
"We have cordoned off over five square km area where Ashwini is suspected to be hiding. A dog squad and drones have also been deployed to track him. Police are scrutinizing all information about his activities and relations.
"Investigations have revealed that Ashwini is known to consume 16 banned capsules in a single drugs binge. Hence, police are also keeping a close watch on all medical stores in the vicinity," the official said.
According to police, Ashwini shot a local BJP leader's 25-year-old son and his nephew, 26, following a dispute on September 27 in Barhapur area. After the murders, he fled the busy market area, brandishing a pistol.
On September 30, Ashwini struck again. This time he barged into the house of 27-year-old Nitika Sharma, who worked with a hotel in Dubai and had come to her hometown in Bijnore for her wedding. He pumped multiple bullets into her. It was a case of unrequited love.
The police are also short listing names of people Ashwini had a minor or major spat with. Posters with is pictures have been pasted in the region. Police have appealed to public to inform immediately in case anyone spots him.
On Thursday, the Brahmin Mahasabha handed over a memorandum to the concerned, demanding immediate arrest of the dreaded criminal.
( With inputs from IANS )