Gujarat: AAP MLA Gulab Singh held in extortion case

The Delhi Police had issued a non bailable warrant against him in an extortion case, on Saturday.

Written by Kamaal Saiyed | Surat/vadodara | Updated: October 17, 2016 1:50 am
AAP MLA Gulabsingh Yadav and supporters walk towards the police station in Surat. Express Photo/Kamaal Saiyed AAP MLA Gulabsingh Yadav and supporters walk towards the police station in Surat. Express Photo/Kamaal Saiyed

AAP’s Gujarat affairs in-charge and Delhi MLA Gulab Singh, against whom a non-bailable warrant was issued following charges of extortion, surrendered before Surat police on Sunday, hours before party convener Arvind Kejriwal’s rally in the city.

While Yadav said allegations against him were “baseless”, Kejriwal, who was in Vadodara, termed the non-bailable warrant as an “attempt” by BJP president Amit Shah to disrupt his rally in Surat.

Singh, the legislator from Matiala, is the 15th AAP MLA to be arrested. A team of Delhi Police secured a 72-hour transit remand for him from a local court.

Singh and his supporters, shouting slogans of Bharat Mata ki Jai, Vande Mataram and Inquilab Zindabad, reached the police commissioner’s office in the afternoon, and he surrendered before Umra police inspector G A Sarwaiya.

The inspector said, “We have carried out official procedure of handing over Singh to Delhi Police.”

Before his arrest, Singh told reporters, “I am in Gujarat since September 6, and was here when the FIR was filed on September 13. Police raided my office and got nothing incriminating. The Centre is directing arrest of AAP MLAs, but we are not going to bow, and are ready for any consequences.”

Last month, two property dealers, Deepak Sharma and Rinku Diwan, had alleged that Satish and Devinder, who work in Gulab Singh’s office, and an associate Jagdish were extorting money from them by threatening to get the building from where the property dealers were operating, demolished.

A case under Section 384 (punishment for extortion) of the Indian Penal Code was registered at Bindapur police station in Delhi on September 13.

Reacting to the development, Kejriwal told reporters in Vadodara, “I have heard that Amit Shah has been making plans to disrupt the rally in Surat. This is not my rally, it is the people’s rally.”

The Delhi chief minister said the case against Singh was “fabricated” and the BJP government was “scared”, and, therefore, making such moves.

He is the kingpin: Police

AAP MLA from Matiala, Gulab Singh, will be produced before a Delhi court Monday, said police after the legislator’s arrest. Police claimed Singh was the kingpin of the extortion racket in which four of his associates have been arrested.

JCP (southwestern range) Dependra Pathak said, “Singh was evading the arrest, as he did not respond to our notices. We sent our team to Surat where he was asked to come to a police station, where we put him under arrest.”

Pathak added, “On Monday, he will be produced before a Delhi court from where we seek his custody for further probe. Four of his associates, including his driver, have already been arrested.”

Pathak said investigations so far had revealed that an extortion racket was being run on Singh’s directions. “He was a kingpin of the whole racket,” he added.

Pathak said police had received another complaint from a builder against Singh. “We have sufficient evidence to prove that Singh was running the syndicate. We hope after his arrest more such complainants would come forward.”

Police are investigating information that the accused persons would identify illegal constructions through RTI questions and other methods, and then contact owners or builders of such places and demand money by claiming they would not take any action, said sources.