More skeletons are tumbling out in the property grab case against nine people, including a journalist and a builder. The latter are in police custody for three days.
Police allege that the journalist, Sanjeev Mahajan, whose services have been terminated by his employers, along with his late accomplice, Surjeet Singh, a bouncer-turned-financier, had withdrawn a fixed deposit worth Rs 33 lakh from the bank account of Rahul Mehta, the legal owner of the property, after abducting him in 2017. Surjeet Singh was gunned down in March 2020.
The police FIR says accused Sanjeev Mahajan, Surjeet Singh and others cut a deal for selling Rahul Mehta’s house in Sector 37 for Rs 2.42 crore. A demand draft was made of Rs 1.75 lakh and a cheque for Rs 67 lakh was handed over to accused Satpal Dagar, who allegedly handed it over to Sanjeev Mahajan.
Satpal Dagar is the brother of a serving DSP of Chandigarh Police, DSP Ram Gopal, states the FIR registered at Sector 39 police station.
A police source said, “We have got details of the bank accounts in the names of Sanjeev Mahajan and builder Manish Gupta to establish the money trail. The two are being interrogated to find out about the proxy Rahul Mehta, who impersonated as the owner and signed the documents of sale.”
Manish Gupta is the brother of Sourabh Gupta, who is named as one of the nine accused in the FIR. Sources said Sourabh Gupta has joined the investigation and maintains that his brother, Manish Gupta, looked after the property affairs of the entire family.
Police say initial investigation revealed that prior to selling the property to the builder brothers, Saurabh Gupta and Manish Gupta, Sanjeev Mahajan had sold it for Rs 2.50 crore to Satpal Dagar. Earlier, Mahajan and his associates had allegedly tried to sell it to liquor baron, Arvind Singla, who first refused to purchase it but later agreed to buy 33 per cent share in the property.
A police officer alleged, “Earlier, Sanjeev Mahajan and his associates had struck a deal for the property with liquor businessman Arvind Singla, a resident of Sector 33, and one Khelandra Singh Kadiyan of Sector 18. Later, differences arose between Avrind Singla and the gang, and the builder brothers, Sourabh Gupta and Manish Gupta, entered the picture and purchased the property from Singla and Kadiyan, the GPA holders.”
Police sources said when investigations began to trace the missing Rahul Mehta, Sanjeev Mahajan went to a Delhi-based rehabiliation centre to ascertain his whereabouts. Sources said Mahajan also made a donation of Rs 1,000 to the NGO. And police found his signatures there.
The police allege that Rahul Mehta was abducted and kept at various places with a motive to grab his property in 2017. The crime was committed between 2017 and 2020.
Besides Mahajan, the other accused named in the FIR include Satpal Dagar, brother of a serving DSP, liquor businessman Arvind Singla, Khelandra Singh Kadyan, Ashok Arora, alias Mannu, builder Saurabh Gupta, Shekhar, Daljit Singh and Surjit Singh, who was gunned down in March 2020.
Rahul Mehta, 48, sole owner of the property: Rahul Mehta, 48, is the son of a former professor at Panjab University, Ved Kumar Mehta. The property was registered in the name of Rahul Mehta’s mother. Rahul is the younger son of his parents. Along with his parents, his elder brother, Mohit Mehta, had passed away many years ago. Sources said Rahul reportedly became an addict. He also developed gangrene. The accused took advantage of Rahul’s condition and forcibly occupied the second floor of his property. A woman neighbour of Rahul claims he could not walk properly and had disappeared mysteriously four years ago. Cops traced Rahul to Bharatpur-based ashram in Rajasthan. He had been shifted to various places.
Sanjeev Mahajan, the journalist: Having a post-graduate diploma in journalism from a Chandigarh- based institute, Sanjeev Mahajan had started his career in 2005. Known for his sharp reporting skills, he developed a vast network of sources in all the departments, especially in the police. He was provided a security cover of UT cops as he is one of the complainants in the Dera violence case reported in August 2017. As per the FIR, Sanjeev Mahajan along with Surjeet and others forcibly entered the house of Rahul Mehta. They took advantage of his ailments and got him admitted to a Rajasthan-based rehabilitation centre. They arranged a proxy for Rahul for executing the land deal on his behalf.
Role of police officers: The FIR registered following the findings of a SIT states that a meeting regarding the sale/purchase of property was held in the office of DSP Ram Gopal. The FIR mentions, “Ashok Arora, Satpal Dagar, Khalendra Singh Kadiyan and Sanjeev Mahajan managed the documents through DSP Ram Gopal, Chandigarh Police, to get the Kothi registered on the name of Manish Gupta.” Ram Gopal is a DSP (CID). Satpal Dagar is his younger brother. DSP Ram Gopal denied his involvement in this scandal. When contacted, he said, “My name was dragged due to some vested interests. My brother, Satpal Dagar, will present his side before the investigation agency at an appropriate time.”
