The CCTV camera installed near the counter captured the sequence of events.
In what could have passed off as a scene from an Anurag Kashyap thriller, a man walked into a popular restaurant in Uttar Pradesh, shot its owner and exited without much drama. The man was shot thrice, but survived the attack. He is in the hospital. The police are yet to arrest the shooter.
It was a regular evening at Sultanpur’s Avantica restaurant. Alok Arya was manning the cash counter and speaking to a few men. A family in the front was enjoying a quiet Sunday dinner.
Then a man in a white shirt over a pair of blue jeans and a gamchha around his neck coolly reached the counter, pulled out a pistol, fired at Mr Arya, and left. A few men tried to stop him, but failed spectacularly.
The CCTV camera installed near the counter captured the sequence of events which unfolded within a few seconds.
Mr Arya managed to walk out of the bay, but collapsed. A big red stain on his chest looked especially bright against his white shirt. The restaurant staff took him away.
There was commotion in the restaurant and the video ended at that point.
The restaurant is only a few metres from the official residence of Sultanpur’s district magistrate.
The UP police have identified the man. He is a private contractor in the area and comes from a family of academics, police say.
The motive is yet to be established, but police sources say a fight earlier in the day between the accused and a waiter over a food parcel could have triggered the attack. Mr Arya had intervened and tried to pacify the man.
The accused reportedly returned with two friends and shot Mr Arya, police say.
The cops, however, are looking at other angles as Mr Arya is a prominent trader community leader in Sultanpur.