When three officers of Delhi Police’s Special Cell cracked a Rs 2 crore diamond burglary case in east Delhi and arrested two suspects with the diamonds, they were asked to pass on the information and suspects to local police. Seniors had then insisted that the Special Cell worked only on anti-terror operations.
Dejected, the three officers turned over the suspects and information to the East District police, but allegedly not before initiating a plan to make some quick money from the victim of the burglary, jeweller Vijay Gupta. Police sources said the three officers promised to return his diamonds to him for Rs 18 lakh, which Gupta paid Sunday.
Three days later, Gupta informed the East District police of the Rs 18 lakh he paid. On Tuesday, Delhi Police announced the dismissal of the three Special Cell officers, Inspector Rahul Sahani, Sub-inspector Nirbhay Rana and Constable Ravindra Singh Bisht.
The Indian Express had Tuesday reported that police were probing “extortion” allegations against three Special Cell officers.
Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Arvind Deep Tuesday said that the dismissal order was issued after a quick 48-hour probe. The Special Cell also summoned Gupta, who was brought face-to-face with the three officers.
Police sources said Sahani admitted to the crime and even told police that they had returned the Rs 18 lakh to Gupta hours earlier.
The trio have been dismissed from duty under Article 311 (2) (b) of the Constitution.
The diamonds were stolen from Gupta’s car on Vikas Marg in East Delhi on August 31. Police sources said two men on a motorcycle punctured Gupta’s car with a knitting needle.
While Gupta fixed the flat tyre, the duo shattered a rear window and sped away with a bag containing the diamonds worth Rs 2 crore. Gupta had immediately lodged an FIR with the Preet Vihar police station.
The next day, a team of Special Cell of southern range, headquartered in New Friends Colony, got a tip-off about two suspects involved in the theft. The team of three policemen was led by Inspector Sahani, an officer of the 1995 batch.
Sahani had earlier investigated the IPL spot fixing case as well as terror cases, said sources.
The three officers managed to detain the two suspects, including a juvenile, the same day and even recovered the diamonds, said police sources.
After the detention, Sahani informed his senior in the Special Cell about solving the case and the recovery, said a senior police officer.
Police sources said the senior officer asked Sahani to pass the information to local police as the “Special Cell is an anti-terror unit and they do not look into such cases.”
With no seeming credit for solving the case, the trio allegedly approached Gupta instead and informed him of the recovery of 70 per cent of his diamonds. They also asked him to meet him.
Sources said the officers demanded Rs 18 lakh from Gupta for his diamonds, which the latter paid. The trio allegedly promised to return the diamonds in a few days.
The same day, Sahani told the East District police of the suspects and the diamonds, after which police announced that the case was solved.
It was while taking down Gupta’s statement that the alleged role of the three officers came to light. Police sources said Gupta informed senior officers that Sahani, Rana and Bisht from the Special Cell had taken money from him.
Gupta’s allegations moved quickly up the Delhi Police hierarchy and a probe was ordered, which ended Tuesday in three dismissals.