THE Rs 7 crore alleged fake kidnapping and robbery case of Junagadh took a new turn on Tuesday when lady police sub-inspector (PSI) Bhanu Bagda, who was investigating officer (IO) of the case, was held by Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Rajkot for allegedly taking Rs2.5 lakh bribe from a farmer.
ACB police inspector Himanshu Doshi and his team arrested Bagda, the second PSI of Junagadh taluka police, constable Jignesh Shukal and one Shahnawaz Bloch on Tuesday afternoon. The arrests were made after Bloch accepted Rs2.5 lakh bribe money on behalf of the two police personnels outside the Junagadh taluka police station from Nathubha Jadeja, the farmer whose land was in question in the alleged robbery case.
The ACB laid the trap after Jadeja, a farmer of Nani Marad village in Dhoraji taluka of Rajkot district, lodged a complaint with the anti-corruption watchdog. In his complaint, Jadeja alleged that Bagda had demanded Rs7 lakh from him for not “harassing him in the fake robbery case and over reported errors in records of his land.” However, Bagda and Shukal settled for Rs 2.5 lakh after negotiations and asked Jadeja to pay the bribe amount to Bloch, ACB said.
Incidentally, the PSI had earned praise from top officers of Junagadh district police after she cracked the Rs7 crore robbery case. Bagda found out that the complaint of kidnapping and robbery was false. In his complaint filed on October 8, Sanjay Dhorajiya, land broker of Junagadh had shown Kara Hingorja, another land broker of Junagadh, as a witness.
But during investigation, the PSI found that Hingorja and Jamal Sumra, also a land broker from Dhoraji taluka, had convinced Dhorajiya to buy 56 bigha of agricultural land from Jadeja early this year, telling Dhorajiya that they would arrange to resale the land to a Mumbai-based businessman at a premium.
Hingorja and Sumra had cornered large sum towards brokerage from Rs 1.6 crore Dhorajiya paid to Jadeja to make sale agreement. Later, to wash their hands off the land deal, Hingorja and Sumra staged the drama of kidnapping and robbery of Rs 7 crore with the help of four men.
Bagda had arrested most of the accused and found that the five bags, which Hingorja and Sumra had claimed contained Rs7 crore cash, were actually packed with bundles of papers and not currency notes.
ACB said it was during investigation of this case that the PSI summoned the documents of land in question. She later demanded bribe from land owner Jadeja for not dragging him in the investigation.