A 47-year-old DRDO scientist, who was arrested by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell on Friday in connection with the recent blast inside the Rohini district court complex, allegedly tried to commit suicide by consuming a toxic substance while in custody.
The scientist, Bharat Bhushan Kataria, had allegedly planted the bomb to kill his neighbour, a lawyer, said police.
He was arrested by the Special Cell and was being interrogated.
Police said that on Saturday night, Kataria was rushed to Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital after he complained of vomiting and stomach pain. Police sources said he was then referred to AIIMS and is stable.
A senior police officer from the Special Cell said, “On Saturday night, we found he had consumed some liquid inside the washroom and was rushed to the hospital. He said he wanted to commit suicide… However, when police personnel went to check on him, he said he didn’t consume anything. We spoke to doctors who said he had ingested hand wash… A senior doctor will check on him tomorrow and he will be discharged. All his vitals are normal. He will be interrogated again soon.”
Police said that when Kataria was questioned on Saturday and showed visuals of him on the court premises, besides being asked about his whereabouts, he refused to share details.
“We asked him about the sequence of events, but he said he doesn’t remember much and was at home. He is not sharing any details,” said an officer.
Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana on Saturday said they had recovered a robe of the kind worn by advocates, as well as other “incriminating” evidence, from Kataria, who has been with the DRDO for 20 years.
Police said Kataria and Amit Vashisht, his alleged target, lived in the same building in Ashok Vihar till three years ago, and had a running dispute over use of the common terrace.
Initial investigation showed that Vashisht had filed a criminal complaint against Kataria and the day the blast happened, the court was to hear framing of charges which, Kataria feared, would destroy his career.
“He and Vashisht have a long-standing dispute, going back over 10 years, and have filed over a dozen civil and criminal cases against each other,” DCP (Special Cell) Rajiv Ranjan Singh said.
He said that on the day of the blast, “Kataria placed a bag containing an IED behind Vashisht and triggered the IED from a safe distance with a remote”.