Nikita Sachdev & Sarah Hafeez
The Special Cell on Thursday recovered an AK-47 and an SLR rifle from former MLA Rambir Shokeen’s property in Bawana. Police raided the property after getting leads from gangster Neeraj Bawana who was recently arrested. Shokeen, former Mundka MLA, is Bawana’s uncle.
Police said the weapons were those that were snatched from Uttarakhand police by Bawana’s associates, when they helped gangster Anil (alias Bhura) escape from custody.
“During a raid on a plot allegedly belonging to Shokeen, we have recovered an AK-47 and SLR rifle,” DCP (Special Cell) Sanjeev Yadav said. Police said they got important leads while questioning Bawana who was arrested on Tuesday and sent to four days’ police custody. Police said he revealed how he had helped Shokeen in the Assembly elections by resorting to criminal intimidation of residents. He also revealed that Shokeen had given him refuge in his house when he was evading police.
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“We might slap MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999) charges against Shokeen for helping Bawana,” a senior police officer said.
Shokeen, however, denied all charges, including the fact that the plot of land where the weapon was seized from was his. He claimed that all charges were part of a conspiracy hatched by his detractors to defame him. He also demanded a CBI probe into the matter and said he was ready for any inquiry in order to bring out the truth.
This is not the first time that Shokeen and Bawana’s names have cropped up together. In March 2014, police had conducted a raid at Shokeen’s house as they suspected he was harbouring Bawana and other criminals. However, they could not find anything incriminating.
“Shokeen is the brain behind Bawana. He has used his political power to hide his involvement in crimes,” a senior police officer said.
MCOCA has been slapped against the Neeraj Bawana gang earlier. Police have also asked Uttarakhand police for 20 days’ remand of Sunil Rathi. Anil is a member of Rathi’s gang. Police said they want to question Rathi about Amit’s escape to get a clearer picture of Shokeen’s involvement.
(Nikita Sachdev is a student of EXIMS)