An altercation between two groups in Ghaziabad’s Khoda Colony resulted in three men receiving bullet injuries and one sustaining head injuries late Sunday night. While the victims alleged “their attempts to stop unauthorised construction of a mosque” led to the brawl, police maintained that “prima facie, it was a case of road rage”. “Around 11 pm on Sunday, 32-year-old Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activist Rakesh Garg was returning home when about eight men, in a Scorpio, attacked him with sticks,” alleged Sonu Garg, Rakesh’s brother.

The VHP said three other members of their party — Rahul Rajoriya (27), Abhishek (18) and Vikas (24) — sustained bullet injuries after they reached the spot to help Garg and the accused open fired. They were rushed to Kailash Hospital in Noida. “Rakesh sustained head injuries and is under observation. Abhishek and Vikas sustained bullet injuries. They have been operated upon and are out of danger now,” said a spokesperson of Kailash Hospital.

The VHP alleged the incident took place as the party had approached police and stopped the “unauthorised construction” of a mosque. “The construction was against the court rulings and we pointed it out to the police,” claimed Uma Nandan Kaushik, Ghaziabad president, VHP. The Ghaziabad SSP said, “This was a case of road rage. Four people — Riyaz Malik, Nadeem, Rahul Khan and Mohammad — have been arrested in connection with the case.”