About the role of the former Sector 39 SHO, Inspector Rajdeep Singh, the FIR states, “When complainant Pardeep Rattan, who first raised the matter of disappearance of Rahul Mehta, asked the accused about their status in the house, they told him that they are tenants of Rahul Mehta and they quarreled with him. He gave a complaint to Inspector Rajdeep Singh, the then SHO PS 39, and also produced the mental certificate of Rahul Mehta where Surjit Bouncer, Shakher Sanjeev Mahajan came and abused him. They also threatened him to stay away from the said house. The said mental certificate of Rahul was detached from the complaint by the then SHO and kept in his pocket and no action had been taken by the SHO.”
Satpal Dagar, brother of DSP Ram Gopal: As per the FIR, Satpal Dagar entered the picture when liquor businessman Arvind Singla was reluctant to purchase the property of Rahul Mehta. The FIR states, “Later, Arvind Singla expressed his desire to purchase the 50 per cent share of the property from Dagar, who refused and offered him 33 per cent share in the property. The deal (was) struck. Singla issued a cheque of Rs 5 lakh in favour of Rahul Mehta and handed it over to Satpal Dagar. On the demand of Dagar, Singla also transferred Rs 11 lakh through RTGS in the account of Khalendra Singh Kadiyan. At the time of registry of property, Satpal Dagar provided a cheque for Rs 67 lakh in favour of Rahul Mehta and handed it over to Sanjeev Mahajan Press Reporter.”
Liquor baron Arvind Singla, resident of Sector 33: Arvind Singla owns almost 500 liquor vends in Punjab. In 2019, members of Lawrence Bishnoi gang had fired bulllets at his brother’s house for terrorising him. Singla is an accused in the FIR. He confessed his involvement in the sale-purchase of Rahul Mehta’s property. The FIR states, “Singla stated Ashok Arora alias Manuu told him that Sanjeev Mahajan has a deal of Kothi in Sector 37. He along with Ashok Arora met Sanjeev Mahajan regarding the deal of kothi. Sanjeev told them that if we are interested to purchase the same, then they will vacate the possession of 2nd floor. He denied. Subsequently, Ashok again visited him. Ashok told (sic) that Sanjeev sold the Kothi in Rs. 2.5 Cr. to Satpal Dagar, brother of Ram Gopal, DSP. He along with Ashok Arora met Ram Gopal, DSP at his office. Thereafter, he, Ashok Arora and Satpal Dagar held a meeting in his office, Sector 40, regarding the deal of Kothi and he offered to become 50% share holder in the deal but Satpal Dagar refused and then Satpal Dagar agreed to give him 33% share in the Kothi.”
Ashok Arora, alias Mannu, resident of Sector 20: Ashok Arora, another accused out of nine, acted as a laision between Arvind Singla and Sanjeev Mahajan. He is also one of the witnesses in the General Power of Attorney (GPA) in favour of Arvind Singla and Khelandra Singh Kadiyan. Another witness along with him was advocate Vijay Kumar Gulati. Sources said Ashok Arora also deals in property business. He was a complainant in a CBI case against an Income Tax officer in February 2013. The IT officer was convicted of corruption in February 2020.
Khalendra Singh Kadiyan: Kadiyan, resident of Sector 18, is a witness in one of the documents and a purchaser in another document. The FIR shows the same person had given his two different house addresses in Sector 18. He was shown a resident of different house number in GPA, which was signed between proxy Rahul Mehta and builder Sourav Gupta. He was shown a resident of different house in the copy of cancellation of GPA made by Rahul Mehta in his favour.
Sourabh Gupta, a builder in Sector 38: Accused Sourabh Gupta is the purchaser of property of victim Rahul Mehta. His brother Manish Gupta is in police custody. He joined the probe and disclosed that his brother Manish Gupta deals with all his property affairs. Sourabh Gupta and Manish Gupta also run a construction company, SAM Builders, in Sector 38. They also deal in the pharmaceutical business. His brother, Manish Gupta, has a medical store too.
Late Surjit Singh, a bouncer-turned financer: Surjit Singh was gunned down by unknown assailants in March 2020. He was a small-time financer, who lent money on interest on a daily basis to small shopkeepers in Sector 22. Earlier, he was a bouncer and supplied manpower in the late night clubs. He was in the close circle of Sanjeev Mahajan. Though gangster Lawrence Bishnoi was found to have ordered his killing, sources maintained the investigation of his murder can be looked from a fresh angle after this case. He was a resident of Nayagaon. But before his murder, he had shifted to Sector 38 West. The FIR states he was involved in the kidnapping of Rahul Mehta along with Sanjeev Mahajan.
Pardeep Rattan, brother of a serving DSP and son of a retired SP: Pardeep Rattan, resident of Sector 38, is the first person who had raised the matter of mysterious disappearance of Rahul Mehta, sole owner of the proprety measuring 338 sq yd worth around Rs 3 crore in Sector 37 in 2017. He had approached Sector 39 police station but his complaint was turned down by the then Sector 39 SHO, Inspector Rajdeep Singh. He filed a fresh complaint in the matter in October 2020. Sources said later, when Pardeep Rattan started changing his statements, DSP Devinder Sharma was made the complainant against all the accused. On Tuesday, when Sanjeev Mahajan along with Manish Gupta were produced in a local court, he was there. He claimed to submit affidavit twice ruling out the involvement of the journalist.
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